Martin Luther King Jr.
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A thoughtful and measured analysis that will raise the bar for future works on the man and his work. Pride Magazine
Kirks book offers an up-to-date assessment of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, incorporating insights from the most recent scholarship. In doing so, he delivers a fresh perspective on the relationship between the man and the movement, arguing that it is the interaction between national and local movement concerns that is essential to understanding Kings leadership and black activism in the 1950s and 1960s. Kirk examines King's strengths and his limitations, and weighs the role that King played in the movement alongside the contributions of other civil rights organisations and leaders, and local civil rights activists.
Introduction: King in Context
1. Becoming a Leader, 1929-1956
2. Catching Up, 1956-1961
3. Forming a Strategy, 1961-3
4. Glory Bound, 1963-4
5. A Movement in Transition, 1965-6
6. New Directions, 1966-1968
- Offers a synthesis and assessment of a much larger body of scholarly and popular literature on King and the civil rights movement
- The text places Kings leadership within the wider context of the civil rights movement
Dr. John A. Kirk is senior lecturer in American history at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is author of Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940-1970 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002), which won the J. G. Ragsdale book award. He has also published numerous articles and essays on the civil rights movement in the United States.
"the finest brief biography of King currently on the market"
Patterns of Prejudice
" a very fine introduction to the major themes of the civil rights movement"
Institute of Historical Research
"John A. Kirk's study achieves its aim of contextualizing King's contribution to the civil rights movement and evaluating his career."
Journal of American Studies, Volume 39 - 2005
The book would work as a supplemental text in survey courses or other classes that emphasize political history, leadership, government or the civil rights movement. Gives readers a glimpse of the political leadership of Martin Luther King Jr.
S. Jonathan Bass, Samford University
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