King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop by Harvard Sitkoff
Might Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest accomplishments have been ahead of him? His murder in April 1968 did far more than tragically cut short the life of one of America's most remarkable civil rights leaders. In this concise biography, Harvard Sitkoff presents a stunningly relevant King. The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, King's 1963 soul-stirring address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and the 1965 history-altering Selma march are all recounted. But these are not treated as predetermined high points in a life celebrated for its role in a civil rights struggle too many Americans have quickly relegated to the past. Carefully presented alongside King's successes are his failures - as an organizer in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida; as a leader of ever more strident activists; as a husband. High and low points are interwoven to capture King's lifelong struggle, through disappointment and epiphany, with his own injunction: 'Let us be Christian in all our actions'. By telling King's life as one on the verge of reaching its fulfillment, Sitkoff powerfully shows where King's faith and activism were leading him - to a direct confrontation with a president over an immoral war and with an America blind to its complicity in economic injustice.