A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.
Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations -- denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few -- all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.
Smiley's Death of a King paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life -- one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.
Smiley, a veteran public broadcasting host and prolific author, chronicles the last year in the life of the civil rights leader, highlighting the more difficult facets of King's political and personal journey that contemporary audiences may not fully grasp. Smiley takes on King's point of view in the midst of often contentious interactions with advisers, friends, and confidants. Smiley provides a naturally engaging voice, drawing on his television and radio background, and his warm demeanor reinforces the intimacy he aims to establish with his subject, such as when he refers to King as "Doc," which was his nickname among his most trusted colleagues. As he move back and forth between elements of expository material, dialogue, and speeches, Smiley's style of delivery vacillates between a straight-ahead reading of the narrative and a performance that attempts to recreate conversations from the past. These rocky transitions may deter from the overall listening experience; however, the power of the message and the significance of Smiley's personal involvement in preserving a more vibrant record of Dr. King's life cannot be denied. A Little, Brown hardcover.
This book while humanizing Dr. King during his final year makes me realize how superhuman his work was. His statue at the National Mall needs to be bigger.
Going to give this a read.
Saw this on John Stewart tonight show.