Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Incredibly powerful book After watching Selma recently I realised I really didn't know much about Dr King This book is an excellent biography readable, balanced, intelligent Unlike many dry biographies, this can be a tear jerker at times, especially when recounting some of King's fine speeches, and with the way in which it builds to the fateful climax.My only disappointment is the abrupt ending As a new to the subject non American, I was really wanting an epilogue something to summarise the future of the civil rights movement and King's legacy To not include that was a huge let down for an otherwise virtually faultless book Now I know how he died but nothing about what happened after his funeral.Despite that single flaw, I would heartily recommend this book as a fantastic introduction to the life of Martin Luther King. This book is a very thorough accounting of a very productive life I have read several books about M L K., and this is the best Very well written and was a page turner God bless him He's in my to five people's list. This should be required reading for all Americans The power of love and non violent confrontation shows how one man can change the world Martin Luther King was truly a gift of God and a voice crying in the wilderness He wasn't perfect but neither was David, Peter, Paul and many other prophets of Old and New Testaments He was honest and had a vision that is included all into forging a better nation Stephen Oakes truly captures the pain, struggle, triumph and sadness of the 60's. Well researched and well written Full of insights into behind the scenes experiences, made especially interesting since I was a young woman during that time The only drawback for me was that it was scholarly, and I was wanting something relaxing at the time It was like reading an excellent high school or college book. I read this when I realized how little use I had made of the Black History Months that have come and gone I was inspired, heartbroken, encouraged, discouraged, lifted up, cast down, touched by the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, amazed at the vision, courage and love of MLK, humbled by his intellect and human gifts, chastised by his human frailties and propensities in which I share, and left, finally, wondering as he wondered at the sinfulness of man and the eternal love of God. I had read this back in the 1990's, and just re read it I loved it! It was surprising to me how many things seemed completely new to me, that I had forgotten It also pointed me to a number of different things that I now want to learn about.Very striking it was, how many of his friends and allies turned against Dr King on the subject of his opposition to the Vietnam war And, of course, how incredibly right he was!In my humble opinion, anyone who wants to call himself or herself American, has got to know the history contained in this book We would live in a different world, if they did. But, the I read the sadder I became because I knew what was going to happen Growing up in Southern California I had very little experience with segregation or real poverty This book was a real eye opener. There is a gap in knowledge about Martin Luther King in the UK Yes, we know the headlines but his speeches were not broadcast here and, in my view, otherwise well read people can have a lucana about the broader facts of his lief — for instance, his heroic stance on the Vietnam War, his anti poverty work and his beautiful personality I don't think I've ever read such a moving story In fact, odd as it might sound, I think I became a better person by reading this book — because I learnt about what it means to love and to do everything you can to help other human beings If you flick through the opening pages, do not let yourself be put off at all by a (slightly pompous sounding) author's essay at the start: the book itself is very well researched and written Martin Luther King achieved in seven years what could have taken seven decades — the successful challenges against various forms of segregation But, the last couple of years of his life were deeply painful because he tried to tackle informal and economic serration And 50 years after he died, we still haven't got near to solving that But, we shall overcome one day And, as he said: Everybody can be greatbecause anybody can serve You don't have to have a college degree to serve You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve You only need a heart full of grace A soul generated by love.” The most comprehensive the most thoroughly researched and documented the most scholarly of the biographies of Martin Luther King Jr Henry Steele Commanger Philadelphia InuirerWinner of the Robert F Kennedy Memorial Book Award A New York Times Notable Book of the YearDrawing on interviews with those who knew King previously unutilized material at Presidential libraries and the holdings of the Martin Luther King Jr Center in Atlanta Mr Oates has written the most comprehensive account of Kings life yet published He displays a remarkable understanding of Kings individual role in the civil rights movement Oatess biography helps us appreciate how sorely King is missedEric Foner New York Times Book ReviewBy the acclaimed biographer of Abraham Lincoln Nat Turner and John Brown Stephen B Oates's prizewinning Let the Trumpet Sound is the definitive one volume life of Martin Luther King Jr This brilliant examination of the great civil rights icon and the movement he led provides a lasting portrait of a man whose dream shaped American history; A very moving and interesting book, about a time which seems very distant now.Interesting that King was born to a family of preachers and that he was very highly educated His education won him great honours and until circumstances intervened he anticipated a life as a scholar of comparative religion He was also extremely well read in philosophy and sought desperately in his studies to answer questions about morality and social reform, being a huge fan of Gandhi His talent in these fields was such that his professors expected great things from him.However on completing his PhD he took a job a pastor in Montgomery, and very shortly found himself challenged to walk the walk his ideas led him to, a challenge which this biography says he never really flinched from his whole life.This book presents a picture of a man who committed himself wholly to his work, almost from the beginning prepared to sacrifice just about everything, working incredible hours bringing deep thought and great eloquence to all his actions.Along with his commitment to racial equality were a series of complex and carefully thought out political ideas about class, political reform, and also in later years the Vietnam war Towards the end of his life his struggle broadened out to embrace these wider issues, much to the dismay of most of his eminent followers But then opposition was nothing new to him.This book is also fascinating for what it reveals about the Kennedy brothers and Lyndon Johnson It presents the picture of the Kennedys most people had at the time before the revisionists had a crack at them.The picture of Johnson is extraordinary, but then seemingly he was He passed a torrent of brilliantly marshalled and effective civil rights legislation which overnight solved many problems at a statutory level, and then moved on with equal vigour and efficiency to massively escalate a hugely destructive and pointless war.This book is carefully researched as the notes reveal, but exceptionally easy to read as the scholarship is masked.Highly recommended.