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The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Unabridged)
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The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Levar Burton (Narrator)
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 55 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 16 Dec 1999
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SPZP5K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Product Description

He was a husband, a father, a preacher - and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the twentieth century's most influential men and lived one of its most extraordinary lives. Now, in a special program commissioned and authorized by his family, here is the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr. drawn from a comprehensive collection of writings, recordings, and documentary materials, many of which have never before been made public.

This history-making autobiography is Martin Luther King in his own words as read by others and in his own words and voice: the mild-mannered, inquisitive child and student who chafed under and eventually rebelled against segregation; the dedicated young minister who continually questioned the depths of his faith and the limits of his wisdom; the loving husband and father who sought to balance his family's needs with those of a growing, nationwide movement; and the reflective, world-famous leader who was fired by a vision of equality for people everywhere.

In original recordings of his own vivid, compassionate voice, here at last is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s unforgettable chronicle of his life and his legacy. Years in the making, and woven together from thousands of recordings and documents, including letters to his family and diary entries, this program is a unique compilation which includes many rare recordings of Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering sermons, speeches, lectures, and addresses. Highlights include "I Have a Dream," "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," and "The Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech."

© and (P)1998 Intellectual Properties Management, Inc., All Rights Reserved; ©1998 Time Warner AudioBooks (Packaging Only), A Division of Time Warner Trade Publishing

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading... 28 Jan 2005
Martin Luther King, Jr., is without a doubt one of the most influential and pivotal figures in twentieth-century history. In addition to his work as a Civil Rights leader, his role as a father and pastor, he also was an extensively published writer. However, he never had the chance to write an autobiography in the traditional sense. We as readers in the present day and the future have lost the private details that might have been fleshed out in a proper autobiography, but this skillfully crafted work by Clayborne Carson has given us a religious and political autobiography, revealed in King's almost countless papers (published and unpublished), interviews, letters, sermons and public statements.
Carson, author and editor of many books relating to the Civil Rights struggle, edited a collection of King's speeches entitled 'A Knock at Midnight', and was selected by the King estate to put together this in conjunction with (according to Carson) dozens of staff and student workers forming part of the King Papers Project. Carson used particular methodology consistently in his reconstruction - that of relying primarily on the words of King himself (utilising early drafts of later writings to discern the difference between authorial and editorial intentions) and developing them as if this overall narrative account was constructed near the end of King's life.
King's autobiography begins at the beginning, with is childhood as a preacher's kid (who was himself a preacher's kid, who was himself a preacher's kid, etc.). King said, 'of course I was religious.... I didn't have much choice.' King explains the different strands in his life, that of being both militant and moderate, idealistic and realistic, as beginning here. Here he developed questions ('how could I love a race of people who hated me?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book represents a novel and ultimately successful attempt by a distinguished editor to collate in an accessible form the words of the great Martin Luther King, whether written or spoken, in an autobiographical form. What this book achieves in doing, and this cannot have been an easy task, is to explain from King's own perspective, using his own words, how he was motivated from the time that he was a young student reading the works of Henry David Thoreau to the time when he became the world's greatest civil rights leader. What makes the book such a wonderful read is that the material in it has been presented in such an accessible form to the ordinary reader. I disagree with other reviewers who somehow feel the book is distasteful. It is not distasteful in any way and indeed the editor, Clayborne Carson, sets out with meticulous care how he decided to approach writing the book and the reasons for him so doing. The writing of an autobiography using MLK's own words is a wonderful literary contribution to all of us in attempting to understand this remarkable man. To the reviewer who says go and read MLK's own complete works then sure, do that as well, but do not decry a book which no doubt will stimulate many people into doing exactly that! I have little doubt that Martin Luther King would regard this book as a dignified and scholarly work. And if it makes just one person wake up to what he achieved through "his dream" and the on-going need to continue to fight through nonviolent resistance for civil rights across the world then ultimately Clayborne Carson's book represents a remarkable achievement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking 24 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had no idea how shockingly black people were treated. It is unbelievable how one person can treat another. Unreal x
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world owes a debt 26 Nov 2011
Martin Luther King was one the great and inspiring people of the twentieth century. He was influenced by Ghandi's non violent protest and was a vocal supporter of Nelson Mandela, who was languishing in prison at the time. The book is based on King's own writings and expertly edited by Claybourne Carson. King's writing is elegant and clear and dispassionate to the point of dismissive when talking about his own part in the struggle. By contrast his speeches are fiery and his account of other people's role is moving. In particular a letter he wrote from Birmingham jail encapsulates in a few pages the plight of the American Negro, and oppressed people everywhere, puts it in historical context and sets out how this can only be overcome by non violent positive resistance. It is easy to forget the oppression that some people experienced in American and in Britain and I for one was surprised by the open display of racism and brutality at all levels of authority, and this happened in my lifetime. Truly a great book about a great man.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good attempt slightly unsatisfying 22 Jun 2007
This book is a skilful effort to create from the writings and speeches of Martin Luther King a comprehensive narrative that details the man's life in his own words. It provides a good introductory insight into his thoughts on the major events in his life and the moral issues that shaped his convictions.

However due in part to the material from which it is composed and the author's discretion it flounders between an attempt to provide King's views on a historical account of the events of the civil rights movement and a comment on the development of his ideas and aspirations, failing to provide a wholly satisfying version of either.

With the exception of a brief couple of chapters at the beginning of the book about his childhood and family the main emphasis is on the civil rights struggle. It becomes a little tedious in places with listing of campaign after campaign in which King repeats many of the similar views and arguments, and does not provide a full account of events. Therefore readers not already familiar with King's life and actions looking to learn more from a historical perspective will be disappointed. Concomitantly readers looking to find an account of spiritual and ideological development akin to Gandhi's autobiography will be similarly disappointed as it lacks the neat structure that can only be provided by the concerted writing of an auto biographer.

However this volume does include King's key speeches and is a good attempt to provide a glimpse of man and his ideas from a collection of his unorganised speeches and writings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspiring
This is a good read for anyone who wants to learn how to put their Christian faith into action. Also how to love your enemies. Read more
Published 7 days ago by J.L.Humphrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Interesting to see the upper middle class background he comes from, but also how many people suffered tremendously during the civil rights fight. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Man of God
Truly a hero of mankind. Mr King was an eloquent and courageous man who 'fought' the evil of segregation in a non violent but effective way. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bethany Reid
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book and great condition
This is the second time I have bought this book and this was lived up to the expectations and was in great condition.
Published 3 months ago by anita carmock
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
it is definately one of the best well written autobiography 5 stars. advise you read this book. code 1799463842 ydhidfjid dhhf
Published 3 months ago by Chief Emirate
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks so much!
A great book. I especially like how I was able to read into happenings of the movement, as well as into the life of Martin himself at the time. Read more
Published 4 months ago by N
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent condition
This book is not written by dr king so Im abit disappointed as the way it is read you would think it was so how much of it is him? Read more
Published 5 months ago by chaz
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Man
Anything thing about this man and his life is inspiring. So I'm happy basically. Back to the service, excellent and very fast delivery, thank you very much!
Published 6 months ago by Theresa Adjorlolo
5.0 out of 5 stars everyone should read this book
this book is one that would change your view of life.

it makes you realise not only what a truly amazing man Martin Luther King was - but also that if only society would... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Corinne Lemar
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
A fantastic read and truly inspiring! It can resonate with all ages as many of the areas captured within this book were not that long ago in real terms.
Published 9 months ago by Darren Townsend
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