16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Good attempt slightly unsatisfying,
This review is from: The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr (Paperback)
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.