- Gebundene Ausgabe
- Verlag: Simon & Schuster; Auflage: 1st Edition (November 1988)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0671460978
- ISBN-13: 978-0671460976
- Verpackungsabmessungen: 23,6 x 16,3 x 5,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 13 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 319.719 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63 (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – November 1988
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The first book of a formidable three-volume social history, Parting the Waters is more than just a biography of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the decade preceding his emergence as a national figure. Branch's thousand-page effort, which won the Pulitzer Prize as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction, profiles the key players and events that helped shape the American social landscape following World War II but before the civil-rights movement of the 1960s reached its climax. The author then goes a step further, endeavoring to explain how the struggles evolved as they did by probing the influences of the main actors while discussing the manner in which events conspired to create fertile ground for change.
Timeline of a Trilogy
Taylor Branch's America in the King Years series is both a biography of Martin Luther King and a history of his age. No timeline can do justice to its wide cast of characters and its intricate web of incident, but here are some of the highlights, which might be useful as a scorecard to the trilogy's nearly 3,000 pages.
David Levering Lewis The Philadelphia Inquirer Endlessly instructive and fascinating, thorough, stupendous. Now the source and standard in its field.
Robert C. Maynard The Washington Post Book World In remarkable, meticulous detail, Branch provides us with the most complex and unsentimental version of King and his times yet produced.
Richard John Neuhaus The Wall Street Journal A compelling story, masterfully told.
Jim Miller Newsweek A masterpiece ... remarkably revealing.... The past, miraculously, seems to spring back to life.
Garry Wills The New York Review of Books Already, in this chronicle, there is the material of Iliad after Iliad...There is no time in our history of which we can be more proud.
Robert Wilson USA Today Superb history. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
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The book succeeds brilliantly on many levels: as a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., it captures the greatness of the man without cleansing him of flaws. As a political primer, it de-romanticizes the Kennedy administration, portraying John and his brother Robert as hard-nosed realists who were not unwilling to turn their backs on the civil rights movement if they felt that support would endanger their chances of re-election. As a People's history, it pays detailed homage to the foot soldiers who fought in the backwaters of Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia to dismantle the mountain of segregation. Men and women whom you may never have heard of will capture your imagination: James Bevel, Diane Nash, Septima Clark, Robert Moses, James Lawson, and Charles Sherrod, to name but a few who literally risked their lives to force America to live up to its ideals of equality of opportunity. And to those who would congratulate America on its successes in the field of civil rights, it offers a telling antidote to that self-congratulation in its recounting of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI's determined opposition to King and its tireless efforts to discredit him and the movement.
Most of all, however, "Parting the Waters" reaffirms for me that great history is the province of the writer, not of the video documentarian. Some great filmwork has been done on this era: "Eyes on the Prize" and Spike Lee's "Four Little Girls" come to mind, as do film biographies of King, such as "Martin Luther King: An Amazing Grace." But the problem with film is that it inevitably reduces the civil rights struggle to a series of great moments of high drama, leaving the impression that the road to victory was inevitable, despite the obstacles. Branch's book, on the other hand, at times leaves you wondering whether the victories in Birmingham, Montgomery and elsewhere would ever be achieved, even when you know the outcome. It never shrinks from emphasizing the rifts within the movement itself, the daunting indifference of most of society, the doubts that plagued King himself, the hard compromises that had to be made, and the demoralizing defeats that were suffered in places like Albany, Georgia.
This is first-rate work, an epic history and a story that accomplishes the paradoxical task of simultaneously stirring pride in this country's accomplishments and shame at the fact that the task to achieve the victories had to be undertaken at all.
Taylor presents it all: the protagonists, the movements and counter movements, the outrages that helped turn public opinion, the individual dramas that played out against the larger conflict. Never boring and never doctrinaire, this book builds chapter by chapter, a momentum just as the movement did, leading up to the triumphant March on Washington.
Though Martin Luther King, Jr. is central to the story, this is not a King bio, nor does it deny space and attention to those others, black and white, who played key roles during this time. This is simply a fascinating book on a very important subject. I suspect it will be read as the definitive view of this period for some time. It is hard to imagine it being topped.
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