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Martin Luther King Jr exercised a tremendous degree of influence in a movement that between 1955 and 1965 successfully dismantled a system of legalised racial segregation and disfranchisement entrenched for over sixty years in the United States. How did King, who came from a subordinated group within American society, help effect this change? What background, characteristics, abilities and ideas enabled him to do this? Why was King so important in shaping the civil rights movement?
John A. Kirk looks at the sources of Kings power in the black community and its relationship to wider American society, focusing particularly on the role of the black church, the philosophy of nonviolence and issues of leadership, whilst paying due attention to the voices of Kings critics and detractors and to the limitations of his power. He locates King firmly within the context of other leaders and organisations, voices and opinions, and tactics and ideologies, which made up the movement as a whole.
Fifty years after the Montgomery bus boycott, which launched Kings movement leadership, this book moves beyond the all-too-often oversimplified story of Kings life and times to provide an innovative analytical framework for understanding the role played by one of the United States most important historical figures.
John A. Kirk is senior lecturer in US History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written extensively on the history of the civil rights movement, including Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940 1970 (2002) which won the 2003 J. G. Ragsdale Book Award.
Introduction: King in Context 1. Becoming a Leader, 1929-1956 2. Catching Up, 1956-1961 3. Forming a Strategy, 1961-3 4. Glory Bound, 1963-4 5. A Movement in Transition, 1965-6 6. New Directions, 1966-1968
Combining the latest insights from King biographies and movement histories, this book provides an up-to-date analysis of the relationship between the `man and the movement.'
Dr. John A. Kirk is senior lecturer in American history at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is author of Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940-1970 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002), which won the J. G. Ragsdale book award. He has also published numerous articles and essays on the civil rights movement in the United States.
"the finest brief biography of King currently on the market" "Patterns of Prejudice" " " a very fine introduction to the major themes of the civil rights movement" "Institute of Historical Research" "John A. Kirk's study achieves its aim of contextualizing King's contribution to the civil rights movement and evaluating his career." "Journal of American Studies, Volume 39 - 2005" The book would work as a supplemental text in survey courses or other classes that emphasize political history, leadership, government or the civil rights movement. Gives readers a glimpse of the political leadership of Martin Luther King Jr . S. Jonathan Bass, Samford University