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The essential moments of the Civil Rights Movement are set in historical context by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the magisterial America in the King Years trilogy--Parting the Waters; Pillar of Fire; and At Canaan's Edge. Taylor Branch, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning America in the King Years trilogy, presents selections from his monumental work that recount the essential moments of the Civil Rights Movement. A masterpiece of storytelling on race and democracy, violence and nonviolence, The King Years delivers riveting tales of everyday heroes whose stories inspire us still. Here is the full sweep of an era that transformed America and continues to offer crucial lessons for today's world. This vital primer amply fulfills Branch's dedication: "For students of freedom and teachers of history."
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Branch (The Clinton Tapes) selects crucial scenes from his Pulitzer Prize-winning three-volume history, America in the King Years, to capture the turning points of the civil rights era. Covering the period from 1954 to 1968, Branch begins with Martin Luther King Jr.'s first major speech, given during the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat and ends with King's assassination on a hotel balcony in Memphis. In between are vivid vignettes that convey the movement's growth: Freedom Rides, sit-ins, the murders of the voter registration workers in Mississippi, the bombing of a church in Birmingham, and the marches to Selma, Birmingham, and Washington, where King's "Dream" speech addressed a quarter of a million people. Branch highlights King's relationships with major figures, including activist Bob Moses; Stokely Carmichael and the Black Power movement; J. Edgar Hoover; and King's collaboration with President Lyndon Johnson on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and their lack of agreement on the escalating war in Vietnam. He also illuminates how the passage of the Civil Rights Act realigned the political parties during the stormy political conventions in 1964. Though King is the central figure, this is not a biography, but rather a compressed narrative history that, despite its brevity, captures the evolution of a decisive period that changed America. Agent: Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verrill. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

This work draws on Pulitzer Prize--winner Branch's best-selling Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63; Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65; and At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68 to sum up key moments of the Civil Rights Movement in one handy volume. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"Branch is as eloquent and trenchant as ever...the book recalls and revitalizes a history that deserves its details" "On the America in the King Years trilogy: " "Right out of the pages of our lives....Compelling portraits placed in the excitement of a period when oppressed and powerless people moving together changed themselves and their country profoundly and permanently." "On the America in the King Years trilogy: ""In remarkable, meticulous detail, Branch provides us with the most complex and unsentimental version of King and his times yet produced." "On the America in the King Years trilogy: ""There will be the inevitable comparisons to Carl Sandburg's "Abraham Lincoln" and Shelby Foote's "The Civil War", two other masterworks that use the grand sweep of history to lay barethe nation's soul." "Instead of getting a dry dates-and-events history book, readers are gifted with glimpses of life and 'historically significant' events, presented almost in the form of a novel."

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