Cover image for Death of a King the real story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final year
Title:
Death of a King the real story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final year
Author:
Smiley, Tavis, 1964- , author, narrator.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Hachette Audio, [2014]

℗2014
Physical Description:
5 audio discs (approximately 6 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations.
General Note:
Unabridged.

Compact disc.
Language:
English
Genre:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781478928683
Format :
Audiobook on CD

Available:*

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Call Number
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Kenmore Library E185.97.K5 S56 2014C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library E185.97.K5 S56 2014C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Crane Branch Library E185.97.K5 S56 2014C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Summary

Summary

A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations-denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black youth, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few-all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.

Smiley's DEATH OF A KING paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life-one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.


Author Notes

Tavis Smiley is the host of PBS's Tavis Smiley and Public Radio International's The Tavis Smiley Show. Smiley is also the bestselling author of 16 books. He lives in Los Angeles, California.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

As he was growing up, Smiley, a best-selling author and award-winning broadcaster, was profoundly influenced by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drawing on interviews with friends and major civil rights figures from Harry Belafonte to Andrew Young to Jesse Jackson as well as biographers Taylor Branch and Clayborne Carson, Smiley takes a fresh look at the 365 days leading up to King's assassination on April 4, 1968. Smiley recalls the threats and denunciations King faced, the obstacles he overcame, and the internal struggles he endured as the civil rights leader expanded his mission to human rights advocacy. Speaking out against the Vietnam War, King came under severe criticism from the Left and the Right. Smiley recounts King's growing concerns about the strains on his marriage, tensions among the ranks of civil rights leaders, and growing dissent fueled by black militants critical of nonviolent tactics. Written as a narrative in the present tense, Smiley's book aims to flesh out the man behind the now idealized image of King that has weakened appreciation of the depth of his personal struggle.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

"In his last year, what kind of man had Martin Luther King, Jr. become?" is the question Smiley (What I Know for Sure) raises, asserting that he has "come to firmly believe that, in a critical way, [King] is misunderstood." The book focuses for the most part on the year between King's April 4, 1967 anti-war speech in New York and his April 4, 1968 assassination in Memphis, but also passes through such earlier landmarks as the Montgomery bus boycott and the March on Washington. Snippets from King's sermons, speeches, and press conferences abound, along with tidbits from the media coverage of the time. Smiley also covers King's marital problems, depression, smoking and drinking habits, musical tastes, and even his (hypothetical) internal thoughts. Smiley's referring to his subject throughout as "Doc," which was King's nickname among his "most trusted colleagues," here comes across as distracting. It is, however, typical of the book's chatty prose, which stumbles when attempting weighty references ("Like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane") or lyricism ("The sea sparkles with moonlight.") The answer to Smiley's opening question appears to be that King became deeply concerned with peace and poverty, no great revelation for anyone even passingly familiar with the history of those years. But Smiley's efforts to show the man who was his hero since he was a young boy adds a dimension to the reams of writing about Dr. King. Agent: David Vigliano and Thomas Flannery Jr., Vigliano Associates (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Martin Luther King Jr.'s name is synonymous with his "I Have a Dream" speech and nonviolent philosophy. Talk show host and political commentator Smiley (Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure) sees this as an incomplete portrait of King's legacy. King challenged the status quo in all areas of society, and his pro-labor and anti-Vietnam War stances have been largely forgotten. Where King was once viewed as a threat to American society, Smiley writes he is now considered an "idealistic dreamer." The author aims to correct this view by chronicling the last year of King's life, from April 4, 1967 (when he gave his first antiwar speech) to April 4, 1968 (when he was assassinated). King encountered opposition as his work spread politically and geographically; Smiley believes this opposition allowed him to reach "moral greatness." Included are interviews from King scholars, friends, and colleagues in order to create a more complete picture. While the book's goal is noble, Smiley's style is informal, referring to King as "Doc" and presuming to know what King was thinking during crucial moments of his life. The work is, however, a step in the right direction. Verdict Ideal for anyone not familiar with King's political views outside of the civil rights movement.-Jason Martin, Stetson Univ. Lib., DeLand, FL (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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