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A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. | [Edited by Clayborne Carson, Kris Shepard]

A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

These 12 moving speeches voiced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are original recordings collected here for the first time ever. Plus, listen to MLK deliver some of his most famous sermons in A Knock at Midnight.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: The iconic moments of Dr. King's oratory echo in our aural consciousness; this collection offers a unique opportunity to move beyond those moments. Backed by eye-opening introductions from Dr. King's inner circle, these 12 speeches trace the growth of a man, a voice, and a movement. From the rarely heard "Birth of a New Nation" speech to King's final thrilling "I Have Been to the Mountaintop", I am reminded that spoken word can truly change the world. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

His speeches stirred a generation to change - and outlined a practical way to economic freedom and true democracy. His words would help bring about the end of a brutally unequal system - and would show a timeless method for achieving fairness and justice for all.

These 12 moving speeches voiced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are original recordings collected here for the first time ever. In addition, some of the world's most renowned leaders and theologians share with you their reflections on these speeches, and give priceless firsthand testimony on the events that inspired their delivery.

This audio takes you behind the scenes on an astonishing spoken historical journey - from a small, crowded church in Montgomery, AL, where "The Birth of a New Nation" ignited the modern civil rights movement; to the center of the nation's conscience; to the Mason Temple in Memphis, where more than 10,000 people heard Dr. King give his last transcendent speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop", the night before his assassination.

Narrators include Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, Hon. Walter E. Fauntroy, Yolanda King, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Martin Luther King III, Rep. John Lewis, Ambassador George McGovern, and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

©2001 by The Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., All Rights Reserved; (P)2001 by Intellectual Properties Management, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Inge A AmotNorway 05-23-03
    Inge A AmotNorway 05-23-03 Member Since 2002
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    "A King size speech"

    This man had a godsent power in his voice. Now,i was really moved by some of his speeches. Where did he take it all from? Truly one of the most powerful and influential speakers ever heard in rgds to human rights activism.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dominic Kista, N/A, Sweden 07-15-05
    Dominic Kista, N/A, Sweden 07-15-05
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    "Great covering of Dr Kings speeches"

    Having been brought up hearing about Dr King and his life but never really reading anything of value about him, I decided to download and listen to this audio book.

    I found it to be truly breath taking and inspiring. With introductions by prominent people who knew him well and then to hear his speeches in live format was spectacular. Some of the early recordings are somewhat difficult to listen to considering the quality of sound, but 9 out of 10 are of very good sound quality.

    What an extraordinary man and what a fantastic message! Just as important today as it was during the civil rights movement. If you want to hear Dr Martin Luther Kings words from his own mouth combined with his fantastic oratory skills, this is a must have!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Arlington, MA, USA 12-20-02
    Donald Arlington, MA, USA 12-20-02 Member Since 2001
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    "A walk through MLK's public comments"

    The introductions to the speeches set the stage to make it easier to understand why, when, and what happened. MLK's voice brings the words to life. Most of the speech recordings are surprisingly audible. One of the few audible books that I've gone all the way through twice.

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
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    thrusty04 New Delhi, India 04-25-13
    thrusty04 New Delhi, India 04-25-13
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    "Poor Audio Quality"

    The book seemed to pick a good pace. However, as soon as the live speeches start, the audio quality declines substantially.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Watson Sapulpa, OK 02-13-13
    Bob Watson Sapulpa, OK 02-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Life changing"

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! I have always admired Dr. King, after listening to him I am blown away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Somerville, MA, United States 02-08-13
    Don Somerville, MA, United States 02-08-13 Member Since 2001

    dhm

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    "Second listen even better than first"

    Trying to summarize or appraise MLK's speeches seems irreverent and a false sense of being an equal. Listening carefully to his deep faith, deep sense of justice for all, fears, and call to everyone being better than we imagine we can be reaches a deep spiritual plain. This recording is worth a frequent repeat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April CENTREVILLE, VA, United States 02-03-13
    April CENTREVILLE, VA, United States 02-03-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Why the message and the memory endure"

    This was the perfect choice to better understand what Dr. King was about and why he is now honored for his contributions to American society and indeed the contemporary
    American soul. The book is built around a timeline presentation of actual recordings of Dr. King's landmark speeches, from his calls for nonviolent resistance through bus boycotts in 1955 to his final "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech delivered in Memphis the day before his assassination. Most start with an introduction written and/or read by someone with connection to Dr. King and his movement: his wife, close friends who worked with him for years in the civil rights campaign, and people who witnessed first hand his unforgettable presence when he spoke. Fair warning, all the speech recordings are live and a couple are lower quality and thus hard to hear, but most are very clear.

    The structure is simple, elegant, and allows Dr. King's intelligence, compassion, and commitment speak for themselves as he over time develops his approach to nonviolence, loving community, and social justice. You hear him testing the analogies and concepts that later ring with passion in the "I Have a Dream" speech, the increasingly global perspective as he studies both the events and literature of the world for further insight including the end of colonialism in Ghana, the works of Shakespeare, philosophy from Ancient Greece to Marx and Nietzsche, and political realities in the Soviet Union and Vietnam. Erudite and eloquent, his own words reveal his depth of commitment to achievement of the promise of American freedom for all its citizens and justice for the world grounded in the tenets of his faith.

    More than a history lesson, the books captures what keeps Dr. King's message relevant decades after he delivered it. The inability to have true freedom without true justice for all, the importance of nonviolence of spirit as well as action, how essential an approach built on love is to avoiding the bitterness that perpetuates conflict -- his approach carries a poignant message in a time characterized by a world becoming increasingly polarized at all levels, from individual citizens to our highest government institutions. I've found no better resource for insight into the man, the movement, and what both can bring to the twenty-first century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    RevInTampa Tampa, FL 08-08-12
    RevInTampa Tampa, FL 08-08-12 Member Since 2010

    Pastor Darryl

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    "A Great Walk Through The Civil Rights Struggle"
    If you could sum up A Call to Conscience in three words, what would they be?

    Inspiring & Thought Provoking


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Call to Conscience?

    I was surprised to learn that a good portion of King's "I Have A Dream" speech had been presented at an earlier march in Detroit. I also found it interesting that there were parts of King's speeches that were kind of "stump" elements. Nothing wrong with that but something I hadn't considered before.


    What does Andrew Young and Rosa Parks bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It was more moving to hearing their voices especially Rosa Parks since she is no longer with us. Andrew Young provided some behind the scenes context for King's final speech and I was just amazed that King's last message was done without notes. As a preacher I was amazed at how masterful he presented that message and how King always pulled in the biblical perspective in most of his messages. Young also explained how sick King felt that night was also was stunning.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was amazed at how releveant King's message is to world today. We have have overcome racial segregation but there are still racial challenges in the United States and non-violence is still the best approach to solving the ills of America society.


    Any additional comments?

    Keep in mind that sound recording technology is not what we have today so some messages are difficult to listen to because of the reverb. King's message at Riverside Church about the Vietnam war had some good points but the quality was so challenging that I found it hard to stick with the 40+ min speech (even though I did but some parts my mind drifted).
    Also, I was a little disappointed that King's "If I Had Sneezed" speech wasn't included in this collection but that could be because that message didin't contribute to the "conscious" make-up of King.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Barbara Miami, FL, United States 11-28-11
    Barbara Miami, FL, United States 11-28-11
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    "You cannot hear this!"

    Don't bother downloading, the audio is not auduble. Would have liked to get through this work so I'm going to have to read it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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