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Death of a King Audiobook

Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year

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Publisher's Summary

A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the 12 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 best-selling 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 middle class and militants, 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2014 Tavis Smiley and David Ritz (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Death of a King is a fitting climax to a noble saga. It is here adequately told and placed before history." (Reverend Gardner C. Taylor)
"Tavis Smiley has captured not only the spirit of the movement, but the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. in his last days. We didn't realize it but he knew he was on his way to Jerusalem, and as much as we tried to deter him, he fought back." (Andrew Young, United States ambassador to the United Nations and former mayor of Atlanta)
"One of the most important political voices of his generation." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (153 )
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4.3 (133 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Piotr 02-19-15
    Piotr 02-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An important book"
    What made the experience of listening to Death of a King the most enjoyable?

    This is a fascinating piece of history, read with simple conviction by the author. I could not imagine a different narrator.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 10-17-14
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 10-17-14 Member Since 2015

    Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.

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    "Sad but compelling...."

    The last year of King's life was overfull of hard times....both enemies and friends criticized him relentlessly. He began his campaign against the war in Vietnam, and the president who had helped Blacks gain civil rights was astounded because suddenly King was opposing him. So he fought back. And many of King's supporters and friends were adamantly opposed to King dividing his focus by taking on the war while still seeking equality for Blacks. King was under constant stress...at times he wept...at times he thought of quitting his work at the national level and retiring to a little church in the South, or even accepting an invitation to a church in the UK. Thoughts of death as well as threats of death were constantly with him. The story of his last year is one of a man pushing the boulder up the hill and suffering for every inch. It is a sad story, but it is a compelling story. Maybe we all need to know the story in order to fully honor King. The book is read by the author and he does an excellent job.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernest BROOKLYN, NY, United States 10-10-14
    Ernest BROOKLYN, NY, United States 10-10-14 Member Since 2016
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    "An amazing tribute to the King Legacy"
    What made the experience of listening to Death of a King the most enjoyable?

    The real story of King's final year will send chills down your spine, the betrayal by friends and the media, the depression, the imperfections of MLK and eventually the regicide give readers/listeners a tragic look into the life of one of Americas most heroic leaders.


    Have you listened to any of Tavis Smiley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was his first performance


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book made me aware and put me at peace with the real legacy of MLK


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Aichele Antioch, CA United States 05-11-15
    Cheryl Aichele Antioch, CA United States 05-11-15
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    "Just what I needed"

    I'm very glad I got this book. I like the style & the story. Very insightful. I'm going to do more research on the poverty campaign mentioned.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel G Mcleod Jr 10-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    4
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    "a true in depth look."

    I loved every part of this excpt the reader. story was outstanding and to see the uncovered sides of Dr. MLK makes me realize how human and how determined he was in his mission. love his legacy all the more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shane p 05-20-16
    shane p 05-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    4
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    "Rewritten History The Right Way"

    If you let them tell it, Dr. King's assassination comes shortly after his I Have a Dream speech. But this book bridges the gap between that day on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and 5 years later, his final moment of life. I learned so much more about the man and less about the deified martyr. Well done Tavis, we'll done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matisse morrison 04-04-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Exceptional read!!!"

    Loved it a very eye opening and true to life book with and much needed educational narrative. However, Tavis is not the preferred narrator and this doesn't change my admiration for Tavis Smiley.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denice 02-19-16
    Denice 02-19-16
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    2
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    "sacrifice"

    A great man who brought peace, standard and for all to follow . non violent protests inspite of the evil millions of lives lost because of people mind set that they are better than the other .lets not forget the message people and live better lives loving and thinking of one another . Thanks Dr king your christ like

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sandy SEATTLE, WA, US 07-05-15
    sandy SEATTLE, WA, US 07-05-15
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    "Good story"
    What did you love best about Death of a King?

    Tavis covers a gap in King's life--filling an important void.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Death of a King?

    When he called Mahalia Jackson asking her to sing as he really needed to hear the voice of God.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator needed to pause more in places and be more conversational. It was too similar in rhythm and tone and made a good story less so.


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

    The Mahalia Jackson story.


    Any additional comments?

    The producer needs to be a better narrative coach.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jelani Smith 04-05-15
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    3
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    "Remember the king"

    One of the most important stories in American history. a must read, for anyone of any age, wanting to learn how to be more loving and never give up hope.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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