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The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. | [(edited by Clayborne Carson)]

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

He was a husband, a father, a preacher - and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world. Now, in a special program commissioned and authorized by his family, here is the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr. Featuring King's I Have a Dream Speech.
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Publisher's Summary

He was a husband, a father, a preacher - and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the twentieth century's most influential men and lived one of its most extraordinary lives. Now, in a special program commissioned and authorized by his family, here is the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr. drawn from a comprehensive collection of writings, recordings, and documentary materials, many of which have never before been made public.

This history-making autobiography is Martin Luther King in his own words as read by others and in his own words and voice: the mild-mannered, inquisitive child and student who chafed under and eventually rebelled against segregation; the dedicated young minister who continually questioned the depths of his faith and the limits of his wisdom; the loving husband and father who sought to balance his family's needs with those of a growing, nationwide movement; and the reflective, world-famous leader who was fired by a vision of equality for people everywhere.

In original recordings of his own vivid, compassionate voice, here at last is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s unforgettable chronicle of his life and his legacy. Years in the making, and woven together from thousands of recordings and documents, including letters to his family and diary entries, this program is a unique compilation which includes many rare recordings of Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering sermons, speeches, lectures, and addresses. Highlights include "I Have a Dream," "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," and "The Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech."

© and (P)1998 Intellectual Properties Management, Inc., All Rights Reserved; ©1998 Time Warner AudioBooks (Packaging Only), A Division of Time Warner Trade Publishing

What the Critics Say

  • Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 1999

"More than a resource, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., is a keepsake." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    John-Mark Stensvaag Iowa City, IA USA 08-05-03
    John-Mark Stensvaag Iowa City, IA USA 08-05-03 Member Since 2002

    John-Mark

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    "A Fascinating Slice of History"

    The most powerful aspects of this "autobiography" are the excerpts from Dr. King's speeches. It is stunning to hear him speak to the very first meeting of the Montgomery bus boycott supporters (after first hearing how little time he had to prepare) and to also hear the voices of the crowd chiming in their approval. The text that stiches the speech excerpts together is considerably weaker, because that text was not written by Dr. King and lacks his eloquence. Nevertheless, this is a fascinating insight into a great leader and an extraordinary time in American history.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-16-05
    Alison Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-16-05 Member Since 2004
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    "A wonderful and inspiring listen"

    I rarely post reivews but this book was beautifully done. Pulled together from the writings of MLK and featuring many of his recorded speeches this is a wonderful work of scholarship and, with Kings renowed oratory style, especially well suited for listening (though recording quality of King's early speeches is uneven, it gets much better as we move through the chronology of King's life). Sadly for society, his insights and eloquent comments on social inquality and American forgein policy remain right on point. Overall though, this work stands as a testament to the capaity of individuals to change the world.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva East Orange, NJ, USA 09-28-09
    Eva East Orange, NJ, USA 09-28-09
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    "Much more than a dreamer!"

    I enjoyed this audio book that was created from Dr. King's writings and speeches. The narration by Levar Burton is excellent and made even more compelling by the inclusion of some of Dr. King's actual speeches. We hear about the experiences, the moral and philosophical influences, and the circumstances that propelled Dr. King to the forefront of the civil rights movement. We learn why he maintained his commitment to non-violent and racially inclusive demonstrations while other leaders began to advocate separatism and the use of violence, if necessary. His assessment of Malcolm X and his concerns about the decision of other black leaders to make the slogan "Black Power" a prominent part of the movement are highlights.

    I was surprised to learn that in the 1960's, Dr. King characterized the U.S. as a society fueled by consumption and that he believed that the inflammatory rhetoric of the vocal opponents of equal rights was intended to create an atmosphere that would provoke an act of violence. Both of these observations appear to have relevance today.

    This is not as comprehensive as a biography; there is little about Dr. King's family life after his early years. However, it provides the details about the various strategies developed and implemented (not always successfully) in the different cities where Dr. King led demonstrations and negotiations, as well as the thoughtful considerations behind Dr. King's controversial opposition to the Vietnam War.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Belleville, IL, USA 02-17-09
    Eric Belleville, IL, USA 02-17-09
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    "Everyone should listen to this"

    This was an EXCELLENT book/recording. The way the reading is interspersed with Dr. King's speeches is excellent. The choice of the narrator was spot on. Some of the sound quality of the speeches is low but that is simply unavoidable due to the age and circumstances they were recorded in.

    I was very impressed at how Dr. King's faith touched every area of his short life.

    Just for everyone's information, I am not African American. But I think that every white person should listen to this to and learn the reality of discrimination that is not entirely removed from society today. (Not only against African Americans but many others too.)

    I think every African American should listen to this to get a true picture of who Dr. King was in his own words and hear his depth of faith.
    Anyone of would benefit from listening to this recording.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 07-16-14
    Kevin 07-16-14 Member Since 2014

    Trying to support 1) the comparably smaller non-fiction selection and 2) the few here that are not misinformation. Got mind? Use it.

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    "Great overview of MKL's ideas and times..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. to be better than the print version?

    MLK translates well in any format as each offers a different perspective. The first 2 audio speeches were not very clear, so it's recommended to do a quick search for the speeches online and read along with the audio.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's an important piece of history, and many of the subjects covered are still very relevant. Non-violent progress is a fundamental human struggle.

    If there's every an autobiography worth reading, this would be one of them.


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

    I actually really enjoyed the narration, clear and easy pace.


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

    MLK describing the darkest moments of his many protests, the social and personal dilemmas...

    "Even the most starless midnight may herald the dawn of some great fulfillment."


    Any additional comments?

    This autobiography is so large in scope that it serves as a great introductory overview of MLK and his times, with audio excerpts of his speeches.

    I was more interested in digging deeper into some of his beliefs and tactics, which needs to be found elsewhere, a 9-hour autobiography is limited. Despite being an autobiography, this was pieced together after MLK's death so it does do a good job covering his ideas and speeches.

    Now, how about an unabridged audio version of Malcolm X's autobiography?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Saratoga, WY, United States 04-11-14
    Julie Saratoga, WY, United States 04-11-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Recorded speeches were awesome!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. the most enjoyable?

    I loved the recordings of his speeches!


    What about Levar Burton’s performance did you like?

    His style of narration is very easy to listen to and allowed me to grasp the content without struggling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Bethany, OK, United States 12-23-12
    Brad Bethany, OK, United States 12-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "impressive"
    Where does The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Close to the top


    What did you like best about this story?

    It gave me an understanding and appreciation that I didn't have before


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really liked the audio clips they added of Martin Luther Kings real voice giving speeches


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but I had to listen in parts


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas San Felipe del Agua, Mexico 08-13-12
    Thomas San Felipe del Agua, Mexico 08-13-12
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    "Powerful Presence of Peace"
    If you could sum up The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. in three words, what would they be?

    Very powerful story of taking the energy of peace and love into the problems of his day and bringing about necessary change. These methods are what is needed to continue to resolve the current problems of our current time and remembered to be practiced in our daily lives.I highly recommend this book. Wonderfully written! The reading by Levar Burton is most clear and enjoyable. The audio version also includes many original recordings by Dr. King.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Filipe Brasilia, Brazil 06-06-12
    Filipe Brasilia, Brazil 06-06-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Inspirational."
    If you could sum up The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. in three words, what would they be?

    Inspirational, daring, motivational.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.?

    The speeches are fantastic.


    What about Levar Burton’s performance did you like?

    Pronunciation great for foreigners to understand.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I do not like to listen to books all in one sitting, so I cannot comment on this, but I'd certainly recommend it as one of the best audible books I've read so far.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Gastel McKeesport, PA 10-11-11
    M. Gastel McKeesport, PA 10-11-11 Member Since 2010

    Miss Cocoa

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    "Get reacquainted with a legend"

    This book which is primarily writings of King interspersed with some autio of his speeches is illuminating and heart breaking at the same time. The passages tell the story of King's struggle to achieve justice for the poorest Americans -- black and white -- through non-violent confrontation with corrupt systems in the North and in the South. His words are so apt for today's turbulent times, it is astounding. I feel honored to have spent some time with this man-- and know I will return for a listen to uplift my spirit and for insight, again and again. Beautifully read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Mr. M. Curtis
    Bristol UK
    3/15/14
    Overall
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    "WOW!"

    Really powerful insight into an incredible man and a social mirror that makes you question your own life and position.

    If you want to feel humble and insincere then listen to this. I feel richer for doing so and can't recommend it highly enough. The occasional voices from the man himself made the hair on my arms stand up.

    Where do you find more like this?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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