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Editorial 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

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Dominic
  • Kista, N/A, Sweden
  • 07-15-05

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

  • Overall
  • Donald
  • Arlington, MA, USA
  • 12-20-02

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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Poor quality

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I was listening to this for MLK day and realized Dr King speeches sound quality is so messed up I can't make out what he is saying.

How could the performance have been better?

Try to improve the filtering from the old recording so that it produces sound that is understandable.

Was A Call to Conscience worth the listening time?

no

Any additional comments?

I was listening to this for MLK day and realized Dr King speeches sound quality is so messed up I can't make out what he is saying.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Such poor audio quality

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Just make it so I can hear what the man is saying! Sadly, I have tried to listen to this on multiple occasions, and I just can't make out what is being said and abandon it quickly. If I had a transcript at least it would help.

Any additional comments?

PLEASE make full transcripts available. I so badly want to know what he said first hand. I fear that in our present time, he has been co-opted by those with a their own axe to grind, and not necessarily in a way he would agree with.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Always inspirational!

This book, best heard as an audiobook, is deeply important for reminding us how to be decent and contributing members of the world.

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Historically Beautifully Read

This Audio version is awesome. I would definitely recommend this. This is a MUST have.

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Life changing

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