Parting the Waters

America in the King Years 1954-63
Length: 45 hrs and 10 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Parting the Waters, the first volume of his essential America in the King Years series, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a “compelling...masterfully told” (The Wall Street Journal) account of Martin Luther King’s early years and rise to greatness. 

Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations. Moving from the fiery political baptism of Martin Luther King, Jr., to the corridors of Camelot where the Kennedy brothers weighed demands for justice against the deceptions of J. Edgar Hoover, here is a vivid tapestry of America, torn and finally transformed by a revolutionary struggle unequaled since the Civil War.

Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness and illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder. Epic in scope and impact, Branch's chronicle definitively captures one of the nation's most crucial passages. 

©2019 Taylor Branch (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Parting the Waters

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Mesmerizing from start to finish

An astonishing an eye opening work of historical writing, Parting the Waters examines the strategy, infighting, politicking and, in some instances, theatrics of major instances in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Taylor Branch also illustrates many of the other figures of the movement, depicting fully realized, flawed and complex (and in the case of the Kennedys, reluctant) freedom fighters. A must listen.

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Excellent

I can't add much to what other reviewers have written. It is an excellent, compelling read which effectively recreates the era. I was a kid at the time and did not realize the phenomenal courage and committment of the civil rights workers nor the full viciousness of the white backlash. And it was lovely to learn more of King: a true prince whose personal gifts, education, and moral compass led him to lead a great movement but also draw the hideous rage of racists. Like others, I slightly preferred Onayemi as a reader. His voice is a well-trained instrument, beautiful, resonant and expressive. Ms. Edwards read with warmth and conviction.

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Excellent

Really wonderful book. Thoughtful, deeply researched. I loved it. Prentice Onayemi is a fabulous reader. I like Janina Edwards but found alternating readers by chapter distracting. I would have preferred just Onayemi as a reader but that is just my personal preference. The book should be read by every American.

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Incredible Read!

Discovered an American history that I had only scratched the surface of previously. Thanks Taylor Branch!

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Wow!

This book is a robust, scholarly novel like book on the Civil Rights movement. It was such a delight to read. It added richer layers to figures within the civil rights movement that I have been learning about. Buy, and read or listen to, this book, you will be glad that you did.