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Publishers Weekly
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In this hybrid memoir and historical account, Carson, editor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s papers, records his personal journey through the turbulent civil rights movement and his changing views on its legacy. Having grown up in a suburban, mostly white community in New Mexico, Carson is swept into a growing involvement with activist groups after traveling as a teenager to witness the landmark March on Washington, where King makes his "I Have a Dream" speech. Carson's "wide-ranging curiosity" and passion for the movement lead him to a career as a historian studying the African-American story, and in particular the legacy of groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and leaders like Malcolm X. But once Carson has settled into a comfortable tenured position at Stanford, he gets a phone call that changes his life: King's widow, Coretta, asks him to become the editor of King's papers. Most of the book gets bogged down in exhaustive details about Carson's administrative scuffles with King family members over their vision for King's legacy and other, pettier, concerns. Still, Carson's testament to the universal relevance of King's ideas and the farsighted vision behind his emphasis on cooperation among people of all colors adds an insightful perspective on King's mighty accomplishments. 8-p glossy b&w photo insert. Agent: Sandra Dijkstra, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.