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In this brief book, Pulitzer Prize-winner Branch draws on his Parting the Waters (1989), Pillar of Fire (1998), and At Canaan's Edge (2006) to recall the pivotal moments of the civil rights struggle. He focuses on 18 historical turning points, includingMartin Luther King's first public address, before the Montgomery bus boycott, in 1955; the March on Washington, in 1963; King's Nobel Peace Prize, in 1964; the expansion of the civil rights movement into an antiwar movement; the expansion of the struggle from the South to the North in the campaign to end segregated housing in Chicago; King's response to the rising black power movement; the antipoverty crusade, of 1967; and King's death in Memphis, in 1968. Each turning point is treated in a separate chapter that begins with a brief historical context that links them together. Photographs enhance this sweeping review of the civil rights movement and King's relationships with several major figures, including J. Edgar Hoover, John and Robert Kennedy, and President Johnson, as the movement broadened its scope from civil rights to human rights.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal
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This work draws on Pulitzer Prize--winner Branch's best-selling Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63; Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65; and At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68 to sum up key moments of the Civil Rights Movement in one handy volume. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly
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Branch (The Clinton Tapes) selects crucial scenes from his Pulitzer Prize-winning three-volume history, America in the King Years, to capture the turning points of the civil rights era. Covering the period from 1954 to 1968, Branch begins with Martin Luther King Jr.'s first major speech, given during the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat and ends with King's assassination on a hotel balcony in Memphis. In between are vivid vignettes that convey the movement's growth: Freedom Rides, sit-ins, the murders of the voter registration workers in Mississippi, the bombing of a church in Birmingham, and the marches to Selma, Birmingham, and Washington, where King's "Dream" speech addressed a quarter of a million people. Branch highlights King's relationships with major figures, including activist Bob Moses; Stokely Carmichael and the Black Power movement; J. Edgar Hoover; and King's collaboration with President Lyndon Johnson on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and their lack of agreement on the escalating war in Vietnam. He also illuminates how the passage of the Civil Rights Act realigned the political parties during the stormy political conventions in 1964. Though King is the central figure, this is not a biography, but rather a compressed narrative history that, despite its brevity, captures the evolution of a decisive period that changed America. Agent: Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verrill. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.