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Monday, January 18, 2010

Review - The Concise King by Various - AUDIO

Title: The Concise King

Edited by: Clayborne Carson, Peter Holloran, and Kris Shepard

Publisher: Hachette

Buy The Concise King Here!

Rating: You Gotta Read

Reviewed By: Janelle

For the first time, an edition of Martin Luther King's most important speeches and selected sermons are assembled and available on CD as a value-priced edition. Hachette Audio believes that the timeless message of King, in his own words and voice, are essential listening for any American and for any world citizen interested in American history, social justice, or non-violent protest. We hope to make these incredibly momentous speeches, extraordinary historical documents, accessible to an even wider population via this affordable offering.

It is not often I receive a book and make an assumption about the rating I will give it. But this is MLK, one of the great orators of our time. I have read and listened to his speeches since before I was old enough to appreciate the era of strife and suffrage in which he lived and died.

The problem I am most confronted with is a simple question: Who am I to review Martin Luther King, Jr.? Far greater people then I have studied his work and not found him wanting. So I have decided not to review the content for the merit of King’s words, but for the speeches that were included.

The eight speeches in the collection are taken from different times in King’s life. It opens with his first speech, the “Addess to the First Montgomery Improvement Association Mass meeting” that took place after Rosa Park’s historical arrest; and ends with the momentous “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top,” delivers so shortly before his assassination.

While not all his speeches are included, I feel this collection has his most important ones. They serve as a reminded that it is not those with guns that history remembers as heroes. But more often, then men who face adversity and violence with nothing more then a message of peace and the fortitude to never surrender.

In his most famous speech, he speaks of a dream where the world learns to see each other not for what makes us different, but for what makes us all the same. For when you strip away color, gender, politics, and religion, you are left without only a another being who laughs and cries and bleeds just as you do. In this time of political, racial, and religious upheaval, his rich voice still calling across history, that the Dream is not dead, and no one else should have to die for it.

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