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King, The Photobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Johnson, Charles, and Bob Adelman

Published by Viking Studio, NY, First Edition with full number line, 2000
ISBN 10: 0670892165 / ISBN 13: 9780670892167
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Bibliographic Details


Title: King, The Photobiography of Martin Luther ...

Publisher: Viking Studio, NY, First Edition with full number line

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

Description:

Fine paper over board hardback, Near Fine DJ. Pictorial cover with minimal shelf wear. DJ has a little edge wear. Binding tight. Front end paper inscribed as gift. Pp look unused. 4to, 288 pp of photos with brief descriptions. Because of size and weight of the book(s), please contact us to arrange for priority mail or for shipping outside the continental USA. Bookseller Inventory # 1801

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Book ratings provided by GoodReads:
4.35 avg rating
(17 ratings)

Synopsis: Man, martyr, and myth--an American giant in a photobiography of unprecedented scope and depth

King is the first true photobiography of a hero's journey. Never before has his life been so richly chronicled from so many different points of view. A powerful collection of photographic images combined with text by National Book Award-winning writer Charles Johnson detail the pivotal events of King's public life--as well as his family life--in a rich and stirring format. In this book, we see Martin Luther King, Jr., in all his aspects: as son and student, husband and father, powerful preacher and courageous leader of the civil rights movement, martyr for the cause of racial justice, and finally American icon.

Photographer Bob Adelman and photo editor Robert Phelan have compiled an impressive and comprehensive array of images depicting this great man's life and times. We see King standing before a packed congregation at the Dexter Baptist Church during the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, or in his own backyard playing with his children. In one moment we observe King peering calmly through the bars of the Birmingham jail after one of his arrests; the next, strapping sandals on the feet of his young daughter. There is the tragic scene in Memphis seconds after his assassination, with anguished witnesses pointing in the direction of the gunshots, and the aftermath in Atlanta, a crush of mourners following his horse-drawn casket through the streets. And of course, the indelible image of King speaking the immortal words "I have a dream"on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Through hundreds of photographs, we see a country being changed, an era and legacy being formed, but above all, we are given a privileged look at the man himself--at his most human and humanitarian.

Review: The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement is well documented in prose, but for sheer emotional power, nothing can compare to the pictures from this era. It's a challenge for a writer's words to match the force of Bob Adelman's photographs in this book, but novelist and essayist Charles Johnson rises to the task in his treatment of King's life and death, as well as the heroic struggle of African Americans in the United States. Johnson, the author of Middle Passage (which won the 1990 National Book Award), offers an exceptional counterpoint to the stirring images with the depth and weight of his essays and captions. "How soon we forget that King was not only a civil rights activist," Johnson writes, "but also this country's preeminent moral philosopher, a spiritual aspirant, a father and a husband, and that these diverse roles--these multiple dimensions of his too brief life--were the foundations for his singular 'dream' that inspired millions worldwide."

Adelman intimately captures King's background, from his comfortable middle-class upbringing in Atlanta to the dashing figure he cuts with his wife, Coretta, to his steady ascendance as a forceful preacher thrust into prominence during the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-56. We cringe at the sight of King being photographed as a criminal and at the horrific treatment many blacks endured by racist Southern police. The triumph of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, which he gave at the 1963 March on Washington, is beautifully detailed, along with his acceptance of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. We also see a weary King, weighed down by assassination attempts, harassment, inner-city riots, and the Vietnam War. Toward the end, King displays an eerie sense of calm in the photos taken just days before his death--particularly in an April 3 photo taken at the Mason Hall in Memphis the night before his murder, where he declared that he'd "been to the mountaintop." King's legacy is lovingly chronicled in this impressive book. --Eugene Holley Jr.

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