Reviews for Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.


AudioFile Reviews 1999 February/March
This is an essential collection piece for Martin Luther King, Jr., historians and those just becoming educated to the teachings of one of this century's greatest leaders. Commissioned by MLK's widow, Coretta Scott King, Clayborne Carson has compiled a powerful array of King's speeches, written accounts of his life (in the form of journal entries and letters to his family) and rare MLK audio clips. The result is a mainly "religious and political" chronicle of King's life. The package is narrated in part by the experienced storyteller LeVar Burton and supplemented with mood-appropriate musical segments that help to characterize the themes of the production. Even the audio case itself is a testimony to what King cherished, featuring photographs of his wife and children. The years of preparation that went into this audio presentation are evident. More than a resource, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., is a keepsake. R.A.P. Copyright 1999 AudioFile Reviews

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Library Journal Reviews 1998 July #1
Carson, who in 1985 was asked by the King family to direct the editing and publication of King's papers, constructs a first-person narrative. Copyright 1998 Library Journal Reviews

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Library Journal Reviews 1999 May #2
"Autobiography" is somewhat of a misnomer, of course, as Dr. King did not ever write his own history. This is an interesting substitute, however, which pieces together parts of his writings, speeches, sermons, and letters into a chronology of his life. There are segments missing, most notably coverage of his family life and his relationship with his wife, but this abridgment very adequately covers his political and social involvements, his commitment to nonviolence, and his belief in the equality of all people, using his own words. Most of the text is read by LeVar Burton, whose light, eager voice is all too reminiscent of his work with children on the Reading Rainbow series and does not often display the power and passion of the subject; the contrast between the two voices is sometimes painful. On the other hand, King in full cry is often hard to follow, and Burton is certainly easy to understand. There is no way to locate on the tapes the various famous speeches advertised on the jacket, and no dates are given for them. The musical snippets should have been eliminated; they do not convey the richness of the ethnic music and seem merely interruptive and annoying. On the whole, however, this would be an excellent addition to any collection, for it is very useful as history and compelling as biography.AHarriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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