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A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
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A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

4.55 of 5 stars 4.55  ·  rating details  ·  1,094 ratings  ·  57 reviews

Here, in the only major one-volume collection of his writings, speeches, interviews, and autobiographical reflections, is Martin Luther King Jr. on non-violence, social policy, integration, black nationalism, the ethics of love and hope, and more.

Paperback, 736 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by HarperOne (first published 1986)
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sckenda
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

My favorite human being in modern history is Martin Luther King, Jr., who was murdered at the age of 39. King was part of the loyal opposition in America, and he was determined to put righteousness, conscience, and morality before social and political expediency. He was the conscience of his generation. “He gazed on the great wall of segregation and saw that the power of love could bring it down. He helped overcome our ign
...more
Abeni
i hadn't read 90% of these before. it's too bad that really the only thing most people have heard from King is his "I Have a Dream Speech", because although historically important, there are so many even better things that he wrote and spoke about.

especially good were many of the writings that he did near the end of his life. King did not shrink from deeply questioning capitalism, poverty, and the U.S. military's campaigns around the world. King's campaigns in these areas were just beginning to
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Monta
I'm really enjoying getting to know Martin Luther King, Jr. better. This has also given me a better understanding of the non-violent, passive resistance movement. It is reinforcing my feelings that somehow we need to find a solution to our class problems here in the US. It also reminded me of the fact that although legislation declares rights, it doesn't deliver them. I'm so glad that people, leaders and forces came together in the 60's to start a long-needed movement for civil rights for blacks ...more
Edy
I loved this book! As I read, I uncovered wonderful gems of wisdom spoken so many years ago that have withstood the test of time. I lived through the turbulent years of the civil rights movement. Unfortunately, I was too young and too insulated and isolated (living where I do) to fully comprehend what was going on at the time. The most troubling aspect for me is that although civil rights "progress" has been made through understanding and legislation, we still live in a country where those who a ...more
Lisa
An incredible collection, covering the wide-ranging scope of King's thinking and analysis, most of which we never hear about since he has been restricted to being a Civil Rights leader only, an important role but much narrower than what he was actually doing. King reflected and commented on the economic system, the U.S. international role, the development of other nations, etc., and his thinking remains germane today.

The only criticism I have of this book is that it needed a thicker editorial la
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Johnny D
One of the most treasured books in my library, 'A Testament of Hope' is a challenging, provocative, and hopeful anthology of writings from the pen of Martin Luther King Jr. 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' is included, along with excerpts from 'Why We Can't Wait,' popular speeches, and interviews with various publications.

King's capacious mind and fierce courage remain unmatched. His understanding of Christianity was transcendent in all the ways that matter. Today's Evangelicals remain clueless. A
...more
Jason
I admire the insight this man had into social problems, namely segregation of race and the integration of black America into the norm of everyday life. His work shows a firm command of useful language around the concepts of equality, non-violent resistance, and social organization.

One could translate all his written work on racial inequality from the 20th century directly into Economic Inequality of the world today, and the language, outcomes and values in his writing would be perfectly applicab
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Robert Palmer
Most people think of Martin Luther King, Jr. only as a civil rights leader, and though they might acknowledge that he was also a minister of the gospel, they would never think of him as one of the great Christian thinkers of history. Even a cursory reading his speeches and other writings reveals a deep thinker whose ideas are clearly grounded in Scripture. Dr. King believed that authentic Christians live by the gospel and don't merely pay lip service to it. He even predicted the decline of the c ...more
Courtney
1) Nonviolence and Racial Justice (1957)
2) The Most Durable Power (1958)
3) The Power of Nonviolence (1958)
4) An Experiment in Love (1958)
5) Speech Before the Youth March for Integrated Schools (1959)
6) My Trip to the Land of Gandhi (1959)
7) The Social Organization of Nonviolence (1959)
8) Pilgrimage to Nonviolence (1960)
9) Suffering and Faith (1960)
10) Love, Law, and Civil Disobedience (1961)
11) Nonviolence: The Only Road to Freedom (1966)
12) A Gift of Love (1966)
13) Showdown for Nonviolence (196
...more
Michael
While reading the speeches and writings of Dr. King I became attuned to his remarkable brilliance as an academic. In public education, I learned about the historic speech on the national mall and the montgomery bus boycotts. I am now in my mid-twenties, attending an ivy league graduate school and have dedicated a good portion of my life and admiration to scholarship. With this in mind, I re-visited the works of my idol (Dr. King) and developed the new appreciation for his intellectual brilliance ...more
Abby
Jul 25, 2012 Abby added it
I suppose I should let this one fade off the shelves for now, since I'm not going to finish it any time soon. I read about 250 pages, and in the process wrote over 2,000 words in compulsive response. It's that kind of book.

Thanks to the generosity of Goodreads' review section, I'm not going to spare you any of those 2,000 words. You don't have to read them. It's just the kind of blather generated by a great writer.

When you grow up, as I did, in the United States of America, Dr. Martin Luther Kin
...more
Stephen
There are deep wells here,

This is a compilation of several of Dr. King's works, from sermons to selections from several of Dr. King's books. I must admit that I am impressed with the realistic dream that Dr. King had/has. Often I feel Dr. King's vision of non-violence and dedication to justice is boiled down to a very naive idealism. After reading 679 pages of Dr. King, that simply is not true. Dr.King had a very real and realistic view of the world he and we lived in, he knew the difficulties t
...more
Eric Ogi
Oct 10, 2012 Eric Ogi marked it as to-read
"Let this affirmation be our ringing cry. It will give us the courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of ...more
Timothy
This is an excellent source for materials written by Dr. King. It includes sermons, philosophy, essays, all of his books and an interview. I dip into this book often during the year. It is never far from my desk. Reading this helps us to get past the stereotype and find the real Martin King and what he stood for.
Ruchi Gee
Incredible book. Recommended for anyone who is looking for powerful speeches.
Daniel
Repeats many of same ideas over speeches, but an awesome, powerful historical document of one of our brightest and best.
Shari
It is easy to know Dr. King as simply an icon, a hero, a figure from the past, but reading his essays, speeches, sermons, and memoirs is a powerful reminder that he was a truly great and extraordinary man, a spiritual leader, a visionary, an unrelenting proponent of nonviolent social transformation, and an advocate for love and justice in all forms. His writing has moved me to tears on more than one occasion. If you are unfamiliar with either his deeds or his writings, stop what you are doing an ...more
Joshua
Great compilation.
Hope
Read numerous selections (about 300 pages total)
Garth Richards
I haven't read the entire book but no book collection is complete without some material written by Martin Luther King Jr.! The first three chapters blew me away. He talks about how when you are having a revolution against evil and tyranny you don't fight evil by using evil tactics. "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil by good"
Btalberg
Martin Luther King Jr. is truly a Saint. His words move me to tears often. This is not a book to be read from cover to cover but to be picked apart and mediated upon. If you do not read this book then read his essays and listen to his speeches if you can. MLK was one of God's brightest lights.
Paul
You can't sit down and read straight through this one, but a piece at a time...fascinating. The man was an incredible writer, not always the person you think he was. I was surprised to realize just how young he was when he died, especially given how much writing is in this volume.
Richard
Jun 02, 2009 Richard is currently reading it
Recommends it for: Anyone
I'm still in the first stages of reading this book, but I really like how some of the writings in this book make references to Christ. Martin Luther King was a pioneer in his time. I would be lead to believe that which I've read so far, this book is definately a good read.
Jeffery
Awesome collection of Dr. Martin Luther King's, Jr.'s greatest speeches. I was really moved by the ones dealing with constructive action. Using portions of his speeches to make points about the need for African-American men to be worthy of praise from their women and children.
La-Shanda
Excellent book! This literary composition entail speeches and interview transcripts such as Pilgrimage to Nonviolence (1960), Who Speaks for the South? (1958),If Negro Wins, Labor Wins (1962), Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (1964) and Meet the Press interview (1966)
Amy Lowry
Amazing collection of Martin Luther Kings writings, he is one of my favorite authors. Explores his belief in Ghandi's philosophy of non violence and its power over hate. This book is a must read for anyone grappling with the war era we are currently living through.
Natalia
A book I had to read for class, but this was one of the few books I read cover to cover in grad school. His sermons, letters and speeches have honestly changed my life, thinking and theology.
Terri R
Brilliant, inspiring--- a shining testament to the power and skill with which Dr. King would express ideas and create powerful imagery through his words. I find this to be a timeless book.
Jaymes
This is the one of my best collections, This book has so much wisdome inside of it and it reveals Dr. King's heartbeat.
This is a compilation of King's speeches and essays.
Kate
Every American who cares about equality should own this book.The title says it all, ESSENTIAL writings of Dr. King. I read something from this book every February in his honor.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the pivotal leaders of the American civil rights movement. King was a Baptist minister, one of the few leadership roles available to black men at the time. He became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955–1956) and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957), serving as its first president. His ef ...more
More about Martin Luther King Jr....
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Why We Can't Wait Letter from the Birmingham Jail Strength to Love I Have a Dream / Letter from Birmingham Jail

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 51695 likes
“I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.” 4316 likes
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