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A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

4.54 of 5 stars 4.54  ·  rating details  ·  1,252 ratings  ·  64 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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Steve 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
It is fitting that I've read this book on Christmas, the day that promotes "Peace on Earth" and "Goodwill to men", two messages that Dr. King always strived for. I've always been a fan of Dr. King's work, and have read a great deal of it before reading A Testament of Hope. I look over to my bookshelf as I write this and I see Why We Can't Wait. However, I've never taken the opportunity until now to read a book that covers the essential writings and speeches of Dr. King. A Testament of Hope deliv ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
Uriah Young
Profound and timeless. Have had this book for years and it amazes me how pragmatic, yet philosophical King was when he was alive. His ability to express himself was remarkable.
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.
Jul 12, 2015 Wendy added it
Inspiring to know how many different groups of people he supported. He wanted equality for everyone and risked his own life and reputation to help others.
Ismael Galvan
I've read several of King's books. All of them have been profoundly life changing for me. A Testament of Hope is the ultimate collection of King's writing and speeches in a single book, weighing in at 679 pages.

Despite having read several of his books, I hadn't realized King's full spectrum for social and spiritual freedom until reading this book. It's perfect for anyone who interested in in the man's life and believes that love can change the world. Even for readers who are skeptical about love
Missing Hedwig
Just perused some of the speeches and interviews - Dr. King's words rang so true, especially after what happened in Charleston.
Ruchi Gee
Incredible book. Recommended for anyone who is looking for powerful speeches.
Repeats many of same ideas over speeches, but an awesome, powerful historical document of one of our brightest and best.
Glen Gersmehl
the best larger collection of his writings
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
Great compilation.
Dec 27, 2014 Mohamed marked it as to-read
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"
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.
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.
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.
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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 I Have a Dream / Letter from Birmingham Jail I Have a Dream

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 54974 likes
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