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A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

4.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,426 Ratings  ·  72 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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Sep 30, 2007 Abeni rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 19, 2011 Monta rated it really liked it
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
Paul Gibson
Dec 09, 2015 Paul Gibson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. after I was halfway through the autobiography of Malcolm X. It was an interesting contrast. Whereas Malcolm's book is about 450 pages, this one is over 700 pages.
This is a great book. Although I often enjoy books even when I'm not sure yet how to think about them, I generally agree with his attitude and his ways of looking at the world. Although Martin was a Baptist preacher, it was simple for
Mar 31, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 01, 2013 Edy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Feb 02, 2009 Johnny D rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 08, 2015 Emsiclaire rated it it was amazing
Esiste una strada per la libertà e la giustizia e ha il suo principio nelle scelte individuali, che sommate a quelle di altri individui affini divengono collettive. Quando la scelta diventa azione essa si evolve in politica, nel senso più elevato, puro ma altresì pragmatico del termine. La lettura di questo libro, che travolge tra le righe e gli interstizi di un discorso di profonda umanità, porta alla comprensione parossistica del pensiero filosofico e umano di Martin Luther King (Jr.): la spin ...more
Zachary Taylor
Apr 18, 2016 Zachary Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-justice
Martin Luther King Jr. has been sanitized. White-washed. Reduced to a single, ostensibly innocuous phrase that fails to make privileged folks uncomfortable. As Cornel West has said many times before, American political society, and particularly white political society, has sterilized the radically love-oriented philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so that his legacy is palatable and, one might say, unthreatening. As Keith Miller succinctly states in his book, Martin Luther King’s Biblical Ep ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Robert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, favorites
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
Sep 11, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 05, 2012 Stephen rated it it was amazing
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
Fredrick Danysh
Sep 06, 2015 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
This is a collection of writings and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While Dr. King is often misquoted today by those wanting a racially divided country, once the reader examines what King said he or she will get a new perspective.
Selam Testfaye
Jan 07, 2016 Selam Testfaye rated it it was amazing
I read everything about Martin Luther King. I liked learning more about him and his non violent approach. I recommend this to everyone. Great for research purposes too which is what I need it for.
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
Jul 24, 2015 Uriah Young rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 29, 2014 Timothy rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 24, 2014 Ismael Galvan rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 05, 2015 Missing Hedwig rated it it was amazing
Just perused some of the speeches and interviews - Dr. King's words rang so true, especially after what happened in Charleston.
Oct 23, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
Repeats many of same ideas over speeches, but an awesome, powerful historical document of one of our brightest and best.
Oct 27, 2015 Camellia rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that everyone should own.
Glen Gersmehl
Dec 27, 2014 Glen Gersmehl rated it it was amazing
the best larger collection of his writings
Dec 06, 2008 Shari rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 09, 2014 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Great compilation.
Dec 27, 2014 Mohamed marked it as to-read
Tressa Childs
very well written
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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
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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 58709 likes
“I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear.” 7249 likes
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