A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

4.45 of 5 stars 4.45  ·  rating details  ·  315 ratings  ·  45 reviews
This companion volume to "A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr". includes the text of his most well-known oration, "I Have a Dream", his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, and "Beyond Vietnam", a powerful plea to end the ongoing conflict. Includes contributions from Rosa Parks, Aretha Franklin, the Dalai Lama, and...more
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Published January 15th 2001 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2001)
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booklady
On Disc Six, in the Introduction to "Where Do We Go From Here?" written and read by Senator Edward M. Kennedy we hear a particularly ironic defense of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. As the good Senator's words were composed and delivered sometime prior to the year 2000, they were no doubt a justification of current actions to prove that all was well with CRA. As we now know, it wasn't. Had I listened to this even five months ago, I'm not sure CRA would have meant anything to me.

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Laura Westmeyer
I actually listened to this on audio. Multiple times.
I would not recommend reading these speeches, but HEARING them on audio from MLK's own mouth. The introductions are great and provide some history to where he was when he wrote and gave each speech.
I cannot say how many times throughout these speeches I had goosebumps on my skin. Truly incredible and something that every American should listen to at least once.

The best of this group for me was "Give us the Ballot", "Where do we go from here?"...more
Don Weidinger
justice will prevail, death an open door to eternity, mercy through truth w/o violence, patriotic protest to win boycott, against segregation rules, for rights of people, liberty and justice to all as teachings of Jesus, non-violence Coretta in prolife movement, always fight with love aim to fight evil to live as brothers and sisters love conquers all, get ready for prison and bombs freedom never comes easy through Good Friday to Easter, blatant hypocrisy of failed liberalism that says it looks...more
Marko
This book is, as titled, a collection of MLK's most notable speeches. Reflecting on the speeches included in this book, I am a bit surprise that his renowned "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" was not also included. It seems to be a piece that many people are familiar with, but then again, the book is exclusively titled "speeches" and not "works". Before each speech is a short but informative background of King and the setting for the speech. I found these to be very helpful comprehension wise. In...more
Michael
Best present I ever got, I listen to it almost everyday. All the speeches are still very relevant today.
spoko
If you're not familiar with King's actual writings and (especially) speeches, you will not regret anything you do to rectify that. 50 years later, we tend to hold a pretty abstract notion of the man, as a kind of saint or—as Cornell West is fond of saying—a Santa-Claus figure. We are aware that he gave at least one important speech, possibly even more than one. But as you listen to these speeches, what you will become aware of is King's piercing intellect, and his devotion to the cause of uplift...more
Monk
As a quick resource containing essential speeches of MLK Jr., this is a valuable little volume. The speeches themselves show an interesting development in King's philosophy and politics, although they also demonstrate a fair amount of repitition and forumlaic writing. There obviously was no thought given to them being put together in a single volume when they were prepared, and by reading them back-to-back I think they lose their individual punch.
Also interesting to see some of MLK's more radica...more
Rachel Rueckert
This reading has given me much to think about. I think most are half formed thoughts and fragmented responses that I will have to wait till class to really flesh out, but there are certain things that I could definitely identify as I read Dr. King’s speeches. These are just a few of the main observations I made.

First, I think that it is really important to look at this speeches as just that—speeches. There is a certain rhetoric about speaking and it does not always translate exactly when you p...more
Douglas
This book contains Dr. King's most famous speeches.

I was born and raised in the South; I remember segregation, which seemed insane to me even as a five year old. I remember water fountains, restrooms, schools, neighborhoods, waiting rooms at the doctor's office, and even restaurant and hotel entrances and seating arrangements on public buses, strictly, separately reserved by race under the law. I remember the big, ominous signs posted in most public places, silently glaring "White Only" and "Col...more
Adam
Those of us too young to have experienced King's most important speeches in the years they were delivered have too often been exposed to them as mere sound bytes, removed from their context. This collection does much to remedy that, including the full transcripts of the speeches (including even the audience reaction), accompanied by introductions written by other leaders who witnessed them.

If you are tempted to think of Martin Luther King Jr. as no longer relevant, a product only of the mid-20th...more
Kevyn
Oct 15, 2007 Kevyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I listened to the audio version of this book which includes the original recordings of the speeches. While the speeches alone are moving and inspirational, hearing the conviction in Dr. King's voice absolutely took my breath away. Highly recommended.


-----Contents (Audio version):
Introduction (written and read by Andrew Young) -- The address to the first Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) mass meeting (introduction written by Rosa Louise Parks and read by Mrs. Coretta Scott King) -- The bir...more
Mark
Years after their first telling, these landmark speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. still speak to our soul. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that the story of Exodus is one that has driven people thoughout history. It is a story of oppression, slavery, and the essential human need for freedom.Today, as the gap widens between the rich and poor, as we wage war in other lands, as people continue to struggle for equal rights, we realize that the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. must still continu...more
Toni Daugherty
Did Martin Luther King say similar things as Obama's former preacher, Jerimiah Wright? Yes he did! More importantly, King woke America up!

I read these speeches in 2003ish, but recently listened to the originals on audibles. Moving, passionate and inspirational, these recordings do much more for you than you could ever get from the print version. What a great man! Smart, articulate, and utterly eloquent. What a beautiful mind.

I would recommend getting the book so you can refer to it when the audi...more
Lee
A truly inspirational man. A man who put his neck on the line for the masses of poor and downtrodden, who spoke out against injustices from around the world to around the block. Totally relevant today. I especially enjoyed his speech "Beyond Vietnam". He still gives me hope for the human race 45 years after his untimely death. Highly recommended. By the way, I don't "do" audiobooks, but it must be on a another level hearing Dr. King speak these words himself, and I'll consider getting a hold of...more
Kim
I love how the book is set up---each chapter deals with a different speech that Dr. King delivered and is forwarded by people who worked with him and/or is known for their civil rights actions. The author does not omit the audience reactions (as the book is based on tapes, etc.), which I appreciate, because, for me, it made the speeches much more riveting. In one word, this book is inspirational; Dr. King's words are so prophetic, so uplifting, so revolutionary, so peaceful, so needed, then and...more
Teri
My only disappointment about this book is that I didn't learn more about the man himself and the recording interruptions. But sadly all history is not comprehensive. Admired the prefaces for each speech by his colleagues informing the reader about exactly what was going on because I definitely thought I was going to do research beforehand. Thought that I have a dream would be the most powerful speech but I loved the last two in the book. Overall, a great glimpse at history.
Kappy
Moving and inspiring. It was interesting to be reviewing these speeches during this vapid and superficial election season. The Martin Luther King speeches discuss problems and issues that continue today that we ought to be discussing - poverty, education, economic injustice, intolerance, discrimination (he discusses all discrimination, not just that against African Americans), hatred and bigotry.
My oh my, after 40 years have we progressed or have we regressed?
J L Kruse
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speeches have a lyrical quality that is simply gorgeous. The texture of his delivery is as warm and compassionate as his message. I've listened to these speeches many times, and I always find fresh inspiration each time I hear them.

Credit where credit is due, this audio book by Hachette (Warner Books) is of a quality that really allows these speeches to thrive. The folks who worked on it should be commended.
Jason Strobush
The subject matter was poignant as one might expect, but I found its delivery to be disjointed. Overlooking the issues with what was a fairly poor epub implementation (I'm more and more convinced that they don't take the final electronic copy and port it to epub -- too many errors.), the way that they decided to include the shouts and agreements from the listening crowd made reading it an exercise in mental filtration.

Tesilyaraven
Bought this book on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia after visiting the MLK exhibit. I was so moved by his words and actions during the Civil Rights Movement that I wanted to get steeped in more of his speeches. I like this collection because it highlights a few key speeches over the course of his life...would be interested in others' recommendations of books by and about MLK.
Joyce
I know I have a dream is Dr.Martin Lurther King's best known speech and there are others like his acceptance of the Noble Peace prize and Beyond Vietnam which should also be noted as the Dr. King at his finest but the speech that stood out to me was the one he gave at Mason Temple in Memphis Tennessee,the I've been to Mountaintop speech is ineffably moving.
Anthony Valentin
Feb 26, 2012 Anthony Valentin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
One of the conclusions I reached during and after reading this work was this: the speeches of Dr. King, Jr. are a great way to see his moral and social values develop. When you encase the words of the speech with the circumstances under-which they were written, you can't help empathizing. I did shed a fear tears while reading the text.
Daniel
Dr. King was brilliant, both as a political thinker and as a speaker. His messages of compassion and love are eloquently framed and universally appealing and outline a way to bring about meaningful change without resorting to hatred and violence. If I could have dinner with one historical figure, I think that it would be him!
Ellis
Jul 14, 2010 Ellis marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm very excited to read this collection of Dr. King's speeches. In the Autobiography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., some of his speeches were included and they blew me away. I had never read some of his speeches regarding the Vietnam war. It's sad that more of what he had to say isn't still resonating today.
Russ
These are definitely the landmark speeches. It's amazing to read them in a row and realize how much of an effect he had on our country in a very short time. The introductions are interesting because they are by people who knew him, but they don't offer much in the way of interesting commentary.
Ursula
Very good read especially around this time when folks are traveling to Washington, etc. This book gave me a deeper insight to Dr. King. This is truly about a call to conscience and to come together as a people and as a country. I would definitely recommend to friends and family.
Eric
The best speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., originally this was a collection of audio recordings, but here they are transposed and have an introduction written by a civil rights leader. Very powerful words that still shine as a beacon for how people should treat one another.
Manon
Used this book for my thesis "Translating Martin Luther King: A Thesis on the Translation of Rhetorical Texts"
The ideas in King's speeches are inspiring and in many ways still relavant today, but the speeches are also interesting to read because of their rhetorical strength.
Delilah
This book is about the experience and history of Martin Luther King Jr as he participated and led the civil rights movement. It includes many of his speeches, including the I Have A Dream Speech. Just reading his speeches is very uplifting in it's self.
Brenda
I loved it. It really made me think. This should be taught in our schools. Peace, non-violence, individual responsibility and accountability is what his speeches and sermons were about. Our students need to hear this today.
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A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle Malcolm X: The FBI File Reporting Civil Rights, Part One: American Journalism 1941-1963 (Library of America #137)

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