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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.

4.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  506 Ratings  ·  64 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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Laura Westmeyer
Sep 26, 2011 Laura Westmeyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?"
Monique Gerke
Apr 14, 2016 Monique Gerke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Um apelo à consciência" contém os principais discurso de Martin Luther King Jr.
O que mais me admira nele, é o ardor pela justiça, verdade, amor e acima de tudo, que ele acreditava verdadeiramente no que falava. Ele acreditava verdadeiramente que com a não-violência o mal seria derrotado. Nas suas palavras "O arco do universo moral é longo, mas se inclina em direção a justiça".
Um defensor dos direitos civis, um cristão verdadeiro, um humano exemplar. Uma vida dedicada e comprometida com Cristo,
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
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.

Mar 01, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I listened to the audio version which is a game changer! if you read it, listen to the audio. I cannot imagine that the print version comes close to doing it justice.

Martin Luther King Jr had serious skills and passion. I was very moved by his words, and several times found myself with goosebumps or tears in my eyes or both. His messages still have so much relevance today. A beautiful man who took an admirable stance of nonviolence to change the w
Great orator. Amazing being. Very glad that this compilation exists. The essays and the prefaces are excellent in understanding King in context to his time and in context to our time. Just an amazing collection! Cannot say how stirring and compelling his words are!
Don Weidinger
Jun 22, 2014 Don Weidinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 03, 2014 Marko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although one or two of the speeches in this outstanding collection are dated (The Birth of a New Nation, about Ghana gaining independence, is one), even they are interesting from a historical perspective. I knew of Dr. King as a good strategic planner, powerful motivational speaker, and man committed to racial and social justice, but in the later speeches he is really connecting the dots by speaking out against the Vietnamese War, pointing out that a disproportionate number of African Americans ...more
Oct 10, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt my spirit stirred on multiple occasions while listening to these speeches by MLK, and the last speech brought me to tears when I thought about how this glorious human being would be shot to death the very next day. I understand the civil rights movement on a deeper level now than I ever could have by just reading about what happened. Listening to these speeches is as close as it gets for those born after the 60's to actually living what happened.

Favorite part: When King called on black p
Aug 18, 2007 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best present I ever got, I listen to it almost everyday. All the speeches are still very relevant today.
Feb 10, 2015 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I listened to this as part of the audio collection, Martin Luther King: The Essential Box Set: The Landmark Speeches and Sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr.. King's words and voice still inspire and the introductions by cultural icons from Ted Kennedy to Rosa Parks to the Dalai Lama and others were fascinating in their own right.
Dec 08, 2015 Volkert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished listening to the audiobook version of A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which I did on the tails of listening to his Autobiography. In both cases, the audiobook version is to be preferred, because one gets to hear to the powerful resonating voice of Dr. King on these great sermons and speeches. There is as much to be gained from the delivery of these words as there is in seeing them on the page.

While many of these speeches and sermons are
Dec 06, 2009 Monk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel Rueckert
Apr 05, 2011 Rachel Rueckert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 07, 2012 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2007 Kevyn rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Feb 16, 2015 Dionne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, civil-rights
Martin Luther King Jr. was an amazing man, a gifted and passionate speaker, and a martyr for his beliefs and ideals. It was wonderful to hear his speeches in his own voice. I couldn't agree more with most of his views on the civil rights' struggles.

The only thing I disagreed with him on was his stance on the Vietnam War. I also think that if he could've foreseen how destructive the welfare state would become for African Americans, he wouldn't have advocated for more government programs.
Jesse Reiss
Oct 29, 2014 Jesse Reiss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Live history with Mr King hearing his speeches introduced by those who he knew and worked with. Amazing rhetoric by the master himself. Final introduction and speech draw dropping. Had to relisten several times. So relevant today. Inspirational.
Feb 28, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly inspiring man! This book captures the essence of a life well lived! Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches moved my soul! Well done, good and faithful servant! It gives me new appreciation for being in a school named for such a great person!
Feb 09, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-justice
I very much enjoyed hearing this in audio version. The introductions were useful for someone who was not part of the times when the speeches were given. Makes me want to learn more about the man and the times.
Duke Revard
Jun 07, 2016 Duke Revard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audible book. Original audio from speeches beyond "I have a Dream." King's oratory skill is musical, worth observing if you publically communicate with others.
May 11, 2015 Satu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure this book works better as an audiobook, but i still very much enjoyed reading King's most remarkable speeches. The speeches are introduced by people who were heavily involved with the Civil Rights Movement and who actually got to witness some of King's most memorable moments. (For example, the first speech is introduced by Rosa Parks herself.) The most touching speech to me is the very last speech King ever gave, just a night before his assassination. King was a remarkable public speake ...more
Mark Hiser
Jun 16, 2011 Mark Hiser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 05, 2008 Toni Daugherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this as an audio book. The speeches are actual recordings which is good and bad.
Apr 24, 2013 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-politics
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
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
Sep 04, 2013 Teri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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