David Gross's Reviews > Martin Luther King, Jr.: Nonviolent Strategies and Tactics for Social Change

Martin Luther King, Jr. by John J. Ansbro
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's review
Apr 20, 2011

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bookshelves: direct-action, ethics, non-fiction, political-theory
Read in April, 2011

The subtitle, "Nonviolent Strategies and Tactics for Social Change," describes a book I would rather have read. But this book was still interesting. It traces King's thinking in a number of areas back to those thinkers he drew from and reacted against -- folks like Harold DeWolf (personalism, theology, the church); Edgar Brightman, Peter Bertocci, and Walter Muelder (personalism); Walter Rauschenbusch (the social gospel); Karl Marx (mostly in reaction, but also in envy at his influence); Henry David Thoreau and Mohandas Gandhi as well as Socrates, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Richard Gregg, Frederick Douglass, and George W. Davis (civil disobedience); Reinhold Niebuhr (theology, civil disobedience); Hegel and Heraclitus (history); Nietzche, Kierkegaard, Paul Tillich, Karl Jaspers, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Hegel (philosophy); Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Stokley Carmichael (black activist strategy); and George Kelsey (racism). As such, it's an interesting read and a good source of leads to follow, but it isn't a study of King's strategic and tactical thinking about nonviolent political force.

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