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Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders, and the "Letters from Birmingham Jail"
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Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders, and the "Letters from Birmingham Jail"

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  51 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is arguably the most important written document of the civil rights protest era and a widely read modern literary classic. Personally addressed to eight white Birmingham clergymen who sought to avoid violence by publicly discouraging King's civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, the nationally published "Letter" ca ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by LSU Press (first published February 2001)
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Art
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
A very good and well written account of the eight leaders and the no win situation they faced. History has forgotten the heavy price most of these leaders faced and the hatred and personal and professional sniping they took from their own churches, not to mention death threats as they attempted to open the church doors to all people, all is remembered is they were named in Kings letter for disagreeing with his tactics at that one point and time and a lot of America remembers them wrongly as pro ...more
Dean Summers
In the spring of 1963, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, under the direction of Martin Luther King Jr., was preparing for a civil rights demonstration in Birmingham Alabama. In an attempt to forestall a likely violent confrontation with White racists, eight of Birmingham’s prominent clergy published an open letter cautioning that the planned demonstration was ill-timed.

The eight, all White (though not all WASP), were two Episcopal bishops, a Methodist bishop, a Methodist pastor, a Je
...more
Renee
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Bass does an excellent job of revealing the history behind Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," the 8 clergy who prompted the piece, and the Civil Rights movement itself.

More than anything else, I appreciated the even-handed approach to the subject matter. While I whole-heartedly agree with MLK that the injustices of Jim Crow needed to be changed immediately, this book doesn't paint the white clergy with broad strokes of "bad guys" to MLK's "good guy." The fleshed-out history
...more
Russell Smith
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
(excerpted from my blog entry at https://horizonsofthepossible.wordpre...)

Bass tells the story of the writing of Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. His main goal is to flesh out the lives and careers of the eight clergymen who were named as “recipients” of the letter. Along the way, he also gives interesting insight into the history of Birmingham, the strategy of MLK, the composition process of the letter itself, and the place these things had in the larger civil rights movem
...more
Elliot Ratzman
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
On scraps of paper and on the margins of newspapers MLK wrote his classic “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (April 1963) to eight white clergy, accusing them of moderation. The Letter was an excuse to explain to America the tactics of the Civil Rights Movement, the complaints of Southern blacks, and, practically, to raise money and support for the movement. Birmingham was the scene of violent segregationists’ bombings, Bull Connor’s water hoses and police dogs, images of elderly blacks beaten after ...more
Dave McNeely
This book provides the provocative backdrop for Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." I was particularly interested in this account because it discusses the backgrounds of the eight white clergy addressed in the letter, one of whom was a Carson-Newman grad (Earl Stallings). Like many other historical watershed moments, the climate surrounding King's stand in Birmingham in 1963 was much more complicated than history books have the room to tell. The heft of King's message is not lo ...more
Patti
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the story behind Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" to eight religious leaders there. It's an interesting perspective, more so because one of the leaders was my friend's father. In some ways, these men were in a no-win situation. Vilified for dragging their feet for wanting a slower pace to bring about change in civil rights and also for moving far too quickly for their congregants and were thus accused of being liberal extremists. Well worth reading to understand more ab ...more
Rafael Villalobos
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the story behind the famous "Letter from a Birmingham Jail". Pastor King directed this letter at 8 White Pastors ( a Rabbi and a Catholic were counted among the group) in response to their public dissent of King's Birmingham March against the Jim Crow South. I recommend you read this book so that we will not let what happened before, be acceptable again. A copy of the letter should be sent to the current nine Supreme Court Justices as a reminder that, "Injustice anywhwere is a threat to ...more
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