The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Volume I: Called to Serve, January 1929-June 1951 / Edition 1

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Overview


More than two decades since his death, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s ideas—his call for racial equality, his faith in the ultimate triumph of justice, and his insistence on the power of nonviolent struggle to bring about a major transformation of American society—are as vital and timely as ever. The wealth of his writings, both published and unpublished, that constitute his intellectual legacy are now preserved in this authoritative, chronologically arranged, multi-volume edition. Faithfully reproducing the texts of his letters, speeches, sermons, student papers, and articles, this edition has no equal.

Volume One contains many previously unpublished documents beginning with the letters King wrote to his mother and father during his childhood. We read firsthand his surprise and delight in his first encounter (during a trip to Connecticut) with the less segregated conditions in the North. Through his student essays and exams, we discover King's doubts about the religion of his father and we can trace his theological development. We learn of his longing for the emotional conversion experience that he witnessed others undergoing, and we follow his search to know God through study at theological seminaries. Throughout the first volume, we are treated to tantalizing hints of his mature rhetorical abilities, as in his 1945 letter to the Atlanta Constitution that spoke out against white racism.

Each volume in this series contains an introductory essay that traces the biographical details of Dr. King's life during the period covered. Ample annotations accompany the documents. Each volume also contains a chronology of key events in his life and a "Calendar of Documents" that lists all important, extant documents authored by King or by others, including those that are not trnascribed in the document itself.

The preparation of this edition is sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta with Stanford University and Emory University.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Glimmers of the galvanic orator that Martin Luther King Jr. would become sporadically flicker through this compilation of his college and seminary papers (which got As and Bs), early speeches, boyhood letters, articles and miscellany. First installment in a multivolume edition of the civil rights leader's works, this volume will appeal chiefly to scholars. King's youthful writings reflect his restless, inquiring intellect, his balancing of Christian liberalism with neo-orthodoxy, his call to the ministry and growing political awareness. The insightful introductory essay ably traces his religious doubts and search for a personal relationship with God; it also describes his early encounters with racism. Carson is professor of history at Stanford, Luker associate professor of history at Antioch, Russell a doctoral candidate at Stanford. Photos. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520079502
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/9/1992
  • Series: Martin Luther King Papers Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 507
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author


Clayborne Carson is Director and Senior Editor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project. A history professor at Stanford University, he is the author of In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (1981), and editor of Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998) and Malcolm X: The FBI File (1991).
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