Path

Success

Path Created with Sketch.

Warning

Path

Error

Cokesbury

King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop

  • By Harvard Sitkoff
$14.99
($21.00)
In this fast-paced biography, Harvard Sitkoff presents a stunningly relevant and radical King. Honestly assessing his successes alongside his failures, King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop weaves together high and low points to capture King's lifelong struggle, through disappointment and epiphany, with his own injunction: "Let us be Christian in all our actions." By telling King's life as one on the verge of reaching its fulfillment, Sitkoff powerfully shows where King's faith and activism were leading him--to a direct confrontation with a president over an immoral war and with an America blind to its complicity in economic injustice. Harvard Sitkoff is a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire and the author or editor of more than eight books, including "A New Deal for Blacks"; "The Struggle for Black Equality, 1945-1992" (H&W, 1993); and "A History of Our Time." A "San Francisco Chronicle" Best Book of the Year
Martin Luther King Jr.'s murder in April 1968 did far more than cut tragically short the life of one of America's most remarkable civil rights leaders. Might his greatest accomplishments have been ahead of him? In this concise biography, Harvard Sitkoff presents a stunningly relevant King. The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, King's 1963 soul-stirring address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and the 1965 history-altering Selma march are all recounted. But these are not treated as predetermined high points in a life celebrated for its role in a civil rights struggle too many Americans have quickly relegated to the past. Carefully presented alongside King's successes are his failures--as an organizer in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida; as a leader of ever more strident activists; as a husband. Together, high and low points are interwoven to capture King's lifelong struggle, through disappointment and epiphany, with his own injunction: "Let us be Christian in all our actions." By telling King's life as one on the verge of reaching its fullest fulfillment, Sitkoff powerfully shows where King's faith and activism were leading him--to a direct confrontation with a president over an immoral war and with an America blind to its complicity in economic injustice. "A marvelous read and striking achievement This engrossing and perceptive biography offers a balanced yet critical analysis of both Martin Luther King Jr. and his epochal times in their full complexity."--Waldo Martin, U.C. Berkeley, author of "No Coward Soldiers: Black Cultural Politics in Postwar America" "A terse account of King's life and legacy, which provides a lucid, nuanced account of the man and his times for readers put off by 1,000-page epics. Drawing on the research of scholars such as Branch and Garrow, Sitkoff sets King's public virtues--his genius for oratory and mass motivation, his often canny political sense--against personal vices well known and less so--his womanizing, his sometime prevarication as a leader. In so doing, Sitkoff provides a vivid portrait that deserves to be widely read, not only as the standard short King biography but also as an incisive essay on his significance today. Foregrounding King's primary vocation as a Christian and a preacher, Sitkoff traces the development of King's moral philosophy: from his birth into Atlanta's God-fearing black bourgeoisie, where he was early implanted with the sense of 'somebodyness' that he fought later to instill in others; through his decision to study for the pulpit ('My father is a preacher, my grandfather was a preacher, my great-grandfather was a preacher, ' he'd say, later adding, 'so I didn't have much choice.'); to his discovery of the social gospel that would form the core of his faith. . . . Sitkoff tells this story deftly . . . King's greatness, as Sitkoff's fine book eloquently affirms, lay in the dedicated talent with which he pursued ideals that no earthly country has yet obtained. That he at times framed his appeal in the words of the U.S. Constitution is testament to the principles put down there. But it is his moral conscience--antithetical to jingoism and transcendent of any one nation's aims--for which King most deserves to be celebrated today. 'Injustice anywhere, ' he warned time and again before he was slain in April 1968, 'is a threat to justice everywhere.' This dictum, like the man who uttered it, still resounds."--Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, "San Francisco Chronicle
""A succinct and highly readable re-examination of King's life."--Michael Taylor, "The Times-Dispatch" (Richmond)
"Writing with skill and imagination, Sitkoff reminds the reader that the central value for which King lived and died was his idea of community . . . "King" is clearly the best short biography we have of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Its lucid and accessible style makes this text appealing far beyond a limited community of experts. It's a must-read for all who have an interest in King's life and legacy."--Noel Leo Erskine, "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"

"Determined to broaden the lens through which people--and tomorrow's history--view the man, Sitkoff wrote "King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop." The book's driven by the often uncelebrated, radical side of King, and it stressed King's dream has yet to be fully realized. It doesn't only focus on King's successes, but also his failures, both personally and as a leader. Over 234 pages, the book takes readers from King's birth in his parent's home in Georgia on Jan. 15, 1928, to his role in the desegregation movement and to his assassination--40 years ago today--on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, outside room 306, in Memphis . . . Sitkoff, who began writing the "Pilgrimage" about five years ago, agreed the presidential nomination battle between Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton poses an interesting backdrop for his book . . . Drawn from four decades of teaching King, his personal connections to the man and a plethora of scholarly material, the work has b

Read More

free shipping iconEligible For Free Shipping
Want it in two business days? Order by 1/20/2020 2:00:00 PM and choose Overnight shipping at checkout. Ships from a Cokesbury Connect Partner.
  • Additional Details
  • Additional Details
    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9780809063499
    • Manufacturer: FARRAR STRAUSS & GIROUX 3PL
    • Language of Text: English
    • ISBN 13: 9780809063499
    • Publication Date: 01/01/2009
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Harvard Sitkoff
    • Page Count: 288
    • Width: 1.00 inches
    • Height: 1.00 inches
    • Length: 1.00 inches
    • Weight: 0.59 pounds
    Shipping & Returns
    This item is available for return. Cokesbury uses a variety of methods for ground shipping. At your request, we can also expedite order shipments for an additional charge. Cokesbury partners with UPS for these expedited deliveries.