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This is a study of the American civil rights movement that captures the drama of the black freedom struggle from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s. It shows how King's leadership inspired masses to protest nonviolently making great strides toward resolving the American dilemma - the conflict between the nation's democratic creed and its practice of denying freedom and equality to black citizens. The author traces the course of events from the emergence of Martin Luther King Jr as a national black spokesman during the Montgomery bus boycott to his radical critique of American society and foreign policy during the last years of his life. He also provides the first in-depth analysis of King's famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Dr Colaiaco discusses how King's masterful use of the media drew national attention to nonviolent protests, exposing the brutality of racism, stirring the consciences of millions and compelling the Federal government to protect the constitutional rights of black Americans. He also offers an analysis of the paradox inherent in the nonviolent method - that peaceful civil rights protestors were most successful when they provoked a violent response from white racists. In addition, the book sheds light on the reasons for King's method not having the same effect in the North where it confronted the deeply-rooted problems of the ghettos and the challenge of Black Power. The author has also written "James Fitzjames Stephen and the Crisis of Victorian Thought".
An incisive assessment of the techniques, writings, and leadership of Martin Luther King, by Colaiaco, author of James Fitzjames Stephen and the Crisis of Victorian Thought (1983). Colaiaco traces King's influence (this is by no means a biography) from his emergence as a national figure during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956. Heavily influenced by Gandhi's nonviolence, King adapted the Indian's techniques to the realities of American politics, utilizing the protections offered by the US Constitution to force the nation to come to grips with what Gunnar Myrdal called the American dilemma - the conflict between the nation's democratic ideal and its practice of denying freedom and equality to blacks. The author details King's masterful use of the national media in drawing attention to nonviolent protest that exposed the brutality lurking beneath the surface of racism. Colaiaco also chronicles King's less successful drift toward more radical criticism of American society and his anti-Vietnam Warwork, finding the civilrights leader's attention to northern problems, such as racism in Chicago, to be far less effective than his earlier campaigns - due both to the more lackadaisical attitudes of black ghetto-dweilers and to challenges to King's authority from black militants like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown. Perhaps Colaiaco's greatest contribution is in his in-depth analysis of King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," a manifesto of the black civil-rights movement that the author calls one of the greatest historical documents of the era. Colaiaco effectively demonstrates how King's genius lay in showing the American people that civil disobedience does not result in anarchy. Though brief, this book does justice to a great mind. (Kirkus Reviews)
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 238
Published: 9th November 1988
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.79 x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.47
Edition Number: 2