Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Day: Parting the Waters

In 1989 I was a recent law school graduate when I first heard of "Parting the Waters: America during the King Years," by Taylor Branch. I had a chance to hear him speak just after his book was published, and purchased the book right away. It's worth reading. Nearly twenty years after it was first published, the book still holds a special place in my heart. The book is part of a three volume social history of that age.

The main facts are well known. Branch supplies nine hundred pages of details, never shocking but cumulatively surprising in their behind-the-scenes portrait of the civil-rights movement. Branch lets the facts speak for themselves and comments sparingly. The volume of his research is staggering.

You can buy it used on and everywhere else. It will take you some time to finish, but IMHO it will be worth it.

Bono and the boys paid homage to Dr. King in their song, Pride (In the Name of Love):