Parting the Waters

America in the King Years 1954-63

Parting the Waters

In volume one of his America in the King Years, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a masterly account of the American civil rights movement. Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations. Moving from the fiery political baptism of Martin Luther King, Jr., to the corridors of Camelot where the Kennedy brothers weighed demands for justice against the deceptions of J. Edgar Hoover, here is a vivid tapestry of America, torn and finally transformed by a revolutionary struggle unequaled since the Civil War. Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness and illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder. Epic in scope and impact, Branch's chronicle definitively captures one of the nation's most crucial passages.

Pillar of Fire

America in the King Years 1963-65

Pillar of Fire

From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch, the second part of his epic trilogy on the American Civil Rights Movement. In the second volume of his three-part history, a monumental trilogy that began with Parting the Waters, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Taylor Branch portrays the Civil Rights Movement at its zenith, recounting the climactic struggles as they commanded the national stage.

At Canaan's Edge

America in the King Years, 1965-68

At Canaan's Edge

At Canaan's Edge concludes America in the King Years, a three-volume history that will endure as a masterpiece of storytelling on American race, violence, and democracy. Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author Taylor Branch makes clear in this magisterial account of the civil rights movement that Martin Luther King, Jr., earned a place next to James Madison and Abraham Lincoln in the pantheon of American history. In At Canaan's Edge, King and his movement stand at the zenith of America's defining story, one decade into an epic struggle for the promises of democracy. Branch opens with the authorities' violent suppression of a voting-rights march in Alabama on March 7, 1965. The quest to cross Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge engages the conscience of the world, strains the civil rights coalition, and embroils King in negotiations with all three branches of the U.S. government. The marches from Selma coincide with the first landing of large U.S. combat units in South Vietnam. The escalation of the war severs the cooperation of King and President Lyndon Johnson after a collaboration that culminated in the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. After Selma, young pilgrims led by Stokely Carmichael take the movement into adjacent Lowndes County, Alabama, where not a single member of the black majority has tried to vote in the twentieth century. Freedom workers are murdered, but sharecroppers learn to read, dare to vote, and build their own political party. Carmichael leaves in frustration to proclaim his famous black power doctrine, taking the local panther ballot symbol to become an icon of armed rebellion. Also after Selma, King takes nonviolence into Northern urban ghettoes. Integrated marches through Chicago expose hatreds and fears no less virulent than the Mississippi Klan's, but King's 1966 settlement with Mayor Richard Daley does not gain the kind of national response that generated victories from Birmingham and Selma. We watch King overrule his advisers to bring all his eloquence into dissent from the Vietnam War. We watch King make an embattled decision to concentrate his next campaign on a positive compact to address poverty. We reach Memphis, the garbage workers' strike, and King's assassination. Parting the Waters provided an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness, beginning with the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and ending with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. In Pillar of Fire, theologians and college students braved the dangerous Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 as Malcolm X raised a militant new voice for racial separatism. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed segregation by race and mandated equal opportunity for women. From the pinnacle of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, King willed himself back to "the valley" of jail in his daunting Selma campaign. At Canaan's Edge portrays King at the height of his moral power even as his worldly power is waning. It shows why his fidelity to freedom and nonviolence makes him a defining figure long beyond his brilliant life and violent end.

The King Years

Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

The King Years

Taylor Branch, author of the acclaimed America in the King Years, introduces selections from the trilogy in clear context and gripping detail. The King Years delivers riveting tales of everyday heroes who achieved miracles in constructive purpose and yet poignantly fell short. Here is the full sweep of an era that still reverberates in national politics. Its legacy remains unsettled; there are further lessons to be discovered before free citizens can once again move officials to address the most intractable, fearful dilemmas. This vital primer amply fulfills its author’s dedication: “For students of freedom and teachers of history.” This compact volume brings to life eighteen pivotal dramas, beginning with the impromptu speech that turned an untested, twenty-six-year-old Martin Luther King forever into a public figure on the first night of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Five years later, minority students filled the jails in a 1960 sit-in movement, and, in 1961, the Freedom Riders seized national attention. Branch interprets King’s famous speech at the 1963 March on Washington, then relives the Birmingham church bombing that challenged his dream of equal souls and equal votes. We see student leader Bob Moses mobilize college volunteers for Mississippi’s 1964 Freedom Summer, and a decade-long movement at last secures the first of several landmark laws for equal rights. At the same time, the presidential nominating conventions were drawn into sharp and unprecedented party realignment. In “King, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Nobel Peace Prize,” Branch details the covert use of state power for a personal vendetta. “Crossroads in Selma” describes King’s ordeal to steer the battered citizen’s movement through hopes and threats from every level of government. “Crossroads in Vietnam” glimpses the ominous wartime split between King and President Lyndon Johnson. As backlash shadowed a Chicago campaign to expose northern prejudice, and the Black Power slogan of Stokely Carmichael captivated a world grown weary of nonviolent protest, King grew ever more isolated. As Branch writes, King “pushed downward into lonelier causes until he wound up among the sanitation workers of Memphis.” A requiem chapter leads to his fateful assassination.

The King Years (Enhanced Edition)

Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

The King Years (Enhanced Edition)

Taylor Branch, author of the acclaimed America in the King Years, introduces selections from the trilogy in clear context and gripping detail to bring to life the essential moments of the Civil Rights Movement. The enhanced eBook showcases additional videos and music throughout the text, making it a rich multimedia learning experience. Such resources include film of Walter Cronkite interviewing President Kennedy, King discussing his early plans for sustained demonstrations in Birmingham, b-roll of sit-in demonstrations, and tracks of Freedom songs. This compact volume delivers eighteen riveting tales of the everyday heroes who achieved miracles and transformed America, yet poignantly fell short. Here is the full sweep of an era that still reverberates in national politics. The King Years begins with an impromptu speech that turned an untested, twenty-six-year-old Martin Luther King forever into a public figure on the first night of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Five years later, minority students filled the jails in a 1960 sit-in movement, and, in 1961, the Freedom Riders seized national attention. Branch interprets King’s famous speech at the 1963 March on Washington, then relives the Birmingham church bombing that challenged his dream of equal souls and equal votes. We see student leader Bob Moses mobilize college volunteers for Mississippi’s 1964 Freedom Summer. In “Crossroads in Selma,” Branch describes King’s ordeal to steer the battered citizen’s movement through hopes and threats from every level of government. “Crossroads in Vietnam” glimpses the ominous wartime split between King and President Lyndon Johnson. As backlash shadowed a Chicago campaign to expose northern prejudice, and the Black Power slogan of Stokely Carmichael captivated a world grown weary of nonviolent protest, King grew ever more isolated. A requiem chapter leads to his fateful assassination.

Negro in the Making of America

Third Edition Revised, Updated, and Expanded

Negro in the Making of America

This bestselling, definitive study of African Americans throughout history covers the full story of the African-American experience, from the arrival of slave ships in the early 1600s to the 20th century, when the black struggle for social and economic equality came to the forefront of American life. Included are portraits of such notable black figures as Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, and Malcolm X.

Andrew Young

Civil Rights Ambassador

Andrew Young

Andrew Young: Civil Rights Ambassador explores the rising influence of race in foreign relations as it examines the contributions of this African American activist, politician, and diplomat to U.S. foreign policy. Young used his positions as a member of the United States House of Representatives (1973-77), U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations (1977-79), and mayor of Atlanta during the 1980s to further the cause of race in diplomatic affairs and to bring an emphasis to United States relations with Africa. Author Andrew DeRoche begins his study of Young by looking at his formative years as a top assistant to Martin Luther King in the 1960s. It was during this period that Young developed his philosophy and his tactics. Young was committed to working for racial justice around the globe and he was willing to meet with all sides in any conflict. One of the few books that focuses on the influence of race in U.S. foreign policy, Andrew Young: Civil Rights Ambassador is informative reading for those interested in diplomatic history and African American history.

The Clinton Tapes

Wrestling History with the President

The Clinton Tapes

Taylor Branch’s groundbreaking book about the modern presidency, The Clinton Tapes, invites readers into private dialogue with a gifted, tormented, resilient president. Here is what President Clinton thought and felt but could not say in public. This book rests upon a secret project, initiated by Clinton, to preserve for future historians an unfiltered record of presidential experience. During his eight years in office, between 1993 and 2001, Clinton answered questions and told stories in the White House, usually late at night. His friend Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch recorded seventy-nine of these dialogues to compile a trove of raw information about a presidency as it happened. Clinton drew upon the diary transcripts for his memoir in 2004. Branch recorded his own detailed recollections immediately after each session, covering not only the subjects discussed but also the look and feel of each evening with the president. The text engages Clinton from many angles. Readers hear candid stories, feel buffeting pressures, and weigh vivid descriptions of the White House settings. Branch's firsthand narrative is confessional, unsparing, and personal. The author admits straying at times from his primary role -- to collect raw material for future historians -- because his discussions with Clinton were unpredictable and intense. What should an objective prompter say when the President of the United States seeks advice, argues facts, or lodges complaints against the press? The dynamic relationship that emerges from these interviews is both affectionate and charged, with flashes of anger and humor. President Clinton drives the history, but this story is also about friends. The Clinton Tapes highlights major events of Clinton's two terms, including wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, the failure of health care reform, peace initiatives on three continents, the anti-deficit crusade, and titanic political struggles from Whitewater to American history's second presidential impeachment trial. Along the way, Clinton delivers colorful portraits of countless political figures and world leaders from Nelson Mandela to Pope John Paul II. These unprecedented White House dialogues will become a staple of presidential scholarship. Branch's masterly account opens a new window on a controversial era and Bill Clinton's eventual place among our chief executives.

The Black Experience in America

From Civil Rights to the Present

The Black Experience in America

The outlawing of desegregation and attainment of equal rights facilitated a new era of possibility throughout American society. This book details the historic deeds that redefined the American landscape since the 1940s, examining the explosion of creativity that ensued in the areas of literature, music, and sports as African Americans explore new opportunities and prospects.