King: A Life

Macmillan Audio. May 2023. 20:45 hrs. ISBN 9781250899446. $32.99. HIST
Journalist and biographer Eig (Ali: A Life) draws upon recently declassified FBI files to offer a sweeping study of a deeply human, sharply intelligent, and courageous civil rights leader. Eig traces King’s family origins, following him from his childhood as “Little Mike” through his studies at Morehouse College and Boston University, his first pastorship, the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, the 1963 March on Washington, and his struggles when the movement lost momentum later in the 1960s. Award-winning narrator Dion Graham pulls out the stops in his performance of this book, nimbly capturing the fear, conviction, and excitement of the early days of the civil rights movement. He seamlessly incorporates information from transcripts, letters, interviews, and Martin Luther King Sr.’s unpublished memoir while keeping listeners riveted with his impeccable rendition of King’s propulsive tone and cadence. Eig’s portrayal of King, a man plagued by foibles, depression, and doubt, is balanced with his acknowledgment of his remarkable vision and tireless, groundbreaking work.
VERDICT Though lengthy (clocking in at just under 21 hours), this gripping biography of a revolutionary leader flies by. Listeners interested in a new perspective of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life will be captivated.
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