A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr

ISBN: 0062509314
ISBN 13: 9780062509314
By: Martin Luther King Jr. James Washington

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Reader's Thoughts


For those that can't get enough. This book has all you need to know and believe me, it is an epic read into Dr. King's soul. I love this book.


Every American who cares about equality should own this book.The title says it all, ESSENTIAL writings of Dr. King. I read something from this book every February in his honor.


This is an excellent source for materials written by Dr. King. It includes sermons, philosophy, essays, all of his books and an interview. I dip into this book often during the year. It is never far from my desk. Reading this helps us to get past the stereotype and find the real Martin King and what he stood for.


An incredible collection, covering the wide-ranging scope of King's thinking and analysis, most of which we never hear about since he has been restricted to being a Civil Rights leader only, an important role but much narrower than what he was actually doing. King reflected and commented on the economic system, the U.S. international role, the development of other nations, etc., and his thinking remains germane today.The only criticism I have of this book is that it needed a thicker editorial layer. For instance, many of the texts of his speeches are variations of each other. It would have been useful to have an essay at the beginning of such "chunks" that described the main points he was making, and how and why the speeches were modified for different situations or as his thinking changed.


There are deep wells here,This is a compilation of several of Dr. King's works, from sermons to selections from several of Dr. King's books. I must admit that I am impressed with the realistic dream that Dr. King had/has. Often I feel Dr. King's vision of non-violence and dedication to justice is boiled down to a very naive idealism. After reading 679 pages of Dr. King, that simply is not true. Dr.King had a very real and realistic view of the world he and we lived in, he knew the difficulties that he and others faced, despite that he truly believed that time eventually bent toward Justice. This was not some naive ideal that laws or quick flashy approach would bring change, but rather deep systemic change took time and perseverance.This is not a quick read, I often found myself taken off to tangents while thinking about some of the things Dr. King discusses. I recommend it as a slow read, to enjoy, wrestle with, and learn from.

Daryl Grigsby

letter from a birmingham jail and time to break the silence - alone worth the book!

Garth Richards

I haven't read the entire book but no book collection is complete without some material written by Martin Luther King Jr.! The first three chapters blew me away. He talks about how when you are having a revolution against evil and tyranny you don't fight evil by using evil tactics. "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil by good"


This should be a required read- truly inspirational, it gives a much broader perspective that highlights King's writings way beyond the I have a Dream speech. Amazing.


Still haven't finished, there's so many good sermons and speeches. Very encouraging! Haunting to read his words after Barack was voted in.


i hadn't read 90% of these before. it's too bad that really the only thing most people have heard from King is his "I Have a Dream Speech", because although historically important, there are so many even better things that he wrote and spoke about.especially good were many of the writings that he did near the end of his life. King did not shrink from deeply questioning capitalism, poverty, and the U.S. military's campaigns around the world. King's campaigns in these areas were just beginning to take off during the last few years of his life. i wonder what impact he could have had on poor people's movements and labor movements were he not killed so early in his life.these speeches are important reading not just for people who want to get to know King's mind more thoroughly, but also for those of us who really need some inspiration as both the right and left continue to disappoint us. many of his writings are sadly relevant as we face many of the same social and political challenges today.

Amy Lowry

Amazing collection of Martin Luther Kings writings, he is one of my favorite authors. Explores his belief in Ghandi's philosophy of non violence and its power over hate. This book is a must read for anyone grappling with the war era we are currently living through.


It is easy to know Dr. King as simply an icon, a hero, a figure from the past, but reading his essays, speeches, sermons, and memoirs is a powerful reminder that he was a truly great and extraordinary man, a spiritual leader, a visionary, an unrelenting proponent of nonviolent social transformation, and an advocate for love and justice in all forms. His writing has moved me to tears on more than one occasion. If you are unfamiliar with either his deeds or his writings, stop what you are doing and read this collection.

Robert Palmer

Most people think of Martin Luther King, Jr. only as a civil rights leader, and though they might acknowledge that he was also a minister of the gospel, they would never think of him as one of the great Christian thinkers of history. Even a cursory reading his speeches and other writings reveals a deep thinker whose ideas are clearly grounded in Scripture. Dr. King believed that authentic Christians live by the gospel and don't merely pay lip service to it. He even predicted the decline of the church in this country:"There are many signs that the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. Unless the early sacrificial spirit is recaptured, I am very much afraid that today's Christian church will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and we will see the Christian church dismissed as a social club with no meaning or effectiveness for our time, as a form without substance, as salt without savor."It is humbling to realize that this declaration of radical faith was made not by the inaccessible pastor of a megachurch, but rather by a minister of the gospel who lived what he preached -- self-sacrifice.


Awesome collection of Dr. Martin Luther King's, Jr.'s greatest speeches. I was really moved by the ones dealing with constructive action. Using portions of his speeches to make points about the need for African-American men to be worthy of praise from their women and children.

Otis Millbrook

An outstanding collection of this great man's writings and speeches, truly inspirational!

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