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


A book I had to read for class, but this was one of the few books I read cover to cover in grad school. His sermons, letters and speeches have honestly changed my life, thinking and theology.

Brent Fernandez

this is an incredible collection of speeches & writings. highly recommended!


Martin Luther King Jr. is truly a Saint. His words move me to tears often. This is not a book to be read from cover to cover but to be picked apart and mediated upon. If you do not read this book then read his essays and listen to his speeches if you can. MLK was one of God's brightest lights.


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.


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.


I'm still in the first stages of reading this book, but I really like how some of the writings in this book make references to Christ. Martin Luther King was a pioneer in his time. I would be lead to believe that which I've read so far, this book is definately a good read.


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.


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


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.


While reading the speeches and writings of Dr. King I became attuned to his remarkable brilliance as an academic. In public education, I learned about the historic speech on the national mall and the montgomery bus boycotts. I am now in my mid-twenties, attending an ivy league graduate school and have dedicated a good portion of my life and admiration to scholarship. With this in mind, I re-visited the works of my idol (Dr. King) and developed the new appreciation for his intellectual brilliance. Living in Boston most seldom know that Dr.King earned his doctorate at Boston University. We are predisposed to knowing this man as MLK....but I have found that he is so much more. Though I also appreciate the respect for Malcom-X. I will say that the most overlooked quality and theme of Dr. Kings' message is that of "non-violence". He writes from jail-cells frequently and yet showed the unmatched moral reserve and heart to look past retaliation, as he knew it would undermine the cause of freedom. A brave soul.


You can't sit down and read straight through this one, but a piece at a time...fascinating. The man was an incredible writer, not always the person you think he was. I was surprised to realize just how young he was when he died, especially given how much writing is in this volume.

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.


This is the one of my best collections, This book has so much wisdome inside of it and it reveals Dr. King's heartbeat. This is a compilation of King's speeches and essays.


Excellent book! This literary composition entail speeches and interview transcripts such as Pilgrimage to Nonviolence (1960), Who Speaks for the South? (1958),If Negro Wins, Labor Wins (1962), Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (1964) and Meet the Press interview (1966)


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.

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