"King is a major achievement. With eloquence, compassion, and grace, Jonathan Eig offers a stirringly contemporary and complex portrait of a fully human--and humane--King . . . A resounding triumph." --Peniel E. Joseph, author of The Sword and the Shield "Eig has pulled off a kind of miracle. Here is the King we know, think we know and ought to know. Here is the leader, the preacher, the orator, the husband, the father, the martyr, the human being--not with melodramatic halo in place, but in all his heroic, tragic Glory. Hallelujah!" --Ken Burns
Named a most anticipated book of 2023 by The Washington Post, The Millions, and Literary Hub
The first full biography in decades, King mixes revelatory and exhaustive new research with brisk and accessible storytelling to forge the definitive life for our times.
Vividly written and exhaustively researched, Jonathan Eig's King: A Life
is the first major biography in decades of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.--and the first to include recently declassified FBI files. In this revelatory new portrait of the preacher and activist who shook the world, the bestselling biographer gives us an intimate view of the courageous and often emotionally troubled human being who demanded peaceful protest for his movement but was rarely at peace with himself. He casts fresh light on the King family's origins as well as MLK's complex relationships with his wife, father, and fellow activists. King
reveals a minister wrestling with his own human frailties and dark moods, a citizen hunted by his own government, and a man determined to fight for justice even if it proved to be a fight to the death. As he follows MLK from the classroom to the pulpit to the streets of Birmingham, Selma, and Memphis, Eig dramatically re-creates the journey of a man who recast American race relations and became our only modern-day founding father--as well as the nation's most mourned martyr.
In this landmark biography, Eig gives us an MLK for our times: a deep thinker, a brilliant strategist, and a committed radical who led one of history's greatest movements, and whose demands for racial and economic justice remain as urgent today as they were in his lifetime. Includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs