The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

Item Number



Taylor Branch


Book, Hard Copy




Simon & Schuster




This work includes selections from the America in the King Years trilogy with new introductions by the author. The essential moments of the Civil Rights Movement are set in historical context by the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the America in the King Years trilogy which includes Parting the Waters; Pillar of Fire; and At Canaan's Edge. This 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. The author interprets King's famous speech at the 1963 March on Washington and the Birmingham church bombing that challenged his dream. We see student leader Bob Moses mobilize college volunteers for Mississippi's 1964 Freedom Summer, and a decade long movement for equal rights. In the chapter "King, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Nobel Peace Prize" the author details the covert use of state power for a personal vendetta. The chapter "Crossroads in Selma" describes King's ordeal to steer the citizen's movement through hopes and threats. The chapter "Crossroads in Vietnam" glimpses the ominous wartime split between King and President Lyndon Johnson. As the Black Power slogan of Stokely Carmichael captivated a world grown weary of nonviolent protest, King grew ever more isolated. King "pushed downward into lonelier causes until he wound up among the sanitation workers of Memphis." A requiem chapter leads to his assassination. A chronicle of key events in the civil rights movement traces how it evolved from a bus strike to a political and social revolution.

Important Notes

Black and white illustrations. 


America, MLK, Civil Rights, Counterculture