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King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop
Hill and Wang

King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop

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King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop
Author(s): Harvard Sitkoff

In this fast-paced biography, Harvard Sitkoff presents a concise, stunningly relevant and radical Martin Luther King, Jr. whose greatest accomplishments may have been yet to come.

King's murder in April 1968 did far more than cut tragically short the life of one of America's most remarkable civil rights leaders. In commemorating King's achievements at the end of his life and ignoring his defeats, too many Americans quickly relegated the civil rights struggle to the past, halting the progression of the activist’s evolving movement.

King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop honestly assesses his successes along with his failures—as an organizer in Albany, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida; as a leader of ever more strident activists; and as a husband. Harvard Sitkoff weaves both high and low points together to capture King's lifelong struggle, through disappointment and epiphany, with his own injunction: "Let us be Christian in all our actions."

By telling King's life as one on the verge of reaching its fullest fulfillment, Sitkoff powerfully shows where King's faith and activism were leading him—to a direct confrontation with a president over an immoral war and with an America blind to its complicity in economic injustice.


“Sitkoff provides a vivid portrait that deserves to be widely read, not only as the standard short King biography but also as an incisive essay on his significance today.” —San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“Written with skill and imagination . . . King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop is clearly the best short biography we have of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Harvard Sitkoff wants to remind us of his subject's subversive agenda, and to banish the ‘airbrushed' portrait of a ‘moderate, respectable ally of presidents' . . . Sitkoff argues that the more militant King is the more relevant King. And he's right.” —The New York Observer

“Persuasive . . . Sitkoff's skillful choice of material, his organization of the text and his fine writing style (especially compared with most academic historians) raise the biography to the top rank of books about King.” —The News and Observer (Raleigh)

“King is a perfect combination of author and subject: one of the deans of civil rights history tracing the life of the movement's towering figure. Harvard Sitkoff has performed a remarkable feat, giving us a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., that is simultaneously concise and complex, judicious and deeply moving.” —Kevin Boyle, author of the National Book Award–winning Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age

ISBN:  9780809063499