Book Review

King - the hero


Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 3:02 p.m.

He might be the elderly man, gnarled hands caressing a pencil as he tutors a child in need of more math skills.

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He might be the elderly man, gnarled hands caressing a pencil as he tutors a child in need of more math skills. She may be a fresh-faced nurse with a gentle touch, giving comfort to someone at the end of life. Or maybe he's a child who stands up to bullies or who donates her birthday presents to children who have nothing.

She may be a fresh-faced nurse with a gentle touch, giving comfort to someone at the end of life. Or maybe he's a child who stands up to bullies or who donates her birthday presents to children who have nothing.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and this month, we celebrate the birthday of one giant: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I was quite impressed with "Martin Luther King" by Godfrey Hodgson perhaps because it's penned by a British biographer and journalist who writes about American politics.

This easy-to-read book broadly covers the civil rights movement and King's work, both politically and socially.

Hodgson includes some of King's early background in his biography, of course, but the focus is on what happened between King's early influence and his assassination.

Another book, "Legacy of Secrecy," by Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann is a brick of a book (over 800 pages) that asserts that the King assassination was part of a years-long conspiracy.

Based on heavy research, interviews, and by combing documents in the National Archives, the authors say that John F. Kennedy's death was the work of mob bosses who opposed his work to end organized crime.

Waldron and Hartmann also believe that they've uncovered inarguable evidence to prove that Robert Kennedy and King were likewise assassinated on orders from the Mafia and that ongoing political and international reasons have kept the truth from being told.

And finally, a treasure: "Through It All" by Christine King Farris, author, teacher and King's sister.

In this personal memoir, Farris writes about her life and her recollections.

She tells personal stories of her brother as a child, of their beloved parents and the horrible death of their mother, of places and people who set Dr. King on an early path, and of faith, friends and family.

If you're looking to celebrate or quietly contemplate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you can't go wrong with a book about him.

Pick up these books or any others and learn more about this American hero.

Terri Schlichenmeyer never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

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