Beacon Press: The Radical King
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The Radical King

Author: Martin Luther King Jr.   Edited and Introduced by: Cornel West

A revealing collection that restores Dr. King as being every bit as radical as Malcolm X

“The radical King was a democratic socialist who sided with poor and working people in the class struggle taking place in capitalist societies. . . . The response of the radical King to our catastrophic moment can be put in one word: revolution—a revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life, and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens. . . . Could it be that we know so little of the radical King because such courage defies our market-driven world?” —Cornel West, from the Introduction

Every year, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is celebrated as one of the greatest orators in US history, an ambassador for nonviolence who became perhaps the most recognizable leader of the civil rights movement. But after more than forty years, few people appreciate how truly radical he was.

Arranged thematically in four parts, The Radical King includes twenty-three selections, curated and introduced by Dr. Cornel West, that illustrate King’s revolutionary vision, underscoring his identification with the poor, his unapologetic opposition to the Vietnam War, and his crusade against global imperialism. As West writes, “Although much of America did not know the radical King—and too few know today—the FBI and US government did. They called him ‘the most dangerous man in America.’ . . . This book unearths a radical King that we can no longer sanitize.”

A King Legacy Series Book
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“This useful collection takes King from the front lines of Southern segregation to a national movement for economic equality to an international condemnation of imperialism and armed intervention.”
Kirkus Reviews

“King’s skills as a preacher and rhetorician are amply in evidence, as is his profound empathy with others.” 
Publishers Weekly

“I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic. . . . [Capitalism] started out with a noble and high motive . . . but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against.” —Letter to Coretta Scott, July 18, 1952

“There is another America, and that other America has a daily ugliness about it that transforms the buoyancy of hope into the fatigue of despair. . . . By the millions, people in the other America find themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. . . . The great tragedy is that the nation continues in its national policy to ignore the conditions that brought the riots or the rebellions into being. . . . The problem with a riot is that it can always be halted by superior force, so I couldn’t advise that. On the other hand, I couldn’t advise following a path of Martin Luther King just sitting around signing statements, and writing articles condemning the rioters, or engaging in a process of timid supplications for justice. The fact is that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed—that’s the long, sometimes tragic and turbulent story of history.” —“The Other America,” delivered by Dr. King at the Local 1199’s “Salute to Freedom,” New York City, March 10, 1968
Introduction: The Radical King We Don’t Know

PART ONE: Radical Love
ONE: The Violence of Desperate Men
TWO: Palm Sunday Sermon on Mohandas K. Gandhi
THREE: Pilgrimage to Nonviolence
FOUR: Loving Your Enemies
FIVE: What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?

PART TWO: Prophetic Vision: Global Analysis and Local Praxis
SIX: The World House
SEVEN: All the Great Religions of the World
EIGHT: My Jewish Brother!
NINE: The Middle East Question
TEN: Let My People Go
ELEVEN: Honoring Dr. Du Bois

PART THREE: The Revolution of Nonviolent Resistance: Against Empire and White Supremacy
TWELVE: Letter from Birmingham Jail
THIRTEEN: Nonviolence and Social Change
FOURTEEN: My Talk with Ben Bella
FIFTEEN: Jawaharlal Nehru, a Leader in the Long Anti-Colonial Struggle
SIXTEEN: Where Do We Go from Here?
SEVENTEEN: Black Power
EIGHTEEN: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

PART FOUR: Overcoming the Tyranny of Poverty and Hatred
NINETEEN: The Bravest Man I Ever Met
TWENTY: The Other America
TWENTY-ONE: All Labor Has Dignity
TWENTY-TWO: The Drum Major Instinct
TWENTY-THREE: I’ve Been to the Mountaintop


The Radical King

ISBN: 978-080703452-1
Publication Date: 1/12/2016
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $16.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.
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