At Canaan's Edge (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
Taylor Branch spent decades researching and writing his massive three-volume biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-1963 (1989) won the Pulitzer Prize in history, and Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-1965 (1998) was an equally compelling narrative of the next critical period in the life of the civil rights leader and of the United States. Now, in At Canaan’s Edge, Branch concludes this trilogy with a detailed account of the last three years of King’s life. Like the earlier volumes, At Canaan’s Edge is a fascinating, detailed biography at the same time it is a brilliant analysis of the United States in one of its most defining moments. Even more, however, At Canaan’s Edge has the advantage of knowing what went before, and it builds on the first two volumes to conclude the life of its extraordinary subject, summarize the Civil Rights movement he headed, and describe the nation that struggled to understand and undertake what he asked.
The outline of this biography and history is easy to follow. At Canaan’s Edge opens in Selma, Alabama, in February of 1965, with the plan to march fifty miles (through Lowndes County, where no black person had voted in the twentieth century) to Montgomery, the state capital, to dramatize nationally the need for voting rights legislation. This first of four books in the volume, titled “Selma: The...
(The entire section is 1752 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
American Scholar 75, no. 2 (Spring, 2006): 133-135.
The Economist 378 (February 18, 2006): 79-80.
Kirkus Reviews 73, no. 24 (December 15, 2005): 1306.
The Nation 282, no. 12 (March 27, 2006): 31-34.
The New York Review of Books 53, no. 6 (April 6, 2006): 20-26.
The New York Times 155 (January 13, 2006): E35-E42.
The New York Times Book Review 155 (February 5, 2006): 1-9.
The New Yorker 81, no. 45 (January 23, 2006): 86-91.
Publishers Weekly 252, no. 50 (December 19, 2005): 54.
(The entire section is 52 words.)