James Baldwin’s “The Dangerous Road Before Martin Luther King,” in The Price of the Ticket (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985) offers a detailed consideration of the difficulties facing King. David J. Garrow’s Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (New York: Vintage Books, 1986) examines the strategies of civil rights protests and conflicts between various civil rights groups. Penelope McPhee and Flip Schulke’s King Remembered (New York: Pocket Books, 1986) ia s concise introductory biography of King that focuses on his philosophy as a leader of a nonviolent movement.
Certain Trumpets (1994), by Garry Wills, contains a chapter on King that carefully analyzes the origins and influences of this famous speech. The text of the speech can be found in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1986), a one-volume collection of King’s writings, speeches, interviews, and reflections edited by James M. Washington.