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4.5 

King: A Life

By Jonathan Eig
King: A Life by Jonathan Eig digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A finalist for the 2023 National Book Critics Circle Award

Named one of the ten best books of 2023 by The Washington Post | Chicago Tribune | Time


A New York Times bestseller and notable book of 2023 | One of Barack Obama's favorite books of 2023

One of The New Yorker's essential reads of 2023 | A Christian Science Monitor best book of the year | One of Air Mail's twelve best books of 2023

A Washington Post and National Indie Bestseller | One of Publishers Weekly's best nonfiction books of 2023 | One of Smithsonian magazine's ten best books of 2023

“Supple, penetrating, heartstring-pulling and compulsively readable . . . Eig’s book is worthy of its subject.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times (Editors’ Choice)


“[King is] infused with the narrative energy of a thriller . . . The most compelling account of King’s life in a generation.” —Mark Whitaker, The Washington Post

“No book could be more timely than Jonathan Eig’s sweeping and majestic new King . . . Eig has created 2023′s most vital tome.” —Will Bunch, The Philadelphia Inquirer


Hailed by The New York Times as “the new definitive biography,” King mixes revelatory new research with accessible storytelling to offer an MLK for our times.

Vividly written and exhaustively researched, Jonathan Eig’s King: A Life is the first major biography in decades of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.—and the first to include recently declassified FBI files. In this revelatory new portrait of the preacher and activist who shook the world, the bestselling biographer gives us an intimate view of the courageous and often emotionally troubled human being who demanded peaceful protest for his movement but was rarely at peace with himself. He casts fresh light on the King family’s origins as well as MLK’s complex relationships with his wife, father, and fellow activists. King reveals a minister wrestling with his own human frailties and dark moods, a citizen hunted by his own government, and a man determined to fight for justice even if it proved to be a fight to the death. As he follows MLK from the classroom to the pulpit to the streets of Birmingham, Selma, and Memphis, Eig dramatically re-creates the journey of a man who recast American race relations and became our only modern-day founding father—as well as the nation’s most mourned martyr.

In this landmark biography, Eig gives us an MLK for our times: a deep thinker, a brilliant strategist, and a committed radical who led one of history’s greatest movements, and whose demands for racial and economic justice remain as urgent today as they were in his lifetime.

Includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs

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38 Reviews

4.5
Thumbs Up
Descriptive writingEasy to readFast-pacedThought-provokingBigotryRacism
Loudly Crying Face“I don’t read a lot of biographies—maybe 1-2 a year. When I decided to read King: A Life, I was hopeful that I would get a full picture of the man. Eig certainly delivered. This biography is thorough, multilayered, moving, and well written. It’s cliche, but Eig delivers “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” He does not canonize King. I feel more admiration for King now that I know some of the deeply complicated aspects of his fight for equality. I’m also, sadly, disappointed in some of his moral failures. Reading King: A Life made King more human to me, and therefore what he accomplished is more impressive because of how much he exhausted himself in his fight. His sacrifices for equality, for fair wages, and against war and violence was truly personal. He never wavered, even when advised to shift his course by everyone from his closest advisor to the President of the United States. It’s easy to forget how young he was—only 39 at his death. It’s impossible to ignore his courage and his unmovable belief in the worth of mankind. He wasn’t a perfect husband, father, son, sibling, or leader. He was, most certainly, a champion for justice and peace. What a life, indeed.”
Thought-provokingRacismViolence

About Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig is a former senior writer for The Wall Street Journal. He is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including Ali: A Life, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season. Ken Burns calls him "a master storyteller," and Eig's books have been listed among the best of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, and Slate. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children.

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