The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream

Gary Younge



"[In] this slim but powerful book . . . Younge is adept at both distilling the facts and asking blunt questions."—Boston Globe

"Unequivocal."—Financial Times

"Gary Younge's meditative retrospection on [the speech's] significance reminds us of all the micro-moments of transformation behind the scenes—the thought and preparation, vision and revision—whose currency fed that magnificent lightning bolt in history."—Patricia J. Williams

Gary Younge explains why Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech maintains its powerful social relevance by sharing the dramatic story surrounding it. Fifty years later, "The Speech" endures as a defining moment in the Civil Rights movement and a guiding light in the ongoing struggle for racial equality.

Younge roots his work in new and important interviews with Clarence Jones, a close friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and his draft speechwriter; with Joan Baez, a singer at the march; and with Angela Davis and other leading civil rights leaders. Younge skillfully captures the spirit of that historic day in Washington and offers a new generation of readers a critical modern analysis of why "I Have a Dream" remains America's favorite speech.

"Journalist Gary Younge offers a fascinating examination of not only the famous “I Have a Dream” speech of Martin Luther King, Jr., but also of the1963 March on Washington and the dynamics surrounding it. He includes critical perspective on how a still-racist society has misframed the speech, and on the need to regain a more radical understanding of it—and King." --Analysis, poet, minister and Red Emma's bookseller

ISBN 9781608464234
List price $17.95
Publisher Haymarket Books
Year of publication 2015