The author achieves a great deal in a short space, covering the life of Martin Luther King largely by headline and the well known events of the day. His style is factual and concise, and gives a coherent overview and analysis of King's driving religous philosophy and practical politics. Much background detail and human interest element is necessarily lost, but the overall effect is brisk and not too drily factual. King's one-line critique of Marxism is quoted to great effect. He shows that King acheived the near-impossible - a radical, and radically effective, but moderate political position, which harnessed wide support and led to massive social change for the good. The proof of his rightness is strangely most evident in the opposition that he received. Neither the extreme Black Power groups who advocated violence, or the spineless wet appeasers who protested that he should temper his words and stick to preaching, came near to harnessing the lasting, positive, and effectual driving force for social justice that King did. Harmer maintains considerable objectivity throughout, and in an area that arouses violent passion and debate to this day. He is not afraid to tackle the actions of the iniquitous vested interests of the day, for instance the role of the FBI, top politicians, and powerful white businessmen. Bravo.
This report prepared by Michael JR Jose