by Sukey HowardMay, 1998
Taylor Branch won the Pulitzer Prize for Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, and he may well be do for an encore award with the second volume in this trilogy, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65 (6 hours). Branch brings fascinating detail to the story while capturing the larger historical context and significance of the events. King was a rare man for this century, perhaps for any, and his words, his unshakable belief in morality, non-violence, and the elementary justice guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment had the strength to move the movement and, eventually, masses of Americans of every color. As you hear his words and relive the obstacles that had to be overcome seething racism, hardened resistance to integration, unchecked terrorism, Presidential indifference, vicious FBI interference his accomplishments take on their deservedly epic proportions. Joe Morton and C.C.H. Pounder take turns reading, offering eloquent narration that underscores the eloquence of the text. Reviewed by Sukey Howard.