At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68
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At Canaan's Edge concludes America in the King Years, a three-volume history that will endure as a masterpiece of storytelling on American race, violence, and democracy. Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author Taylor Branch makes clear in this magisterial account of the civil rights movement that Martin Luther King, Jr., earned a place next to James Madison and Abraham Lincoln in the pantheon of American history.
of CBS News, Fred Friendly. The departure itself generated controversy because of Friendly’s reputation as a champion of journalistic duty to foster debate on great public issues. In 1954, he had produced a watershed CBS broadcast by Edward R. Murrow that helped puncture the intimidating spell of Senator Joe McCarthy. Now Friendly’s own downfall marked resurgent conflict over loyalty and dissent in a war crisis. President Johnson ventured a confidential call to Time founder Henry R. Luce for
thirty-three. “Is it because the Commission does not want to recognize that women’s rights are human rights?” she asked on the House floor. “Or is it an unconscious desire to alienate women from the Negroes’ civil rights movement? Human rights cannot be divided into competitive pieces.” Tempers flared in the June 29 caucus at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Legal strategist Pauli Murray among others proposed a new organization modeled on the NAACP to push for gender equity in the enforcement of
of Dallas County not be disillusioned with their first experience in actual participation in a local election…. From that time until the federal court decided the contest twenty days later, federal observers guarded the boxes.” Wallace asserted his full hegemony: Lesher, George Wallace, p. 366; Orfield, Reconstruction, pp. 266–68. SNCC’s annual meeting: Accounts of the May 8–14, 1966 SNCC staff meeting at Kingston Springs, Tennessee, include Forman, Making, pp. 447–56; Carson, Struggle, pp.
and Marvin Watson to LBJ, Aug. 23, 1967, with attached FBI monograph, “SNCC: Black Power,” Box 73B, OFMS, LBJ. “commandos occupying the place”: Wiretap transcript of telephone call between Stanley Levison and William Rutherford, 10:30 P.M., Feb. 8, 1968, FLNY-9-1579a. “serious tactical error”: Carmichael, Ready, pp. 646–50. “Well, if you are against this”: Int. William Rutherford, Dec. 7, 2004; int. Jefferson Rogers, June 14, 2005. 690 banished the word “Negro”: NYT, Feb. 26, 1968, p. 31. 690
demonstrators invited their own oppressors into the Founders’ novel compact of political equals. They challenged hierarchy and heredity, like the original patriots, to transform “the relationship between government and the people,” Levison wrote. For all his balanced wisdom, Levison was not a seer, and his letter to King understated the watershed of Selma. He predicted the overthrow of segregation’s “agrarian interests,” but not the resulting miracle of Sunbelt prosperity for the South. He