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"King: A Life," The latest biography from author Jonathan Eig

Journalist Jonathan Eig's new book King: A Life draws on new research from declassified FBI files.
Author photo by photographer Doug McGoldrick. Book cover courtesy publisher.
Journalist Jonathan Eig's new book King: A Life draws on new research from declassified FBI files.

Writer and journalist Jonathan Eig is the author of a new biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The book is the first biography of the civil rights icon for more than three decades.

Jonathan Eig incorporated research material unavailable previous biographers, including hundreds of pages from the files of a close aide to U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, made available last year.

One of the book's revelations is that a widely-circulated quote from King criticizing Malcolm X had been faked. Through his research, Eig found King had been misquoted i a famous interview for "Playboy," with some quotes completely fabricated.

Eig reminds us that Dr. King’s career as the public face of the civil rights movement was tragically brief. He was gunned-down on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in 1968, just 13 years after he had burst onto the scene as the leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is an iconic figure who is revered around the world. It’s easy to forget that in 1963, when he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, nearly 80% of Americans disapproved of the March on Washington as it was happening, in real time. Eig helps us understand King, in our time.

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