At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
King explained from the parable in Luke. “He went to hell because he passed Lazarus by.” Until dusk, outside Scatchell’s BBQ on Pulaski Avenue, King pleaded with listeners to march with him in numbers. “Take a day off on Monday,” he cried. “You know, we don’t make much money anyhow.” Leaving behind most of the entourage to scatter in recruitment, hoping to silence press jibes that recent downtown protests had mustered fewer than a thousand, King ventured seventeen miles north along Lake Michigan
relegating integration to a charitable zone at the margin of politics. His press secretary later confided that Daley’s “idea of affirmative action was nine Irishmen and a Swede.” PRESIDENT JOHNSON underwent surgery after the election to remove a throat polyp and repair the scar from his gall bladder operation, while submitting also to political pain he could defer no longer. Announcements dribbled out that the ceiling for the ongoing Vietnam buildup would rise from 400,000 to 470,000 troops,
Non-Violence,” and decoys distracted the crowd with shouts of “Make way for Rap Brown!” It was “awful,” King told Levision after woodenly completing the address. “The black nationalists gave me trouble. They kept interrupting me, kept yelling things at me.” A police surveillance report noted that King looked “afraid, worried and tired” as he left the Coliseum. He ducked out of Chicago early the next morning. Foreboding and clashes in the hallways made Julian Bond abandon the conference, too, even
Time”: Renata Adler, “Letter from Selma,” New Yorker, April 10, 1965, p. 121. lurched forward at 12:46 P.M.: FBI Selma to Director, March 21, 1965, FSMM-48. The New York Times put the start time a minute later at 12:47, NYT, March 21, 1965, p. 26. the networks would fire anyone who missed impact footage: Int. Frank Soracco, Sept. 12–14, 1990; Young, Burden, p. 364. a moving shield of volunteer marshals: Int. Ivanhoe Donaldson, Nov. 30, 2000; Fager, Selma, 1965, pp. 150–51. with nineteen jeeps
Lowndes County. Aides argued that it was suicidal futility for King to venture there with personal appeals for white officials to accept Negro applicants, and some traced anticipated disaster on several fronts to the lunatic streak in James Bevel. Doubts about Bevel were legion in King’s inner circle. Bevel himself claimed to hear voices. His rival, Hosea Williams of Savannah, regularly denounced Bevel to King as unstable, even though Williams himself had pioneered night marches through Klan