Books: A Time for Heroes, Not Saints

PARTING THE WATERS: AMERICA IN THE KING YEARS 1954-1963

by Taylor Branch; Simon & Schuster; 1,064 pages; $24.95

In the summer of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech to a crowd of 250,000 that had massed in Washington to support passage of civil rights legislation. It was a high moment. The Georgia preacher's cadences rolled over the Reflecting Pool like God's own truth; the Washington Monument loomed like Mount Sinai. As Mahalia Jackson chimed in, King concluded with the resounding hope that blacks and whites would join hands to sing, in the words of an...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!