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A vivid portrait of how Americans grappled with King's death and legacy in the days, weeks, and months after his assassination.
On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. At the time of his murder, King was a polarizing figure--scorned by many white Americans, worshipped by some African Americans and liberal whites, and deemed irrelevant by many black youth. In The Heavens Might Crack, historian Jason Sokol traces the diverse responses, both in America and throughout the world, to King's death. Whether celebrating or mourning, most agreed that the final flicker of hope for a multiracial America had been extinguished.
A deeply moving account of a country coming to terms with an act of shocking violence, The Heavens Might Crack is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand America's fraught racial past and present.
Praise for The Heavens Might Crack:
"The Heavens Might Crack is an important, timely, and invigorating addition to the vast literature on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By examining the evolution of King's legacy after his death with great care and deft analysis, historian Jason Sokol offers new insights into the meaning of a life that continues to shape contemporary American democracy."
-- Peniel E. Joseph, author of Stokely: A Life
"Jason Sokol's book is not a biography of MLK, it is something more.... A most powerful book: well written, deeply researched, thoughtful, and honest."
-- Nick Salvatore, Cornell University
Jason Sokol is the Arthur K. Whitcomb Associate Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire. The author of two critically acclaimed books on the history of the civil rights movement, Sokol lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.