Critical studies of the range of King’s public discourse as forms of sermonic rhetoric
The nine essays in this volume offer critical studies of the range of King’s public discourse as forms of sermonic rhetoric. They focus on five diverse and relative short examples from King’s body of work: “Death of Evil on the Seashore,” “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” “I Have a Dream,” “A Time to Break Silence,” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”
Taken collectively, these five works span both the duration of King’s career as a public advocate but also represent the broad scope of his efforts to craft and project a persuasive vision a beloved community that persists through time.
"This stimulating book consists of nine essays—preceded by an instructive introduction and followed by a useful bibliography—[and] the authors not only show the effectiveness of King's rhetoric, but they also place each of his works in historical context."
—Journal of American History
"The essays range from windy city to thunder road, from temple to garbage truck, from judicious inferences drawn from a remarkable array of primary sources to worshipful scrutiny of oratorical text. Several authors stress the relative merit and impact of Dr. King's oral works. Students of King's thought, idiom, deficiencies, and triumphs should examine the insightful and provocative findings in this carefully edited book."
—Georgia Historical Quarterly