“Americans who believe in justice and equality for all cannot afford to miss the book” (Benjamin Mays).
“The chronicle of fifty thousand Negroes who took to heart the principles of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their own human worth.”
First edition first printing of Martin Luther King’s account of a pivotal turning point in American history.
Copy preserved in publisher’s cloth with original dust jacket.
King, Martin Luther. Stride toward freedom. The Montgomery story.
Harper and Brothers, New York, 1958.
8vo of 230 pp. with photos in black and white, a few stains.
Original dustjacket with some wear and stains with the publisher’s $2.95 printed price present on the front flap.
207 x 140 mm.
First edition, first printing.
“Many books record history; a few books make history. Stride Toward Freedom will, I believe, do both.” (Christian Century).
“Martin Luther King’s early words return to us today with enormous power, as profoundly true, as wise and inspiring, now as when he wrote them fifty years ago.”(Howard Zinn).
Stride Toward Freedom is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s account of the first successful large-scale application of nonviolence resistance in America is comprehensive, revelatory, and intimate.
King described his book as “the chronicle of fifty thousand Negroes who took to heart the principles of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their own human worth.”.
“In Stride Toward Freedom, King delineates racial conditions in Montgomery before, during, and after the bus boycott. He discusses the origin and significance of the boycott, the roles that residents, civic leaders, and community organizations played in organizing and sustaining the movement, and the reactions of white Montgomery officials and residents. According to King, before the boycott African Americans in Montgomery were victims of segregation and poverty, but after the boycott, when bus desegregation was achieved, they evidenced a new level of self-respect. King points out that most African Americans in Montgomery accepted a nonviolent approach because they trusted their leaders when they told them that nonviolence was the essence of active Christianity.
In the chapter “Pilgrimage to Nonviolence,” King delves into the intellectual influences that led him to nonviolent philosophy. He discusses the impact made upon his thinking by the works of Thoreau, Marx, Aristotle, Rauschenbusch, and Gandhi.
Stride Toward Freedom was officially released on 17 September 1958. It was lauded by both the general public and literary critics, who repeatedly labeled it “‘must’ reading” (Mays, “My View”). In describing the book in 1958, Benjamin Mays wrote, “Americans who believe in justice and equality for all cannot afford to miss the book. Negroes can not afford to miss it because it tells us again how we can work against evil with dignity, pride and self-respect” (“My View”)” (The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute).
Copy preserved in publisher’s cloth in original dust jacket.
Old possessor’s inscriptions.