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An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King

The definitive account of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
On April 4 1968, Martin Luther King was in Memphis supporting a workers' strike. By nightfall, army snipers were in position, military officers were on a nearby roof with cameras, and Lloyd Jowers had been paid to remove the gun after the fatal shot was fired. When the dust had settled, King had been hit and a clean-up operation was set in motion-James Earl Ray was framed, the crime scene was destroyed, and witnesses were killed. William Pepper, attorney and friend of King, has conducted a thirty-year investigation into his assassination. In 1999, Loyd Jowers and other co-conspirators were brought to trial in a civil action suit on behalf of the King family. Seventy witnesses set out the details of a conspiracy that involved J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, the military, Memphis police, and organized crime. The jury took an hour to find for the King family. In An Act of State, you finally have the truth before you-how the US government shut down a movement for social change by stopping its leader dead in his tracks.

Reviews

  • “Pepper has gathered an impressive array of testimony and evidence that, even to determined skeptics, throws a major doubt over the state’s case against James Earl Ray.”
  • “Passionate, disturbing, and well-researched.”
  • “Within the first chapter, An Act of State presents enough circumstantial evidence to raise questions about Ray’s involvement as the sole assassin.”
  • “We recommend this book to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr. King's assassination.”
  • “No one has done more than Dr William F. Pepper to keep alive the quest for truth concerning the violent death of Martin Luther King.”

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    Black Panther women, West Oakland, 1970.

    Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (ed. David J. Garrow), The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (University of Texas Press, 1987)

    Many people know that Rosa Parks was a trained and seasoned political activist before the famous day when she decided to stay in her bus seat. But few are aware of the large, well-organized network of black women in Montgomery that transformed her arrest into a historic campaign of mass noncompliance. This engaging memoir by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, a key initiator of the Montgomery bus boycott, reveals the behind-the-scenes work of local organizers who had long been waiting and planning for the right opportunity to challenge racial segregation in their city when Parks was arrested. In an era when movements rely heavily on the internet to mobilize participation, there's much to learn from the extraordinary tale of how black women in Montgomery sprang into action the moment Parks was arrested, secretly distributing more than 50,000 leaflets throughout their community in fewer than 24 hours, and thus launching the boycott without tipping off the city's white leadership.

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