April 4, 1968 by Michael Eric Dyson

April 4, 1968

On April 4, 1968, at 6:01 PM, while he was standing on a balcony at a Memphis hotel, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and fatally wounded. Only hours earlier King—the prophet for racial and economic justice in America—ended his final speech with the words, “I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.”Acclaimed public intellectual and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyso...

Details April 4, 1968

TitleApril 4, 1968
Release DateApr 1st, 2008
PublisherCivitas Books
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, North American Hi..., American History, Biography, Politics

Reviews April 4, 1968

  • Tyler
    Racism. Whenever some intellectually gullible juvenile either sees or hears that word, they assume it’s just about basic hatred among different color lines. What’s really striking is that racism is so much more than just a name you give someone or a stereotype you assume upon physical contact; racism is what we’ve inevitably lived upon. In Michael Eric Dyson’s novel, “April 4, 1968;” many undocumented confrontations and truths from th...
  • Linda Lipko
    When I read an incredibly well-written book, I am in awe of the ability to make sharp, creative images with words. Michael Dyson is such an author. I took time to read this fascinating book, not only because I am very interested in the civil rights movement, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s major contribution, but also because it was a very complex subject rendered understandable with the beautiful natural flow of words..I've read many books which st...
  • Aine
    There were multiple times during the reading of this book, that I had to shout YEAH! Also, Michael Eric Dyson is so well-spoken it's somewhat intimidating.
  • Christopher
    This was a fine book up until the end. It's a light look into the effects of King's life and death on the Civil Rights Movement. I learned some things, especially about King's connections to Jesse Jackson and his influence on Al Sharpton. It also gives a brief summary of the differences in philosophy between King and other prominent black figures, contemporary with King and later. But then Dyson ends it all with an imaginary interview with King, ...
  • Jeff
    This is like taking a graduate course from Dyson on the implications of King's death. This is definitely an analysis, and the reader should realize that the writing seems to reflect Dyson's opinion rather than strictly historical fact. The rise of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Barack Obama at the end of the book make for particularly interesting reading. Overall this is a very informative book.
  • Doug
    Dyson looks at how King and other civil rights leaders lived with an awareness of assassination. He makes a case that when King died he was idolized and relegated to the past. This overlooks his human flaws. It also ignores how his work moved to issues of poverty and the Vietnam War during his last year. (Tavis Smiley talks about this in his recent book on King.) Dyson examines how social problems effect African Americans to a great degree now. K...
  • Eric
    From the review I posted at Amazon.com:Dyson gives us a good work here, although not his best. He should have subtitled the work, "King's Death as a Theology." For he attempts to use King's allusions to death, predictions of his own death, rhetoric of death, and the death of King itself as paradigms for understanding the post-Civil Rights era race pathos in America: Through racial injustice we are killing American society in general, and African ...
  • Dave B.
    I am a fan of Dyson’s analysis concerning African American current affairs. In this book Dyson was able to provide some insightful perspective for current day African American existence as reflected through the lens of MLK’s assassination April 4, 1968. These insights include: a new view on the progression of MLK’s political views (his migration from racial equality to economic justice, a MLK perspective on social economic progress for Afri...
  • Rachel Simone
    Interesting analysis of MLK Jr's impact before and after his death and how his death immortalized and re-popularized him. I enjoyed the analysis of subsequent leaders of the movement,specifically Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. This was published in early 2008, so it includes some things about President Obama and hopes for the future. I would like to read Michael Eric Dyson's analysis of the Black Lives Matter movement, focusing on the seemingly d...
  • Michael
    Part biography, part analysis of King’s impact on America both pre and post death. I enjoyed it for the most part and learned a few new things. The author examines both ways in which King’s “Dream” has been reached, and also areas where we have fallen short.Growing up in a racially homogeneous small rural town I grew up thinking that racism was a thing of the past. The most popular show on TV featured a Black family, and my walls were pla...
  • Cameron DeHart
    Taking off one star because I found the afterword really offensive. Dyson writes a fake interview with MLK on his 80th birthday, and Dyson just puts a bunch of 21st century leftist words into MLK's mouth. I agree with everything he said, of course, but I found the whole exercise tacky and offensive in its puff piece idol-worship of King. I like 80% of what Dyson writes. The latter chapters in this book, documenting King's legacy through Jackson, ...
  • Robin J
    Where this book succeeds is when Dyson writes about Martin Luther King, his humanity, his fears and his vision for the future of America. Dyson rescues King from immortality, reminding his readers of the amazing courage it took to do what he and other Civl Rights workers did and he brilliantly delineates how King's martyrdom has diminished his accomplishments: "But martyrdom also forced onto King's dead body the face of a toothless tiger. His thr...
  • Matt Fitz
    No one should read Michael Eric Dyson unless you are ready to be uncomfortable. This is my second book, and I felt myself figuratively fidgeting in my seat and wrestling with my own anger, sadness, disappointment and frustration. Dyson evokes this intentionally through a narrative prose that I think MLK would find pleasing. He explores King's legacy through anecdotal accounts and relationships (Jesse Jackson, Ralph Abernathy, Al Sharpton) and put...
  • Ngaio
    I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I expected a history book and instead got a personal essay musing on a number of topics. It is less about MLK and more about the question of legacy and of justice. I found the ideas it presented intriguing and thought-provoking. It was well-written and well-performed for the audiobook (I was surprised to find out the author read it as his MLK impression was quite good. I expected an actor). It was a touch ...
  • Emily
    I was very excited to read this book but was quickly disappointed. Before I knew it we weren’t talking about MLK anymore but endless statistics and I was starting to think what book am I reading again? When we switched back to talking about MLK I was happy. I picked up this book to read about him but I guess I forgot the “and how it changed America” part of the title because again we just started talking about our country in general. No mor...
  • Scott Martin
    This audiobook was a concise, but insightful read about the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death on American society, in the immediate aftermath and in the years following the assassination. The work analyzes aspects of King's life, and while not providing an in-depth biography, it did highlight some of the challenges King faced in the later part of his life, from the fight against poverty to dealing with a loss of prestige in the late 1960s....
  • Dave McNeely
    This was not precisely the book I expected it to be. Rather than a deep take on the circumstances of King's death and the transition in his later years from dreamer to martyr, Dyson spends the majority of this book assessing the state of Black America since King's death. As always, Dyson makes statements that are simultaneously bold, provocative, and beautiful and challenges the reader not to settle for simplified legacies that fail to address th...
  • Brendan
    A factual account of three biggies in the civil rights movement - MLK, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton - with a brief discussion of Obama. If you've ever heard Dr Tyson speak, the book reads as he speaks. Lots of words crammed in. Dr Tyson is an academic, and he sounds one. The guy knows a lot. I enjoyed the interpersonal accounts of the three men. There is an awkward 'what if' interview at the end of the book. Dr Tyson interviews an 80-yr-old MLK,...
  • Andrew
    The book is mostly historical with a long fictional interview at the end. This book dives into Martin Luther King, Jr's death and the people around his death. People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are both discussed in detail. This book also frames the differences in philosophy between King and other prominent black figures like Malcolm X. The fictional interview at the end drags this book down to a 2 star rating. I'm uncertain why Dyson was ...
  • Adam Shields
    Short Review: This is a scattered book that is on the legacy of King's death more than King himself. There are three interesting mini-biographies of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Barak Obama. And imagined interview with MLK Jr on his 80th birthday and a lot more.There is some really good content, but scattered and not well integrated. This is the third book of Dyson's that I have read this year. The first two The Black Presidency and Tears We C...
  • Tonya Green
    I thought this book ended beautifully and then there was a weird pseudo interview with long dead, 80 year MLK.... strange at best, tacky and unnecessary at worst. I understand that MLK is revered and his life was cut way too short and people want to know what he would have thought of modern day America, but let’s not create pretend interviews and opinions. It’s in poor taste. MLK said what he said when he was alive and nothing more.
  • Brad Duncan
    I really disliked how Michael Eric Dyson hijacked MLK's life story by puppeting what what MLK would have thought about social issues of our time. This book spent just as much time talking about quasi-related social issues and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson as it actually did about MLK. Don't come here for a biography of MLK.
  • Steven Yenzer
    Although some of the book provides the history of King's death and subsequent events (as advertised), it meanders a little too much for my taste, diving into examples of inequality and racism in today's society as well as Dyson's critiques of modern black leaders.
  • Elizabeth Huff
    I read this book too late, I’m sure it would have been better 10 years ago when the events and statistics were more recent. That being said, it was still good to reflect on the legacy of MLK Jr and what his words mean today and how I can live them.
  • Amanda Robertson
    Good points, but real wordy. Easy to lose interest. I stopped 1/2 way through.
  • Jay
    Not what I was expecting, but a good book nonetheless
  • Ward
    Michael Eric Dyson has a killer MLK impression that he liberally uses to spice up the audio book version.
  • M Christopher
    An interesting look at Dr. King's life, death, and the consequences of his early death. Dyson begins with a section on how death stalked MLK, both in reality and in his mind, and how the great preacher used his ever-present sense of his own mortality to fuel his work and words. There is also a good deal about how Dr. King's death robbed America, and particularly Black America, of a more direct path toward better racial understanding and relations...
  • matt
    To be fair, I'd probably rate this 3.5 stars if such technology were available, but alas...Goodreads simply doesn't allow for such nuance. Having read some MED before, I knew I would be facing minimal facts married to chapters of conjecture but that's what makes his writing so compelling/easy to read. Those looking for a true historical perspective would best look elsewhere. That being said, MED's interpretation/analysis of MLK's death and its su...