Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963Read about the other books on the list.
by Taylor Branch
The Civil Rights Movement was in many ways a grass-roots response to decades of oppression. But it was also the outcome of carefully orchestrated political actions and behind-the-scenes negotiations between leaders who collaborated -- and sometimes competed. Branch's magnificent three-part series, which begins with Parting the Waters, renders the epic story of the movement's march to legal triumph.
Parting the Waters is one of Gal Beckerman's six favorite books about political movements.