Death of a King

  • by Tavis Smiley, David Ritz
  • Narrated by Tavis Smiley
  • 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the 12 months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.
Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times best-selling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations - denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few - all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.
Smiley's Death of a King paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life - one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.

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What the Critics Say

"Death of a King is a fitting climax to a noble saga. It is here adequately told and placed before history." (Reverend Gardner C. Taylor)
"Tavis Smiley has captured not only the spirit of the movement, but the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. in his last days. We didn't realize it but he knew he was on his way to Jerusalem, and as much as we tried to deter him, he fought back." (Andrew Young, United States ambassador to the United Nations and former mayor of Atlanta)
"One of the most important political voices of his generation." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An important book

What made the experience of listening to Death of a King the most enjoyable?

This is a fascinating piece of history, read with simple conviction by the author. I could not imagine a different narrator.


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- Piotr

An amazing tribute to the King Legacy

What made the experience of listening to Death of a King the most enjoyable?

The real story of King's final year will send chills down your spine, the betrayal by friends and the media, the depression, the imperfections of MLK and eventually the regicide give readers/listeners a tragic look into the life of one of Americas most heroic leaders.


Have you listened to any of Tavis Smiley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was his first performance


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book made me aware and put me at peace with the real legacy of MLK


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- Ernest

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-09-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio