Redemption: Martin Luther King's Final Hours


On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. returned to Memphis, six days after leading a march there to support striking garbage workers that had turned into a riot. King hoped to prove that he could lead a violent-free protest. His reputation as a credible, non-violent leader of the civil rights movement was in jeopardy. But King didn’t live long enough to lead the protest. He was assassinated the following day. Author Joe Rosenbloom’s  Redemption is an intimate look at the last thirty-one hours and twenty-eight minutes of King’s life. King was exhausted from a brutal speaking schedule. He was being denounced in the press and by political leaders as an agent of violence. He was facing dissent even within the civil rights movement and among his own staff at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In Memphis, a federal court injunction was barring him from marching. Redemption draws on dozens of interviews; fresh material reveals untold facets of the story including a never-before-reported lapse by the Memphis Police Department to provide security for King. It unveils financial and logistical dilemmas and recounts the emotional and marital pressures that were bedeviling King. Rosenbloom is an award-winning journalist who has been a staff reporter for the Boston Globe, an investigative reporter for Frontline and a senior editor for Inc. magazine. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and American Prospect. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.


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