At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68

At Canaan's Edge concludes America in the King Years, a three-volume history that will endure as a masterpiece of storytelling on American race, violence, and democracy. Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author Taylor Branch makes clear in this magisterial account of the civil rights movement that Martin Luther King, Jr., earned a place next to James Madison and Abraham Lincoln in the pantheon of American history. In At Canaan's Edge, King and his movement stand at the zenith of America's defining story, one decade into an epic struggle for the promises of democracy. Branch opens with the authorities' violent suppression of a voting-rights march in Alabama on March 7, 1965. The quest to cross Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge engages the conscience of the world, strains the civil rights coalition, and embroils King in negotiations with all three branches of the U.S. government.

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By Richard (Danville, PA) · ★★★★★ · January 20, 2015
"At Canaan's Edge" is the final volume of the trilogy of Taylor Branch's masterful telling of the tumult occurring on the social and political scene in the United States in the middle of the twentieth century. The important civil rights-related struggles of 1965 to 1968 are covered. The most trou... ...more
By Lee Anne (Columbus, OH) · ★★★★☆ · January 09, 2015
I just finished (finally!). Either I'm older (and smarter), or this was the most readable volume in the trilogy. I didn't cry at the very end, but the "Mountaintop" speech did me in, and I'm glad to live in an internet age, since I could immediately go to YouTube and listen to the speech in its e... ...more
By Aaron (The United States) · ★★★★★ · August 15, 2008
The transformation of MLK in the American imagination is rather remarkable. In a generation, King went from one of the most divisive (if not the most divisive) figure in America to one of the few historical figures that can act as a touchstone to all mainstream ideological factions; it is one of... ...more
By Alex (San Francisco, CA) · ★★★★★ · July 15, 2008
Though the level of detail is impressive, Pillar of Fire is bookended by two much stronger works. In this book, there's a palpable feeling of the tide pulling towards historic inevitability, but at the same time, you get a real sense that the what is today the known past was a most uncertain futu... ...more
By Mari (The United States) · ★★★★★ · August 01, 2012
Parting the Waters was damned near perfect. Pillar of Fire lost its focus a bit by trying too hard to compare and contrast Dr. King and Malcolm X. At Canaan's Edge returns to what makes Branch so good: his immense grasp of context. This book focuses on the push-pull of Lyndon Johnson with and ver... ...more
By Andrew (Dayton, OH) · ★★★★☆ · February 18, 2014
This was a very good historical treatment of the Civil Rights Era. I learned a lot that I did not know. Through school, we only ever covered up through WWII at the most. The school year would be over before we got any further. The third book of the trilogy dealt a lot with Vietnam and Martin Luth... ...more
By Michael (Concepcion, Chile) · ★★★☆☆ · September 11, 2013
Finishing this final book in Branch's King trilogy took me several months. I greatly enjoyed it but also got fatigued. The first section, discussing Selma, and the final section, discussing Memphis, are both gripping and fascinating. There is, oh course, also a lot of trees in this forest. King's... ...more
By Jamie (Winnipeg, MB, Canada) · ★★★★☆ · February 21, 2014
An incredibly detailed but still utterly readable look at the United States during the final three years of MLK's life... as filtered through his life, in fact. I found this one really hard to put down, partly because Branch was willing to show his principal characters in all of their humanity. A... ...more
By Kristal (Lawton, OK) · ★★★★★ · March 19, 2015
This is a synthesized collection of events and news reports from the era. The book is appropriately titled because it's not specifically about Dr. King, though he is the most frequently appearing in a cast of the day's influential players that also includes Lyndon Johnson, Malcolm X and John Lewi... ...more
By Chris (Fairfax, VA) · ★★★★★ · April 15, 2013
I'm not sure there's anything comparable to Branch's work on King and the Civil Rights Movement, maybe David Garrow's "Bearing the Cross." Highly recommended. ...more