Book Review | Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech That Transformed a Nation by Clarence B. Jones

behindThis book knocked my socks off. Full of fascinating, behind the scenes info on the “I Have a Dream” speech, Behind the Dream is a book that should be read by everyone.

While I’ve of course read and heard the speech many times in my 32 years, I’d never stopped to consider how the speech was written – or by whom. This book answers those questions and many others I never would have thought to ask. There were so many different fractions of the Civil Rights Movement, and each of them wanted something else from Dr. King – and from this particular speech. It was fascinating to learn about the behind-the-scenes politics, and specifically about the author’s last minute, split-second decision to copyright the speech. This was basically unheard of at the time, and it led to massive revenue for an exceptional cause.

The final chapter was very topical and covered issues like Occupy Wall Street and the election of our first black president. The ideas presented were extremely insightful, and the opinions were very well argued. I can’t say I agree 100% with the author on everything he had to say, but he certainly wrote a thought-provoking book that presented an insider’s view on an important event in American history.

p.s. Thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers and the publisher for my complementary review copy.

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