Extended Audio Sample

Download Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63 Audiobook, by Taylor Branch Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.55 out of 54.55 out of 54.55 out of 54.55 out of 54.55 out of 5 4.55 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Taylor Branch Narrator: C. C. H. Pounder, Joe Morton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 1998 ISBN: 9780743548120
Regular Price: $15.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations.

This audio adaptation focuses primarily on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the key moments that defined his rise to the forefront of the civil rights movement. From Rosa Parks' monumental arrest in Montgomery to King's imprisonment in Birmingham and his triumphant march on Washington, Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness. He illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder. Download and start listening now!

BK_SANS_000119

Quotes & Awards

  • “A compelling story, masterfully told.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Already, in this chronicle, there is the material of Iliad after Iliad…There is no time in our history of which we can be more proud.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “In remarkable, meticulous detail, Branch provides us with the most complex and unsentimental version of King and his times yet produced.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Endlessly instructive and fascinating, thorough, stupendous. Now the source and standard in its field.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “ A masterpiece… remarkably revealing… The past, miraculously, seems to spring back to life. ”

    Newsweek

  • “Simply superior in every aspect.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “Important…a marvelous book about a man and a movement.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “Superb.”

    USA Today

  • Winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for History
  • Winner of the 1989 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest
  • A 1988 New York Times Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1988 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 1989 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 1989 Ambassador Book Award for Biography/Autobiography
  • A 1989 National Book Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Mcintosh | 2/18/2014

    " This whole series if unbelievably good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 2/3/2014

    " This series is a must read for every American who wants to consider herself educated. A truly great book on a great chapter of American history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie | 2/3/2014

    " so i somehow escaped high school without ever having taken a class on US history (long story). years later, i was working with an organization trying to organize a national campaign, and i felt the need to educate myself on the civil rights movement. i couldn't have found a better source than parting the waters. what i enjoyed most was branch's analysis of the power struggles within the civil rights movement, and his willingness to shatter the facade of infalliability americans have created around MLK Jr. (also, having read it in my spare time freed up more time for beer drinking during graduate school). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gayle | 2/2/2014

    " Although I got carpel tunnel holding it, absolutely amazing.....Book that all Americans should read. On to Vol 2, hopefully in paperback. Although I was alive during the times covered in this book, and have some memory of some events ...wow learned a whole history of my times, and a very important one, that my education failed me on....never too late though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mac | 2/2/2014

    " Part two of the best researched and written history of the Civil Rights years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennysdavis | 1/28/2014

    " A must-read for anyone who thinks he/she knows anything about the civil rights era. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachelle | 1/25/2014

    " This book is long and detailed, but well worth the effort. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Puddinheadjoe | 1/22/2014

    " I have never torn through a history book like I have this trilogy. Dense with the fundamentals as well as the details, Branch gives an unflinching portrait of an America coming to terms with one aspect of its dark history. Heroes and villains have never seemed and perhaps never will seem so clearly on the right or wrong side. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edgar | 1/17/2014

    " This is a long, but important book. If you think you knew what the Civil Rights Era was, you will be completely amazed at the life of MLK as he becomes a powerful symbol of freedom. Overall, the book is a must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/14/2014

    " I so love that the bookstore in my town puts certain authors on sale for $1.00... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Selika | 1/14/2014

    " Excellent must read on Civil Rights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Leach | 12/2/2013

    " The most well-written and thorough version of the most important story in American history "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 10/20/2013

    " Incredible. Both in terms of content, and length. Nearly 3 years of on-and-off reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean Reed | 8/25/2013

    " Thorough reflection of civil rights during these years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valentina | 7/25/2013

    " I LOVED this book. I mean this thing is ~1000pp long and it kept me up at night in eager anticipation of what was going to happen next. But this is a three volume set and the second one, for some reason, is just gathering dust. I can't get into it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Timothy McCluskey | 4/7/2013

    " Taylor Branch has written a marvelous book. The first hundred pages, the history of the African-American Church is perhaps the best history of the church's development. The chapter on the Montgomery boycott is a primer on movement organizing. This first volume is the strongest of the the trilogy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Legge | 1/6/2013

    " I enjoyed learning about MLK, the era, other important figures of the time. But, the minute detail eventually wore me down, and I stopped short of finishing the 900+ pages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rochelle | 12/7/2012

    " Moving through the deep South with Freedom Riders as US comes of age as a nuclear superpower.....Wow, a masterful handling of a complex subject and a turbulent time. I can't praise Taylor Branch's first book enough for its balanced thoughtful analysis of its subject. Worthy to be called a standard. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 8/8/2012

    " Very well done but more than I can handle right now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristi | 4/26/2012

    " A hefty book, but a fascinating glimpse so far in to the development of MLK Jr.'s philosophy and work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 mike | 1/10/2012

    " this blew me away in 1993. My copy was signed by Rosa Parks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 10/4/2011

    " Great read in 1988. Not sure if it's been topped since then. "There is an arc in the moral universe and it bends toward justice." A true American hero. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly | 2/13/2011

    " Everyone should read this amazing book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Murray | 1/31/2011

    " Outstanding account of Martin Luther King Jr.'s formation as a Baptist minister and the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in America and the geo-political landscape at that time ending with the Kennedy administration. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ross | 1/26/2011

    " Awesome read. Branch is THE authority on the civil rights movement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mackay | 12/9/2010

    " A great American story ... but I never read the second volume.
    I think I couldn't bear to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 11/2/2010

    " The most well-written and thorough version of the most important story in American history "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 8/29/2010

    " This series is a must read for every American who wants to consider herself educated. A truly great book on a great chapter of American history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryeah | 8/2/2010

    " Seems well researched, but so detailed at points that it really became difficult to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 7/29/2010

    " Great Civil Rights history that really helps you understand some of the complexities of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the political milieu he had to navigate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jscorse | 7/26/2010

    " Very long and only 1 of 3- need to read the others. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Taylor Branch

Taylor Branch is an acclaimed author and public speaker best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, America in the King Years. The trilogy’s first book, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, won the Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards in 1989. Two successive volumes also gained critical and popular success: Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65 and At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968. Decades later, all three books remain in demand. Branch began his career in 1970 as a staff journalist for the Washington MonthlyHarper’s, and, Esquire. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from ten colleges and universities. Other citations include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the National Humanities Medal in 1999.

About the Narrator

Joe Morton is an award-winning actor who made his Broadway debut in Hair and has gone on to perform in many other plays and over seventy films, made-for-TV movies, and mini-series. He and his wife Nora have two children.