I recently watched All the Way, an HBO movie about the story of Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If you have access to HBO, you should be able to watch it on demand.

In addition to learning about the history and events surrounding that critical legislation (which was followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965), it’s an important story about how politicians negotiate to get deals done. I already knew Johnson was a legendary deal-maker, having read the first four volumes of The Lyndon Johnson Years, Robert Caro’s acclaimed biography of LBJ. (The fifth and final volume is yet to be published.)

I’ve also read numerous books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. In the event you are interested in learning more about this important part of U.S. history, which is far more relevant than one could have imagined over 50 years later (to Civil Rights in general, and Voting Rights specifically), here are several books I highly recommend:

America in the King Years, a three-volume history by Taylor Branch. The first volume, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63, won the Pulitzer Prize.

The Children, by one of my favorite authors, the late David Halberstam, about the young leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

David Garrow’s Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is another Pulitzer Prize winner.

Have you seen “All the Way”? Have you read the books listed above, or other books about the Civil Rights Movement and its brave leaders? Join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,

David

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