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Parting the Waters:
An award-winning biography of Martin Luther King Jr., a history of the civil rights movement, and a portrait of an era, Taylor Branch's Parting the Waters begins slowly but soon catches the listener in a tumult of unforgettable events. Branch's thorough research has been synthesized into an impressive account of the violence, courage, and confusion at the beginning of the civil rights movement, building to a powerful conclusion with a blow-by-blow retelling of the events in Birmingham, Alabama. Ably narrated by Joe Morton and C.C.H. Pounder, the audio abridgment is occasionally choppy, but well-done considering the print edition runs about 900 pages. The broad cast of characters includes Baptist preachers and student movement leaders as well as President John F. Kennedy and his cabinet. If you are daunted by the sheer mass of the print edition of Parting the Waters, this abridged production is for you. However don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting more and digging into the print version after all or perhaps the audio version of Pillar of Fire, Taylor's second book in his projected three-part series. (Running time: 6 Hours; 4 cassettes) [via]