Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech That Transformed a Nation (Hardcover)
"I have a dream." When those words were spoken on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, the crowd stood, electrified, as Martin Luther King, Jr. brought the plight of African Americans to the public consciousness and firmly established himself as one of the greatest orators of all time. "Behind the Dream "is a thrilling, behind-the-scenes account of the weeks leading up to the great event, as told by Clarence Jones, co-writer of the speech and close confidant to King. Jones was there, on the road, collaborating with the great minds of the time, and hammering out the ideas and the speech that would shape the civil rights movement and inspire Americans for years to come.
About the Author
Clarence B. Jones was recruited by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1960 and worked with him as his principal adviser. The father of five children, Jones lives in Palo Alto, California, where is a scholar in residence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
Author and filmmaker Stuart Connelly has been writing professionally for more than twenty years. A graduate of Syracuse University's prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Stuart has written speeches for Fortune 500 executives, reported for daily newspapers, edited a national parenting magazine, and, at a career low point, once wrote a handful of jokes for the White House. He is a recent National Educational Press Association Award-winner for his work with Scholastic Publishing. Stuart is also the founder of the San Francisco-based advertising agency Topeka. With Dr. Clarence B. Jones, Stuart is the co-author of Behind The Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation and Uprising: Understanding Attica, Revolution, and the Incarceration State. A devout believer in the power of the written word (where his feelings of betrayal, revenge, bitterness, greed, paranoia, jealousy and madness find a socially acceptable display case), Stuart learned to write before he could crawl but to this day vacillates over which is the more impressive skill. A native of suburbia, Stuart currently divides his time between Manhattan and rural Pennsylvania.
"A revealing insider's account of how King improvised parts of his 'I Have a Dream' speech at 1963's March on Washington." -- USA TODAY
“Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the course of American history by challenging – and inspiring – the country to confront injustice and live up to our founding ideals. The words he spoke at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 will forever be immortalized for their beauty and power, and they will forever echo in the soul of American life. Jones and Connelly capture the fascinating story behind this historic moment, shedding new light on a speech that ushered in a new dawn for the nation.”—Mayor Michael Bloomberg
“The author provides numerous intriguing insider insights about life on the road with King. . . . Essential reading about a moment of surpassing political and moral importance.”--Kirkus [starred review]
“The words of Dr. King live on as a gift to our country. As someone who stood beside him during those years, Clarence B Jones puts them in context and brings the stories around them to life. He and Stuart Connelly take us inside the greatest moments of the American civil rights movement and behind the scenes of a speech that awakened our collective conscience”--Soledad O'Brien
“America would be a very different place if it weren't for the hard work of men like Clarence Jones. Different -- and vastly less just. Behind the Dream takes us behind the scenes of Dr. King's historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, which Jones helped write. It's a story that is as remarkable as it is inspiring.”—Arianna Huffington
“The words 'I Have a Dream' are as applicable today as they were all those years ago. Behind The Dream provides a beautiful glimpse at the origins of an enduring work. Clarence B. Jones illuminates the history in a way no one else could. To learn the story of the speech's creation from the man who was there is to appreciate Martin’s genius all the more.”--Betty Williams,Nobel Peace Laureate, President and Founder, World Centers of Compassion for Children International.
"What elevates this book above most scholarly tomes is its rare and invaluable insider’s insight into not only the happenings of the day but also the people involved." --Irish Examiner
"The book is wonderful, and rewarding for students of public speaking as well as of the civil rights era. Jones is particularly skilled at giving us the contingent nature of events as the happen, and that is a great gift to anyone who wants to understand where we’ve really come from. Highly recommended." -- Nick Morgan, Forbes.com