Title To the Promised Land
Subtitle Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice
Author Michael K. Honey
ISBN 9780393356731
List price USD 17.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 256
Book size 140 x 210 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
About the book Send Enquiry


To the Promised Land helps us to remember King as a prophet for poor and working-class people, as we carry on that campaign against racism and poverty in our own times. A terrific book.”

Timothy B. Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmett Till


“King the economic radical has renewed relevance, and Honey’s work helps to shift him from static icon to dynamic thinker whose vision can guide us in taking on the grossly unfair aspects of American capitalism.”



“A worthy look at a seldom-documented portion of [King’s] agenda.”

Kirkus Reviews


“[A] concise but richly detailed work about King’s attempts to bring about economic justice for all Americans. . . . [This] book containsboth insight and inspiration to activists of many stripes.”

Publishers Weekly


“Civil rights buffs will enjoy this book.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch


“No scholar is more qualified than Michael Honey to illuminate the historical roots of the 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign. To the Promised Land is a remarkable achievement -- a work of serious scholarship that is also eminently readable.”

Clayborne Carson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History, Stanford University


“Public memory has played tricks on King’s legacy, turning his fierce struggle against systemic racism into a quest for colorblindness. Honey restores the man in full, one who perceived desegregation as a first step on a longer path toward full citizenship and economic justice. To the Promised Land gives us a longer, messier, and unfinished civil rights movement and a truer portrait of King’s radical hopes. It is an inspiration for the work ahead.”

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, author of Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919–1950


“Michael Honey’s important and timely new book recovers the fullness of King’s social Christian vision. More than just Jim Crow’s most formidable detractor, he was one of capitalism’s most insistent and incisive critics. Honey leaves no doubt that, in our new Gilded Age, King’s dream, marked by a longing for both racial and economic justice, remains as relevant as ever.”

Heath W. Carter, author of Union Made: Working People and the Rise of Social Christianity in Chicago


“A portrait of King that is more accurate, more troubling, and more needed than ever before.”

William P. Jones, author of The March on Washington


“Michael Honey’s very cogent book shows that King intended from the start of his public career to work to end racial discrimination and poverty for all Americans.… To the Promised Land’s thorough treatment of King’s efforts to support black unionism and to forge an alliance between the black and the white working classes reveals the arduous effort that he put into this project, most heartbreakingly in his final years.”

Annette Gordon-Reed , New York Review of Books


“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a revolutionary, fighting to end social injustice and economic inequality, and a catalyst for the ongoing rebellions of the poor. Michael Honey tells a compelling story of militant, revolutionary love in action. This is a dangerous book.”

Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination


“Honey’s book offers a lively, inspiring, and carefully researched study of King’s efforts for economic justice, reminding readers of this seldom-documented but crucial aspect of King’s legacy.… To the Promised Land is especially timely and revelatory as we struggle still with racism, militarism, poverty, and extreme economic inequality 50 years after the death of King.”

Robin Lindley , History News Network


“Honey writes to each margin of the civil-rights era and clarifies it with a deep understanding of King’s true significance.… [To the Promised Land] reveals and raises up the many thousands of people who took King’s advice to commit to ‘dangerous unselfishness’ directly to heart.”

Providence Journal


“This exemplary book stands out for the way scholar and former activist Honey shows class and race as dual focuses of King’s efforts. . . . An important contribution to our understandingof King and his legacy.”



 “This is a dangerous book.”—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams

Fifty years ago, a single bullet robbed us of one of the world’s most eloquent voices for human rights and justice. To the Promised Land goes beyond the iconic view of Martin Luther King, Jr., as an advocate of racial harmony, to explore his profound commitment to the poor and working class and his call for “nonviolent resistance” to all forms of oppression, including the economic injustice that “takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.”

“Either we go up together or we go down together,” King cautioned, a message just as urgent in America today as then. To the Promised Land challenges us to think about what it would mean to truly fulfill King’s legacy and move toward his vision of the Promised Land” in our own time.


Introduction: Promised Land

Chapter 1. “We the Disinherited of This Land” Kinship with the Poor, 1929-1956

Chapter 2. “We Have A Powerful Instrument” Civil Rights Unionism and the Cold War, 1957-1963

Chapter 3 “Northern Ghettos are the Prisons of Forgotten Men” Labor and Civil Rights at the Crossroads, 1964-1966

Chapter 4 “In God’s Economy” Organizing the Poor People’s Campaign, 1967-1968

Chapter 5. “All Labor has Dignity” Uprising of the Working Poor, 1968

Chapter 6. “Dangerous Unselfishness”



Source Notes

Image Credits

Quotation Credits


About the Author:

Michael K. Honey, a former Southern civil rights and civil liberties organizer, is Haley Professor of Humanities at the University of Washington Tacoma, where he teaches labor, ethnic, and gender studies and American history. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and has won numerous research fellowships and book awards for his books on labor, race relations, and civil rights history, including the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Going Down Jericho Road. He lives in Tacoma with his wife, Pat Krueger.

Target Audience:

People interested in the biography of Martin Luther King, history and racial and economic justice.


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