parting the waters by taylor branch.
this book, among the best i've ever read, is both scholarly footnoted history and desperate page turning adventure story. if you get past the brick a day church chapter and into the montgomery bus boycott and you don't want to find out what happened, stop there. hope you don't- it's SO great... AND - there are two (TWO!) SEQUELS!
mlk had many hopes for america which remain unfulfilled, but on november 4th 2008, his famous dream was realized. americans proved that they can judge a man by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin, and our 400 year old national curse was lifted. thank god this happened in my lifetime.