"WITH APPRECIATION FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP AND BEST WISHES FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF THOSE MEANINGFUL GOALS WHICH YOU ARE SEEKING FOR ALL PEOPLE OF YOUR GREAT NATION": EXTRAORDINARY FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, OF THE TRUMPET OF CONSCIENCE, 1968, INSCRIBED BY CORETTA SCOTT KING, AUTHOR OF THE FOREWORD, TO THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, HAROLD WILSON, AND HIS WIFE
KING, Martin Luther Jr. The Trumpet of Conscience. New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, (1968). Slim octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $5800.
First edition of this series of five lectures on civil rights, inscribed to the British Prime Minister and his wife by Coretta Scott King, author of the Foreword: "To the Honourable Prime Minister and Mrs. Wilson with appreciation for your leadership and best wishes for the attainment of those meaningful goals which you are seeking for all people of your great nation. Coretta Scott King."
"Here is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last testament. It is a little book of five cogent essays, and in it King has set forth his assessment of the nightmare America he lived in and the egalitarian America he envisioned." (Kirkus). "The Trumpet of Conscience features five lectures that Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered in November and December 1967 for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Massey Lectures… Prior to King's assassination, the book was released under the title Conscience for Change, through the CBC. After King's death in 1968, the book was republished as The Trumpet of Conscience, and included a foreword written by Coretta Scott King. The book reveals some of King's most introspective reflections and his last impressions of the movement. Each of the five orations encompasses a distinct theme pertinent to the African American civil rights struggle" (The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University). Although this work was previously published as Conscience for Change by the CBC, this is generally considered the first edition due to the change of title and the addition of Coretta Scott King's Foreword. First edition, with "E-S" on copyright page. This exceptionally desirable copy is inscribed to Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his wife. Wilson's term in office coincided with a rise in persecution of ethnic minorities. The iconic "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" signs—often posted in major cities—spoke to the level of vitriol felt toward non-whites and non-Britons. At the time, abuses were not prosecutable under the extant law. Minorities were routinely refused service in pubs, were wrongly denied jobs, and were turned down for housing and services. Harold Wilson's Labour government was firmly against these abuses. They rejected the idea that ancient English liberties included the freedom to racially discriminate. Rather, they strove to make the British Parliament officially recognize the existence of racial discrimination and further set forth the argument that the government should protect all of its citizens, in particular against racial discrimination. This culminated in the 1965 Race Relations Act, a first step toward a more equal, more just Britain. In 1968, a second Race Relations Act was passed barring discrimination in housing, employment, and service provision. Coretta Scott King clearly inscribed and presented this book as a token of appreciation toward the pro-civil rights actions of Wilson and his government.
Book fine, dust jacket about-fine with mild rubbing and toning to extremities. A handsome copy, wonderfully inscribed and with an interesting association.