Parting the Waters

  • by Taylor Branch
  • Narrated by Joe Morton, CCH Pounder
  • 6 hrs and 43 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This audio adaptation focuses primarily on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the key moments that defined his rise to the forefront of the civil rights movement. From Rosa Parks' monumental arrest in Montgomery to King's imprisonment in Birmingham and his triumphant march on Washington, Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness. He illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder.

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What the Critics Say

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

AWFUL! A great book sliced to pieces

What disappointed you about Parting the Waters?

The problem with this book is the absolutely terrible abridgement. It isn't really abridged, but at best you are getting some parts of the book that talk about Martin Luther King Jr., perhaps a sample of the book. For instance, there is a great deal of detail on King's background and his arrival in Montgomery; Rosa Parks refuses to sit at the back of the bus; King speaks to the protestors... then suddenly the narrative leaps forward from 1954 to 1962 and the Albany protests. There's no discussion of the progress of the bus boycott, no discussion of King's involvement in the founding of the SCLC, simply a void. The narrative informs us King is arrested AGAIN... but he has not been arrested before in this narrative... I thought there was something wrong with my download. What you get with this audiobook is much the equivalent of the preview of a kindle book. It gives you a flavour of the book but you can't really follow the book. To give a good sense of how much is missing: Gordon Wood's Empire of Liberty is around 778 pages and the audiobook is 30 hours 58 minutes; Parting the Waters is over 1000 pages but the audiobook is 6 hours 43 minutes. Perhaps you are getting 20% of the book. Is that an abridgement? The fact that this book is shown with reviews from Amazon and with the same title and cover as the print book and described as Pulitzer Prize winning is very misleading.


What will your next listen be?

Not an 'abridged' book!


Did Joe Morton and CCH Pounder do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

I didn't know they were supposed to be different characters. I found the switching backwards and forwards a little annoying, although I didn't find the audio quality as bad as some other people.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

ANGER at the publisher


Any additional comments?

This has taught me to do my homework before buying an abridged book. This series in print was excellent. Please get out an unabridged version soon!

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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 27-04-2000
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio