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Taylor Branch

2007 Lifetime Achievement

Lifetime - Taylor Branch
Born in Atlanta, Taylor Branch is an American author and historian best known for his award-winning trilogy chronicling the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the history of the American civil rights movement. 

The first volume, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years. 1954-63, published in 1988, received the Pulitzer Prize for History, National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction and the 1989 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for non-fiction. The second volume, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65, followed in 1998. Among its recognitions were the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award and the Sidney Hillman Book Award. He completed the trilogy in 2006 with the publication of At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68.

Branch attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on a Morehouse Scholarship. He graduated in 1968 and went on to earn an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He received a McArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 1991 and the National Humanities Medal in 1999.

In 1972 Branch helped run George McGovern's Texas presidential campaign. One of his co-leaders in that effort was Bill Clinton, who would later become President of the United Slates. Branch is currently working on Wrestling History: The Bill Clinton Tapes, based on hours of late night conversations with the former president in the private residence at the White House.

Branch Lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Blog Posts about Taylor Branch

"I Have A Dream": Collections of Martin Luther King Links From Around The Web

Taylor Branch and Isabel Wilkerson were special guests of the Diane Rehm Show on NPR to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. One of our favorite quotes from the episode, from Isabel Wilkerson: "Ultimately, what Martin Luther King and the thousands upon thousands of unnamed, unknown people who buttressed his strength and his courage, what they were fighting was a structure that needed to be dismantled in order for justice to prevail in the South."  Lani Guinier, the first black woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at... Read More →

VIDEO: Taylor Branch On

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Anisfield-Wolf Guide To Black History Month

Black History Month is but one period out of the year where we focus on the accomplishments and contributions of those of the African Diaspora. We believe that the world is a richer place when we celebrate our rich cultural diversity, as evidenced by our dedication to selecting books that contribute to the dialogue. It's hard for us to select our favorite books out of the Anisfield-Wolf library, so instead we will choose books that give great insight into the triumphs and challenges of African Americans. Share this list with your colleagues... Read More →
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