1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Parting the Waters  By  cover art

Parting the Waters

By: Taylor Branch
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi,Janina Edwards
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $57.95

Buy for $57.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In Parting the Waters, the first volume of his essential America in the King Years series, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a “compelling...masterfully told” (The Wall Street Journal) account of Martin Luther King’s early years and rise to greatness. 

Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations. Moving from the fiery political baptism of Martin Luther King, Jr., to the corridors of Camelot where the Kennedy brothers weighed demands for justice against the deceptions of J. Edgar Hoover, here is a vivid tapestry of America, torn and finally transformed by a revolutionary struggle unequaled since the Civil War.

Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness and 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. Epic in scope and impact, Branch's chronicle definitively captures one of the nation's most crucial passages. 

©2019 Taylor Branch (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Parting the Waters

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    154
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Really wonderful book. Thoughtful, deeply researched. I loved it. Prentice Onayemi is a fabulous reader. I like Janina Edwards but found alternating readers by chapter distracting. I would have preferred just Onayemi as a reader but that is just my personal preference. The book should be read by every American.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mesmerizing from start to finish

An astonishing an eye opening work of historical writing, Parting the Waters examines the strategy, infighting, politicking and, in some instances, theatrics of major instances in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Taylor Branch also illustrates many of the other figures of the movement, depicting fully realized, flawed and complex (and in the case of the Kennedys, reluctant) freedom fighters.

A must listen.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible Read!

Discovered an American history that I had only scratched the surface of previously. Thanks Taylor Branch!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

I can't add much to what other reviewers have written. It is an excellent, compelling read which effectively recreates the era. I was a kid at the time and did not realize the phenomenal courage and committment of the civil rights workers nor the full viciousness of the white backlash. And it was lovely to learn more of King: a true prince whose personal gifts, education, and moral compass led him to lead a great movement but also draw the hideous rage of racists.

Like others, I slightly preferred Onayemi as a reader. His voice is a well-trained instrument, beautiful, resonant and expressive. Ms. Edwards read with warmth and conviction.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

This book is a robust, scholarly novel like book on the Civil Rights movement. It was such a delight to read. It added richer layers to figures within the civil rights movement that I have been learning about. Buy, and read or listen to, this book, you will be glad that you did.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Biography of the Movement

Branch's immensely detailed but eminently listenable work encompasses not just King, admittedly a central focus, but a much broader picture of the early Civil Rights movement. What emerges are remarkable stories, forceful if often prickly personalities, and conflicts with and within the Movement spanning the South and the political spectrum. Over and over again, the listener is reminded how precarious and close-run an affair was the Movement for African-American Civil Rights in this Era. Peopled by supporters and opponents of different motivations, tactics and concerns, from King's SCLC to Robert Moses and the leaders of SNCC, to Roy Wilkins' NAACP and the Kennedy Administration, this is a saga complex, troubled and fascinating. It also serves as a reminder of the need to maintain or regain the ground won and promises opened by this remarkable movement. Every American should hear this story in its intricate but moving entirety.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly timely book on the civil rights movemen

All audio books should be read by 2 such incredible readers. And all history should be so eminently readable as this volume.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Past is Prologue

A thorough, detailed, nuanced analysis of seminal times in American history: the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Essential reading 50 years later, as American society once again struggles with racial disparities expressed in Black Lives Matter.