Reclaiming the Great World House

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this week's review looks at King's global perspective on the fight toward equity and justice.

Reclaiming the great world house: the global vision of Martin Luther King Jr.

ed. by Vicki L. Crawford and Lewis V. Baldwin Georgia, 2019
369p, 9780820356020 $99.95, 9780820356044 $36.95, 9780820356037

In the last chapter of Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (CH, Feb’68), King outlines his lifelong global perspective. King’s world view—encapsulated in his warning “We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools” (delivered in a 1967 Christmas sermon)—is central to his “great world house.” As world population mushrooms and technology demolishes distance, philosophers, theologians, ethicists, and historians remember King’s understanding of the interconnectedness of African American civil rights and global struggles against apartheid and other atrocities. Despite King’s blindness to gender inequality and gay rights (which one contributor tempers by suggesting that had King lived, he likely would have become more inclusive), King’s vision remains a powerful antidote to the contemporary rise in racism, classism, homophobia, religious conflict, economic inequality, environmental degradation, militarism, and sexism. King is as relevant today as he was during his lifetime, and all societies need to turn from chaos toward community to create King’s imagined great world house that would welcome all. King remains internationally respected, as evidenced by the fact that there are more memorials and monuments to him around the world than to any other American. This volume is a must read for all.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
D. R. Jamieson, Ashland University
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Choice Issue: May 2020