Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights

Kennedy and King cover image

“Kennedy and King tells the story of two brilliant leaders who injected new meaning into the veins of American society. Together, their influence created a moral imperative that changed the U.S. and the world. Levingston’s book is both historical and visionary. By reminding us of these great leaders and their accomplishments, this book will fuel your passion for the new work we still need to accomplish in our society.”―Congressman John Lewis (D-GA)

“In this fascinating and timely book, Steven Levingston examines how these two young leaders in the early 1960s were being tested on the national scene–and testing each other. Despite their disparate backgrounds and personal styles, they came together to make history. Anyone who wants to understand America, the Civil Rights Movement, and the nature of leadership should read this book.”―Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs and The Innovators

“Steven Levingston’s Kennedy and King is an unqualified masterpiece of historical narrative. Every page sparkles with literary verve, eloquent storytelling, and keen analytic judgment. It might be the best dual biography I’ve ever read. A landmark achievement which elevates civil rights history into a high art form.”―Douglas Brinkley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rosa Parks and The Reagan Diaries

“As the moral courage of Martin Luther King Jr. came up against the political instincts of President John F. Kennedy–with both men trying to save their nation–a new history was set in motion. It’s all brought to fascinating light in Steven Levingston’s righteous book.”―Wil Haygood, New York Times bestselling author of Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America

“History, politics, and ambition brought John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. together in the early 1960s. Their relationship was personally complex, it was fateful for the nation, and it has never been told more compellingly.”―H.W. Brands, New York Times bestselling author of The General vs. The President

“Moral courage is the subject of this fascinating book. For Martin Luther King Jr. and, especially, for John F. Kennedy the path was rarely simple or straightforward. Steven Levingston has told a gripping, moving, revealing tale.”―Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Robert Kennedy and Being Nixon

“As I read Kennedy and King, I imagine two giants, reluctantly waltzing on a tightrope with no safety net. I see them stumbling, almost falling, the dance interrupted by distance but saved by a tepid, occasionally enthusiastic embrace. This history buff’s paradise adds texture and context to explain the complexity of an ultimately productive partnership. Every few pages of this amazingly detailed work contain an uncommon revelation. Levingston has made an important contribution to the work on these leaders and their shared cause. I inhaled this book, and I loved it.”―Julianne Malveaux, author of Are We Better Off?: Race, Obama and Public Policy and President Emerita, Bennett College for Women

“A captivatingly written, thoroughly researched, and deeply thoughtful revisiting of an unforgettable historical partnership which continues to resonate.”―David Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

“In this illuminating account Levingston charts the racial education of an ambitious Kennedy as he navigated the minefield of white southern bigotry and King’s uncompromising moral vision and how, together, they transformed a nation.”―Pamela Newkirk, author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga