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Law Library Resources - Martin Luther King, Jr.  

We've updated this guide to include web resources, videos of Dr. King’s speeches, links to federal legislation and cases and books (from both the Law Library and the Arnold Bernhard Library) about the life and work of Dr. King.
Last Updated: Jan 15, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Video of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech.

View more videos of Dr. King on the Speeches tab.


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Selected Titles available at the Law Library or at the Arnold Bernhard Library.

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April 4 1968 [electronic resource]: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Death and How It Changed America - Michael Eric Dyson
Call Number: E185.97.K5 D96 2008, ebook
ISBN: 0465012868
Summary: On April 4, 1968, at 6:01 p.m., while he was standing on a balcony at a Memphis hotel, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and fatally wounded. Only hours earlier King ended his final speech with the words, “I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.” Acclaimed public intellectual and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson examines how King fought, and faced, his own death, and how America can draw on his legacy in the twenty-first century. April 4, 1968 celebrates the leadership of Dr. King, and challenges America to renew its commitment to his vision. From the publisher.

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At Canaan's edge : America in the King years, 1965-68 - Taylor Branch
Call Number: E185.615 .B67 2006 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 068485712X
Publication Date: 2006
Third of three books. The first two are Parting the waters : America in the King years, 1954-63, and
Pillar of fire : America in the King years, 1963-65.

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The autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. - edited by Clayborne Carson
Call Number: E185.97.K5 A52 (Law Library)
ISBN: 0446524123
Description from Publishers Weekly: Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project and author of A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., has pieced together an incomplete study of King's life by supplementing his extant autobiographies (e.g., Stride Toward Freedom and Where Do We Go from Here) with previously unpublished and published writings, interviews and speeches. If King's rhetorical flourishes and use of the word "negro" sometimes seem outdated, the compilation still offers a concise first-person account of his life from his birth in Atlanta in 1929 to his awakening social consciousness and discovery of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. History propelled King to center stage in the struggle for black liberation. When Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat in 1955, the "once dormant and quiescent Negro community was now fully awake" and King, along with many others in Montgomery's black community, organized the bus boycott that would launch King into his leadership role in the civil rights movement. The book offers glimpses of King's family life as well a view of famous Americans such as Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and JFK. (In 1960, King did not feel "there was much difference between Kennedy and Nixon." He writes, "I felt at points that he was so concerned about being President of the United States that he would compromise basic principles.") But what is most evident throughout Carson's study is the moral courage that sustained King and allowed him to inspire a largely peaceful mass movement against segregation in the face of bloody reprisals.

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Bearing the cross : Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - David J. Garrow
Call Number: E185.97.K5 G36 1999 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0688166326
Publication Date: 1999

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Becoming King [electronic resource] : Martin Luther King, Jr. and the making of a national leader - Troy Jackson ; introduction by Clayborne Carson
Call Number: E185.97.K5 J343 2008, e-book
ISBN: 0813125200
Summary: His name was Martin Luther King Jr., but where did this young minister come

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from? What did he believe, and what role would he play in the growing activism of the civil rights movement of the 1950s? In Becoming King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Making of a National Leader, author Troy Jackson chronicles King's emergence and effectiveness as a civil rights leader by examining his relationship with the people of Montgomery, Alabama. Using the sharp lens of Montgomery's struggle for racial equality to investigate King's burgeoning leadership, Jackson explores King's ability to connect with the educated and the unlettered, professionals and the working class...In the crucible of Montgomery, Martin Luther King Jr. was transformed from an inexperienced Baptist preacher into a civil rights leader of profound national importance. From the publisher

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Blessed are the peacemakers : Martin Luther King, Jr., eight white religious leaders, and the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" - editor S. Jonathan Bass
Call Number: F334.B69 N415 2001 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0807126551
Publication Date: 2001
Summary: Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is arguably the most important written document of the civil rights protest era and a widely read modern literary classic. Personally addressed to eight white Birmingham clergymen who sought to avoid violence by publicly discouraging King's civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, the nationally published "Letter" captured the essence of the struggle for racial equality and provided a blistering critique of the gradualist approach to racial justice. It soon became part of American folklore, and the image of King penning his epistle from a prison cell remains among the most moving of the era. Yet as S. Jonathan Bass explains in the first comprehensive history of King's "Letter," this image and the piece's literary appeal conceal a much more complex tale. Provided by the publisher.

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A call to conscience : the landmark speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard
Call Number: E185.97.K5 A5 2001 (Law Library)
ISBN: 0446523992
Contents: Address to the First Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) mass meeting -- The birth of a new nation -- Give us the ballot -- Address at the freedom rally in Cobo Hall -- I have a dream -- Eulogy for the young victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing -- Acceptance Address for the Nobel Peace Prize -- Address at the conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery march -- Beyond Vietnam -- Where do we go from here? -- I've been to the mountaintop

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Civil disobedience in focus - edited by Hugo Adam Bedau
Call Number: K3269 .C58 (Law Library)
ISBN: 0415050545
Contents: Crito / Plato -- Civil disobedience / Henry David Thoreau --Civil disobedience and personal responsibility for injustice / J.A. Bedau -- Letter from Birmingham City Jail / Martin Luther King, Jr. -- The case against civil disobedience / Herbert J. Storing -- Definition and justification of civil disobedience / John Rawls -- Disobedience as a plea for reconsideration / Peter Singer -- The justifiability of violent civil disobedience / John Morreall -- Civil disobedience and non-co-operation / Vinit Haksar -- Civil disobedience / Joseph Raz -- Justifying nonviolent disobedience / Kent Greenawalt -- Defining civil disobedience / Brian Smart

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Critical race theory : the key writings that formed the movement - edited by Kimberlé Crenshaw
Call Number: KF4755.A75 C7 (Law Library)
ISBN: 156584226X
Contents: Serving two masters : integration ideals and client interests in school desegregation litigation / Derrick A. Bell, Jr. -- Brown v. Board of Education and the interest convergence dilemma / Derrick A. Bell, Jr. -- Legitimizing racial discrimination through antidiscrimination law : a critical review of Supreme Court doctrine / Alan David Freeman -- The imperial scholar : reflections on a review of civil rights literature / Richard Delgado -- Looking to the bottom : critical legal studies and reparations / Mari Matsuda -- The clouded prism : minority critique of the critical legal studies movement / Harlon L. Dalton -- Beyond critical legal studies : the reconstructive theology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. / Anthony E. Cook -- Race, reform, and retrenchment : transformation and legitimation in antidiscrimination law / Kimberle Williams Crenshaw -- Race-consciousness / Gary Peller -- A cultural pluralist case for affirmative action in legal academia / Duncan Kennedy -- Translating "Yonnondio" by precedent and evidence : the Mashpee Indian case / Gerald Torres and Kathryn Milun -- Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. FCC : regrouping in singular times / Patricia J. Williams -- Groups, representation, and race-conscious districting : a case of the emperor's clothes / Lani Guinier -- The id, the ego, and equal protection : reckoning with unconscious racism / Charles R. Lawrence, III -- A critique of "Our Constitution is color-blind" / Neil Gotanda -- Whiteness as property / Cheryl I. Harris -- Race in the twenty-first century : equality through law? / Linda Greene -- Racial realism / Derrick A. Bell, Jr. -- Critical race theory, Archie Shepp, and fire music : securing an authentic intellectual life in a multicultural world / John O. Calmore -- Two life stories : reflections of one Black woman law professor / Taunya Lovell Banks -- The word and the river : pedagogy as scholarship as struggle / Charles R. Lawrence, III -- Mapping the margins : intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color / Kimberle Williams Crenshaw -- Punishing drug addicts who have babies : women of color, equality, and the right of privacy / Dorothy E. Roberts -- Sapphire bound! / Regina Austin -- Navigating the topology of race / Jayne Chong-Soon Lee -- The boundaries of race : political geography in legal analysis / Richard Thompson Ford -- Rouge et Noir reread : a popular constitutional history of the Angelo Herndon case / Kendall Thomas

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Desert rose [electronic resource] : the life and legacy of Coretta Scott King - Edythe Scott Bagley with Joe Hilley
Call Number: E185.97.K47 B34 2012, e-book
ISBN: 9780817317652
Publication Date: 2012
Contents: Pt. 1. Soil -- Slavery -- Scotts and McMurrys -- Perry County -- pt. 2. Seed -- Parents -- A Black Man in a White Man's World -- Opposition -- pt. 3. Bud -- Crossroads School -- Lincoln School -- Antioch College -- Becoming Coretta -- Progressive -- Graduation -- Boston -- Martin -- Marriage -- pt. 4. Blossom -- Montgomery -- The Bus -- Boycott -- Christmas 1955 -- Bombing -- Staying -- Southern Christian Leadership Conference -- Atlanta -- Albany -- Birmingham -- Fire Hoses...and Dogs -- Bombs -- Washington, D.C. -- Sixteenth Street Baptist Church -- St. Augustine -- Selma -- Freedom Concerts -- Watts -- 1966 -- Memphis -- pt. 5. Fruit -- April 4, 1968 -- Friday -- Memphis March -- The Funeral -- Finishing Martin's Business -- 1969 -- Coretta's Agenda -- Building the King Center -- Sweet Auburn and the Historic Site -- The United Nations and Apartheid -- The Holiday -- Coretta and Atlanta's Creative Community -- Coretta -- Afterword

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The dream : Martin Luther King, Jr., and the speech that inspired a nation - Drew D. Hansen
Call Number: E185.97.K5 H273 2003 (Law Library and Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0060084766
Description from the publisher: On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr., electrified the nation when he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In The Dream, Drew D. Hansen explores the fascinating and little-known history of King's legendary address. The Dream insightfully considers how King's speech "has slowly remade the American imagination," and led us closer to King's visionary goal of a redeemed America.

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The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. : from "Solo" to Memphis - David J. Garrow
Call Number: E185.97.K5 G37 (Law Library and Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0393015092

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If it takes all summer [electronic resource] : Martin Luther King, the KKK, and states' rights in St. Augustine, 1964 - Dan R. Warren
Call Number: F319.S2 W365 2008, e-book
ISBN: 0817315993
Summary: This memoir recounts the struggle against segregation in St. Augustine, Florida, in the early and mid-1960s. In the summer of 1964 the nation’s oldest city became the center of the civil rights movement as Martin Luther King Jr., encouraged by President Johnson, a southerner, who made the civil rights bill the center piece of his domestic policy, chose this tourism-driven community as an ideal location to demonstrate the injustice of discrimination and the complicity of southern leaders in its enforcement. From the publisher.

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Judgment days : Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the laws that changed America - Nick Kotz
Call Number: E847.2 .K67 2005 (Law Library)
ISBN: 0618088253
Contents: Introduction : second emancipation -- The cataclysm -- Let us continue -- "A fellow southerner in the White House" -- Hoover, King, and two presidents -- A fire that no water could put out -- An idea whose time has come -- Lyndon Johnson and the Ku Klux Klan -- A political revolution -- Hoover attacks -- LBJ-MLK : a quiet alliance -- We shall overcome -- Shining moment -- This time the fire -- Another martyr -- Epilogue : the legacy

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King : Montgomery to Memphis [videorecording] - presented by the Martin Luther King Foundation
Call Number: DVD 1168 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
Publication Date: 1988
Summary: Records the fiery and triumphant battle of Martin Luther King and depicts his philosophy of non-violence

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King : pilgrimage to the mountaintop - Harvard Sitkoff
Call Number: E185.97.K5 S535 2008 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 9780809095162
Publication Date: 2008
Contents: Educating a preacher King, 1929-54 -- Baptism by fire, 1955-56 -- These humble children of God, 1957-62 -- Confronting the conscience of America, 1963 -- Redemption and crisis, 1964 -- We shall overcome, 1965 -- The road to Jericho via Chicago, 1966 -- Seeing Lazarus, 1967-68

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A knock at midnight : inspiration from the great sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. - King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968. edited by Clayborne Carson & Peter Holloran
Call Number: BV4241.5 .K56 1998 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0446523461
Publication Date: 1998
Contents: Introduction / Clayborne Carson, Peter Holloran; Rediscovering Lost Values: Introduction by Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker; Paul's Letter to American Christians: Introduction by Reverend Dr. C. T. Vivian; Loving Your Enemies: Introduction by Reverend Dr. Joan Brown Campbell; A Knock at Midnight: Introduction by Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.; The American Dream: Introduction by Bishop T. D. Jakes, Sr.; Guidelines for a Constructive Church: Introduction by Reverend Floyd H. Flake; The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life: Introduction by Father Theodore Hesburgh; Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool: Introduction by Reverend Billy Graham; The Drum Major Instinct: Introduction by Reverend Robert M. Franklin; Unfulfilled Dreams: Introduction by Dr. Vincent Harding; Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution: Introduction by Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Material Omitted from the Sermons; Acknowledgments

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The legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. : the boundaries of law, politics, and religion - by Lewis V. Baldwin with Rufus Burrow, Jr., Barbara A. Holmes, and Susan Holmes Winfield ; foreword by Clayborne Carson
Call Number: E185.97.K5 L35 2002 (Law Library and Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0268033544
Contents: To witness in Dixie : King, the New South, and southern civil religion / Lewis V. Baldwin -- On the relation of the Christian to the state : the development of a Kingian ethic / Lewis V. Baldwin -- American political traditions and the Christian faith : King's thought and praxis / Lewis V. Baldwin -- King, the Constitution, and the courts : remaining awake through a great revolution / Barbara A. Holmes and Susan Holmes Winfield -- Personalism, the objective moral order, and moral law in the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. / Rufus Burrow, Jr. -- Beyond national borders : King, the United Nations, and global politics / Lewis V. Baldwin -- Epilogue / by Roger D. Hatch

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My life with Martin Luther King, Jr - King, Coretta Scott, 1927-2006.
Call Number: E185.97.K5 K5 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
Publication Date: 1969

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Parting the waters : America in the King years, 1954-63 - Taylor Branch
Call Number: E185.61 .B7914 (Law)
ISBN: 0671460978
Publication Date: 1988
First of three books. The second book is Pillar of fire : America in the King years, 1963-65, and the third book is At Canaan's edge : America in the King years, 1965-68.

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Pillar of fire : America in the King years, 1963-65 - Taylor Branch
Call Number: E185.61 .B7915 1998 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0684808196
Publication Date: 1998
Second of three books. The first is Parting the waters : America in the King years, 1954-63, the third is At Canaan's edge : America in the King years, 1965-68.

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Ring out freedom! : the voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the making of the civil rights movement - Fredrik Sunnemark
Call Number: E185.97.K5 S866 2004 (Law Library)
ISBN: 0253343763
Contents: There must be somebody to communicate ..." -- A discourse of faith -- Western intellectualism and American ideals -- The problem of race -- Third World, Cold War, and Vietnam -- Radicalization

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Ripples of hope : great American civil rights speeches - edited by Josh Gottheimer ; foreword by Bill Clinton
Call Number: E184.A1 R53 2003 (Law Library and Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0465027520
Description from the publisher: Including a never-before published speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., this is the first compilation of its kind, bringing together the most influential and important voices from two hundred years of America's struggle for civil rights, including essential speeches from leaders, both famous and obscure. With voices as diverse as Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk, Betty Friedan, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth, this anthology constitutes a unique chronicle of the nation's civil rights movements and the critical issues they've tackled, from slavery and suffrage to immigration and affirmative action.This is an indispensable compilation of the words --the ripples of hope--that, collectively, have changed American history.

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The speeches of Martin Luther King [videorecording] - King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968.
Call Number: Video Cassette 1205 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 1556070098
Publication Date: 1990
Summary: Presents a collection of Martin Luther King, Jr's. major speeches and minor asides, tracing the development of his oratorical style. Provided by the publisher.

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Stride toward freedom [electronic resource] : the Montgomery story / Martin Luther King, Jr. ; - introduction by Clayborne Carson
Call Number: F334.M79|bN4535 2010, e-book
ISBN: 0807000736
Contents: Return to the South -- Montgomery before the protest -- The decisive arrest -- The day of days, December 5 -- The movement gathers momentum -- Pilgrimage to nonviolence -- Methods of the opposition -- The violence of desperate men -- Desegregation at last -- Montgomery today -- Where do we go from here?

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A testament of hope : the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. - King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968., edited by James Melvin Washington
Call Number: E185.97.K5 A25 1991 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0060646918
Publication Date: 1991
Summary: "We've got some difficult days ahead," civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., told a crowd gathered at Memphis's Clayborn Temple on April 3, 1968. "But it really doesn't matter to me now because I've been to the mountaintop. . . . And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land."
These prohetic words, uttered the day before his assassination, challenged those he left behind to see that his "promised land" of racial equality became a reality; a reality to which King devoted the last twelve years of his life. These words and other are commemorated here in the only major one-volume collection of this seminal twentieth-century American prophet's writings, speeches, interviews, and autobiographical reflections. A Testament of Hope contains Martin Luther King, Jr.'s essential thoughts on nonviolence, social policy, integration, black nationalism, the ethics of love and hope, and more. Provided by the publisher.

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To the mountaintop : Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sacred mission to save America, 1955-1968 - Stewart Burns
Call Number: E185.97.K5 B798 2004 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0060542454
Publication Date: 2004
Contents: Book 1. A mighty stream (1955-1957) -- Book 2. Middle passage (1963-1966) -- Book 3. Crossing to Jerusalem (1967-1968)

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The trumpet of conscience - Martin Luther King, Jr
Call Number: E185.97 .K5 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0807001708
Publication Date: 1967
Summary: In November and December 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered five lectures for the renowned Massey Lecture Series of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Immediately released under the title Conscience for Change after King’s assassination, it was republished as The Trumpet of Conscience. Each oration speaks prophetically to today’s perils, addressing issues of equality, conscience and war, the mobilization of young people, and nonviolence. The book concludes with “A Christmas Sermon on Peace,” a powerful lecture about nonviolence as a path to world peace that was broadcast live from Ebenezer Baptist Church on Christmas Eve in 1967. From the publisher.

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Where do we go from here [electronic resource] : chaos or community? - Martin Luther King, Jr. ; [foreword by Coretta Scott King ; introduction by Vincent Harding]
Call Number: E185.615 .K5 2010, e-book
ISBN: 0807000671
Contents: Where are we? -- Black power -- Racism and the white backlash -- The dilemma of Negro Americans -- Where we are going -- The world house

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Why we can't wait - King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968.
Call Number: E185.61 .K54 (Arnold Bernhard Library)
ISBN: 0807001120
Publication Date: 1964
Summary: Often applauded as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by Fred Shuttlesworth, King, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action. King examines the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality. Provided by the publisher.


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