Archive for July 17, 2011

CLSC Book Eight: Hellhound on His Trail

I know that I said that summer is for light reading, but I wanted desperately to finish at least one CLSC book before the end of July, so I started Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides.  Sides’ book explores the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the history of this tumultuous time period.  I had prepared myself for a deep, thoughtful read — and I was right.  What I didn’t expect was that in many ways this book was a thriller.  I sat down to start the book and when I looked up I had read over 100 pages!

I was born in the 70’s — and somehow, when I was growing up, the 1960’s were always romanticized for me.  Perhaps it was because I grew up in a small, secluded town and the outside world, for the most part, remained outside.  I was given hippies and hearts and rainbows and the Beatles to represent the 60’s.  Of course, later I learned about the importance of this decade (and why there were hippies and hearts and rainbows etc…)  Sides’ book gave me more depth to both the time period and the cast of characters that were so important — besides Martin Luther King Jr., I learned about James Earl Ray, J. Edgar Hoover, Ramsey Clark (who I once heard speak a long time ago) and Coretta Scott King.  His book is a prime example of how authors should make history come alive for the reader.

Hampton Sides is new to me, and I was excited to learn that he is the author of many history books — all which are now on my reading list. Books I will try to tackle when the weather cools down and I feel like diving into heavy reading once again.