Best Study of Rioting in the Streets

Clay Risen's A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination

MBA grad and longtime Scene contributor Clay Risen, currently the managing editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, grew up listening to his parents' recollections of the urban riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Mom and Dad's memories clearly made an impression on young Clay, because Risen has produced a first-rate history of that tragic time. A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination is a brilliant examination of the violence, and it also offers a fresh analysis of the reaction to the unrest within the Johnson administration. It's a smart, engrossing read. MARIA BROWNING

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