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Essay: Why Martin Luther King Had a 75 Percent Disapproval Rating in the Year of His Death

"Why Martin Luther King Had a 75 Percent Disapproval Rating in the Year of His Death. His Crusade to Confront Economic Injustice and the Vietnam War Angered Whites, While Younger Black Activists Had Lost Patience With His Nonviolent Tactics."

By James C. Cobb | April 4, 2018

According to an early 1968 Harris Poll, the man whose half-century of martyrdom we celebrate this week died with a public disapproval rating of nearly 75 percent, a figure shocking in its own day and still striking even in today’s highly polarized political climate." Read the complete article here, on

Emeritus professor, University of Georgia, history department. A former president of the Southern Historical Association, Cobb has written widely on the interaction between economy, society and culture in the American South. His books include The Selling of The South: The Southern Crusade for Industrial Development, 1936-1990 (Illinois, 1993), The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity (Oxford, 1992),and Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity (Oxford, 2005). His most recent book,The South and America Since World War II was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. To read some of his work, check out

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