Martin Luther King

Peter Ling (University of Nottingham)
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If a literary encyclopaedia should confine itself to writers, then Dr. Martin Luther King, Jnr., would be a contentious choice. The problems begin with his doctoral thesis, presented to Boston University in 1954 to fulfil the requirements of King's doctorate in systematic theology. When scholars examined this dissertation closely as part of the massive Martin Luther King Papers project, based at Stanford, they discovered that substantial portions of it were taken from the writings of others without proper citation. In short, the young King was a plagiarist, and his supervisors and examiners had failed to catch and eliminate his tendency to rely on the writings of others.

When this revelation reached the press, a predictable furore erupted with those on the American Right urging Boston

2448 words

Citation: Ling, Peter. "Martin Luther King". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 February 2010 [, accessed 29 May 2024.]

5603 Martin Luther King 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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