Martin Luther King did not idolize free-market fundamentalism. He never believed that, with the signing of the Civil Rights Act, it was time for everyone to work hard, stand on their own two feet, and stop begging from the government. Had he lived, he would have continued marching against the Heritage Foundation and all its works.

Readers of Labor know this. But for anyone looking for evidence to counter neoconservatives’ muttering about “the content of their character,” Michael Honey’s masterful To the Promised Land is a powerful argument that King advocated throughout his career for economic justice and government redress of workers’ poverty. Economic inequality, like Jim Crow signs, had to fall before America reached the Promised Land.

Like Michael Dyson’s I May Not Get There with You (2000), Honey restores the centrality of battles for economic justice to the civil rights struggle. But Honey’s work goes further, demonstrating that...

You do not currently have access to this content.