Towards "The World House": Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Gobal Vision of Peace and Justice, 1956-1968

Bryan Terry


In his last book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about the “world house.” This thesis explores the development of King’s ideas about the relationship between the struggle for civil and human rights in the U.S. and global contests like decolonization in Africa and Asia and the war in Vietnam, which ultimately brought him to the notion of a world house and to forthright opposition to U.S. militarism and neocolonialism. Although the relationship between the U.S. civil rights struggle and U.S. foreign affairs has attracted more interest by scholars in recent years, the tracking of King’s global vision throughout his civil rights career shows how he shifted from a global framework to a national and back to a global perspective. King’s shifts raises important questions about the place of the U.S. in the world and its trajectory of global hegemony.