King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and the Power of Persuasion


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Essay #: 054066
Total text length is 5,046 characters (approximately 3.5 pages).

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The beginning:
King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and the Power of Persuasion
Power is arguably the defining element of politics in that it is the capacity to shape events and/or to influence the actions of individuals and groups. This essay will argue that Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” may be read, in terms of the discussion of types of political power in Grigsby’s Analyzing Politics, as an example of the power of persuasion. As will be seen, King’s use of this power is overt, complex and undeniably potent.
The power of persuasion is “a nonphysical type of power in which the agent using power makes its intentions and desires known to the agent over whom power is exercised” (Grigsby 48). It may seem paradoxical that an individual...
The end:
.....tive example of the power of persuasion. King can be seen to not only openly explain and justify his actions to his critics, but also to subtly define common ground between himself, his campaign and his critics. In so doing, King’s rhetorically sophisticated yet open and persuasive letter can be seen as an effective effort to co-opt critics to not only adopt the point of view of King on the civil rights struggle but to even join him in this struggle.
Grigsby, Ellen. Analyzing Politics: An Introduction to Political
Science 4th Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage, 2009.
King, Martin Luther. ”Letter from Birmingham Jail.” April 16,
1963. Retrieved September 27, 2009.