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The civil rights era has profoundly shaped the writing of Taylor Branch. His trilogy, “America in the King Years,” was intensively researched over a period of 24 years. The first book in the series, “Parting the Waters,” won the Pulitzer Prize. His eight-year project to gather a sitting president’s comprehensive oral history on tape resulted in 1990’s “The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President.” In 2011, The Atlantic Monthly published Branch’s highly influential and controversial article “The Shame of College Sports.” Most recently, he has returned to the civil rights period for “The King Years: Moments in the Civil Rights Movement” (Simon & Schuster), which presents 18 singular moments from the entire era.