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Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America Paperback – February 19, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,000 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Must-read, cannot-put-down history." (New York Times)

“Superb.” (Junot Diaz, author of This Is How You Lose Her )

“A powerful and well-told drama of Southern injustice.” (The Chicago Tribune )

Devil in the Grove is a compelling look at the case that forged Thurgood Marshall’s perception of himself as a crusader for civil rights. . . . King’s style [is] at once suspenseful and historically meticulous” (Christian Science Monitor )

“Recreates an important yet overlooked moment in American history with a chilling, atmospheric narrative that reads more like a Southern Gothic novel than a work of history.” (Salon )

“A taut, intensely readable narrative.” (Boston Globe )

“The story’s drama and pathos make it a page-turner, but King’s attention to detail, fresh material, and evenhanded treatment of the villains make it a worthy contribution to the history of the period, while offering valuable insight into Marshall’s work and life.” (Publishers Weekly )

“A thoroughgoing study of one of the most important civil-rights cases argued by Thurgood Marshall in dismantling Jim Crow strictures. . . . Deeply researched and superbly composed.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

“A compelling chronicle.” (Booklist )

“Gripping. . . . Lively and multidimensional.” (Dallas Morning News )

“The tragic Groveland saga -- with its Faulknerian echoes of racial injustice spinning around an accusation of rape -- comes astonishingly alive in Gilbert King’s narrative. It is both heartbreaking and unforgettable.” (Wil Haygood, author of King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. )

From the Back Cover

Devil in the Grove is the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

Arguably the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in a case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life.

In 1949, Florida's orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor with the help of Sheriff Willis V. McCall, who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old girl cried rape, McCall pursued four young blacks who dared envision a future for themselves beyond the groves. The Ku Klux Klan joined the hunt, hell-bent on lynching the men who came to be known as "the Groveland Boys."

Associates thought it was suicidal for Marshall to wade into the "Florida Terror," but the young lawyer would not shrink from the fight despite continuous death threats against him.

Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI's unredacted Groveland case files, as well as unprecedented access to the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund files, Gilbert King shines new light on this remarkable civil rights crusader.


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4.7 out of 5 stars
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R Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars A travesty of justice!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible horror story!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, painful but ultimately a really good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars YOU'RE DEAD BETWEEN THE EARS IF THIS BOOK DOESN'T AFFECT YOU
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5.0 out of 5 stars a heart stopping reminder of the recent past
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 4, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunned.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, tragic but optimistic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking yet compelling
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5.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing yet brilliant account
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars So very highly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book about and amazing man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in years
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