[Download] Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America By Gilbert King

Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America

By: Gilbert King
Narrated by: Peter Francis James
Length: 17 hours
Release date: May 22, 2013
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (127 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

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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 an explosive and deadly 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. To maintain order and profits, they turned to Willis V. McCall, a violent sheriff who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old Groveland girl cried rape, McCall was fast on the trail of four young blacks who dared to envision a future for themselves beyond the citrus groves. By day's end, the Ku Klux Klan had rolled into town, burning the homes of blacks to the ground and chasing hundreds into the swamps, hell-bent on lynching the young men who came to be known as "the Groveland Boys."

And so began the chain of events that would bring Thurgood Marshall, the man known as "Mr. Civil Rights," into the deadly fray. Associates thought it was suicidal for him to wade into the "Florida Terror" at a time when he was irreplaceable to the burgeoning civil rights movement, but the lawyer would not shrink from the fight-not after the Klan had murdered one of Marshall's NAACP associates involved with the case and Marshall had endured continual threats that he would be next.

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, King shines new light on this remarkable civil rights crusader, setting his rich and driving narrative against the heroic backdrop of a case that U.S. Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson decried as "one of the best examples of one of the worst menaces to American justice."

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66 Responses to “[Download] Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America By Gilbert King”

  1. Josefa Tatem

    Must read American History
    This history won a Pulitzer prize for a reason. this audio book won a production award for a reason. how they say the truth is stranger than fiction, wow

  2. Customer

    Riveting drama and tremendous story
    Along with Thurgood Marshall’s life and the capitol rape case at its core this book recounts the epic struggle for civil rights that took place after WWII and before the Montgomery bus boycott. This essential part of the story is seldom told now adays.

  3. Kaci Mcwethy

    Loved this Book
    Informative, inspiring
    Really loved it, a remarkable man
    Beautifully written and performed
    The parallels to today are uncanny
    Hopefully a new Thurgood Marshall will appear.

  4. Timothy Burnell

    Excellent Novel: Many Perspectives
    Where does Devil in the Grove rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  5. Leif Lemelle

    Exceptionally emotional! Very well narrated!
    I struggled to give a 4 and 5 star review to a story of mammoth racial injustice and hatred. However, it is a story that presented the truth , and the determination of the foot soldiers of the NAACP and others in their efforts to rid this Nation of this ugly monster. This service book allowed me to enjoy this narrative, while still being able to engaged in other physical activity. However, I found myself many times, frozen in motion, feeling as if I was present in the story!

  6. Pandora Magallon

    Excellent book!
    Read this book! Gilbert King is a masterful storyteller and I really enjoyed listening to this book. He has so much attention to detail that I felt like I visited Lake County myself!

    What makes this historical narrative different than others is that you get a real feeling of what everyone was going through at the time – Thurgood Marshall’s big picture concerns about the larger movement for racial justice and the direction of the NAACP, and his laser focus on the nuances of the jury in the trial, the competing political interests of Sheriff McCall as a public official, illegal gambling boss, and Klansman, amongst a host of other details. I was also impressed by the fact that King is not a lawyer, but had such a clear grasp on the complicated legal issues and procedures at multiple levels. Also, narrator was great! I loved his vivid accents and intonations. It makes you feel like you’re in the room when Thurgood Marshall is speaking! Great book all around!

  7. Lavonna Troup

    Excellent Base Story, but too Meandering
    Excellent topic, but the author went off on way too many tangents. Annoyingly so.

  8. Valentin P.

    This is an amazing documentary that everyone (especially everyone north of the Mason Dixon Line) needs to read.

  9. Sal Warthen

    Truly compelling story
    so glad to have read this book. At once a history of a tragic case, a shameful time and our history, and a community that would not relent in its hunt for justice.

  10. David

    Story must be told.
    The story and performance were excellent. The only way we prevent injustice is to see it and feel it, and reject it. Gratitude to those who expose and fight it.

  11. Teena Steinmeyer

    Excellent…Must read.
    Any good lawyer would gain insight as to Thurgood Marshall’s intensity, don’t quit, get the facts mentality. Great book, I’m going to go through it again.

  12. Dung Middleton

    Good story line, but veers off course too often
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

  13. Alva Grzyb

    M9ving story
    Sad and troubling story. How things were so recently is without excuse. May we never look back on those aspects as the good ole days.

  14. Michael Hogan

    Excellent Book
    This was a very interesting & detailed work that gave me perspective on civil rights work that I was largely unaware of previously. Told through the lens of a specific case – the book provided an extensive survey of the changes & work to bring justice & civil rights to black citizens.

    At times the detail was more than I felt necessary – but I still found myself engaged & eager to complete the book.

    The narration was excellent with the speaker using local dialects & speech that added to the overall story. One of my favorite books of the last several I have finished.

  15. Ileana Sampaia

    Captivating book. I read dozens of nonfiction books every year. This was one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Without reservation, you should read this book.

  16. Eulah Ledl

    How could this have happened
    Where does Devil in the Grove rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  17. Long Sookoo

    Worth Every Painful Minute
    Fascinating story that was all too common in the Jim Crow south. Loved learning more about Thurgood Marshall, his cases, and his life before he was Justice Marshall. Well worth a listen

  18. Sammie Guard

    A seminal book
    It’s not often that you read a book, rather listen as I did with this, that rattled you. The facts of this story shocked me as I knew the stain of racism was deep and violent but not like this book told. Worse, one man was the root of all that evil. The narration was exceptional, simply exceptional.

  19. Sherman Kujak

    Riveting True Story You Don’t know, but Should
    This book tells the horrific story of four black men falsely accused of raping a white woman after WWII, in a small Florida town, not far from Orlando. Having read many books on Thurgood Marshall, the Civil Rights Movement and the battle Charles Houston, Marshall’s mentor and the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund waged for racial equality, I knew nothing of this remarkable case that Marshall and his team took on or the lives that were ruined by the great injustice of the Florida legal system in this period of time.

    The author is a master writer and teller of tales and the narrator delivers a tour de force.

    Florida, NY City and the other places Marshall found himself fighting criminal cases in those years before Brown are vividly evoked, the many characters — including a civil rights giant from Florida assassinated long before Medger Evers, whose name has been all but forgotten by history, the defendants, Marshall’s fellow lawyers, the prosecutor and the villain sheriff at the heart of this drama are brought to life by this talented writer in a manner that makes each of them unforgettable. And the story, the story, grabs you and pulls you in to a world that should never have been, but is oh-so-sadly relevant to the abuses all around us today. And there is so much to learn about such unexpected things like the power of Minute Maid Orange Juice in Floirda at the time.

    The only thing missing from this book published in 2012 is an updated epilogue of the failure of Florida’s governor to take action recommended by the state’s legislature to set the record straight on what happened in this case. After you read the book, I recommend you google the incident and look for recent news articles on Florida’s inexcusable refusal to try and do some justice for the men who were the Groveland Boys.

    This marvelous book was justly awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2013. Read it! Listen to it! You will not be disappointed.

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  20. coffeedave

    Everyone ought to listen to this book
    Americans need to read/listen to this well-researched and telling of a historic event of racism and tragic series of injustice within our legal and judiciary systems. It reveals much about the challenges we are facing today.

  21. Emil Jongsma

    So much I didn’t know
    Besides the many sad details of the case and there are more follow-up interviews about the case if you google it, it’s important for people to know this happened. I was raised in South Carolina and was surprised to hear Mr. Marshall was there and visited my hometown. And I guess it’s not surprising that it wasn’t a hospitable experience. But i was surprised there was so much history that is just (probably preferably) forgotten.

  22. Candi Aivao

    Reminds me why I went to law school
    Have a young person in your family thinking of, planning on, or considering heading to law school? Buy this book for them. Absolutely fantastic.

  23. Lamar Magan

    Past and Present
    On August 12, 2017, James Alex Fields attended a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and marched under the banner of Vanguard America, a group whose manifesto proclaims that "a government based in the natural law must not cater to the false notion of equality." At approximately 1:45 p.m., Fields drove a Dodge Challenger into a sedan, which hit a minivan that was in front of it. The impact of the crash pushed the sedan and the minivan into a crowd of pedestrians. Fields then fled the scene in the Challenger, but he was stopped a short time later by the Charlottesville police. Heather Heyer, a paralegal in Charlottesville, was killed, and many others were injured.

    After witnessing the events in Charlottesville, I listened "Devil in the Grove" for the second time. Gilbert King is a master storyteller, and Peter Francis James’ voice made me recall the vintage film of Edward R. Murrow, proclaiming in reference to Senator Joseph McCarthy, "we will not walk in fear, one of another." After my first time through this book, I wondered about a world that could produce someone like Sheriff Willis V. McCall. On second reading, I realized that we still live in that world, and I resolved to honor the memory of the Groveland Four (Earnest Thomas, Charles Greenlee, Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin) and Heather Heyer by doing more within my sphere (as a law school dean) to promote justice.

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  24. Cecille Keidong

    Engaging and well told
    Some nonfiction books are so dry, it can be easy to zone out. That is 100% not the case here. King – and the narrator – did a great job of weaving the narrative together and shedding light on not only the little details, but why they mattered. This is a hard book to listen to because so much of the subject matter is horrifying and ugly, but it should also be mandatory for anyone trying to dismiss the impact of our past on our present.

  25. Alphonse Swanteck

    Highly Recommended!
    Excellent, impressive knowledge of history and lack of justce. Recommended for all. our book club chose it

  26. Harry Seaward

    Great, Compelling Read
    I couldn’t put it down, of whatever the audiobook equivalent of that is. An engrossing story of southern cronyism.

  27. Arvilla B.

    No Reason To Hate
    This book was an eye opener. An extraordinary lesson on the evils of racial prejudice. How some men with power, should never have it. A past history that is sadly coming into our future. How men can be so cruel is beyond me. Excellent Book. !!

  28. Sharee Sagendorf

    Finished it in under 3 days, couldn’t but it down
    Informative, insightful, shocking. I loved this book, though it was often infuriating to listen to its many detailed injustices.

  29. Cameron Stairs

    Stalin’s Gulag in America
    Central Florida in 1946 treated its black citizens the way Stalin treated his enemies in the Soviet prisons. I was immediately struck in reading this book by the similarities between the police tactics used by Sheriff Willis McCall and his cronies and the tactics used by KGB interrogators to extract confessions from prisoners during Stalin’s purges of the 1930’s. Sheriff McCall would have been fully qualified for a post in Stalin’s secret police in light of the disgusting mistreatment he meted out to innocent black citizens during his "reign of terror" as Sheriff of Cade County Florida.

    These events took place before I was old enough to appreciate just how bad things were. The book is a revelation for those of us too young to have seen first hand or read in newspapers about the worst abuses of the Jim Crow era. It was a disgrace that never should have occurred in our country and should never occur again.

  30. Krystle Florin

    well written. Well performed. Truth Stranger Than Fiction. heartbreaking that this happened in our lifetime.

  31. Lavonda Sutherland

    Should be read by all
    What made the experience of listening to Devil in the Grove the most enjoyable?

  32. Consuelo Philibert

    Required reading
    I moved to Florida in 1974..I’ve traveled the world in the military I built a business raised a family and never knew this took place right where I live.

  33. Tyrone Berntsen

    Awesome History Lesson
    Absolutely brilliant and a must read. This book should be on the number 1 list for the profound history lesson it provides.

  34. Nellie G.

    Riveting and Righteous
    A MUST read that is infuriating & inspirational. Should be required for US history courses.

  35. Colleen M.

    A legal, historical gem
    this book truly describes the hard fight legal battles in attemptibg to dismantle the racial discrimination and violence perpetuated again blacks. the narrator also does a great job in telling this fascinating story.

  36. Damien Plue

    Quite a story
    It was very interesting learning more about Marshall & his life before the Supreme Court. It was also horrifying to listen to this just such example of gross injustice. But the order of events could be confusing at times plus the very matter-a-fact narration kept the book at an average rating. I am interested in learning even more about Marshall though & especially after watching RBG and her similar story & fight for women’s rights.

  37. Mindi K.

    The Underbelly of American History
    This book helped me understand the power of the civil rights movement in a much more intimate way then simply learning about the protest marchers being beaten and arrested. For the victim here was simply swept in events that he had no involvement in. The author did an exceptional job at creating a compelling narrative from his extensive research. You will get a ringside seat into the backrooms of power, hatred and civil corruption to witness how cruel people can become when there is no sense of accountability for their actions. This story really helped me understand how racism and entitlement were practiced in the rural south. I thought the narrator did an excellent job at capturing the nuances of the various characters as well. This is a must read!

  38. Rigoberto F.

    This should be required reading lest we forget.
    You can still hear echoes of racist thought today . We have made great strides but still have far to go.

  39. Lester Ennett

    The narrator!
    Any additional comments?

  40. Kelly

    Gripping and moving
    Fascinating story about a pernicious evil and the courage it took to combat it. I highly recommend this book.

  41. Ruben Roever

    A Must Read/Listen For All
    This book should be required reading in high school U.S History courses. The sad part is most Americans know very little about this case or Thurgood Marshall’s involvement in it. The good part is now they will. Peter Francis James the perfect narrator for this book.

  42. Christopher Aulet

    This was eye opening and almost instantly changes the way you will read American history. The not talked about aspects of our counties history are cut to the core in this great self reflecting view on a dark part of American History

  43. James

    Great Overall.
    Great book; elicited a lot of emotions, the treatment of the oppressed is simultaneously embarrassing and infuriating. Made up of a lot of good pieces without doing one particular thing great. Not wholly about Marshall, not wholly about Groveland; overall, a generalized history and context of the socio-cultural dynamics of the time as it affected a handful of folks associated with the Groveland Boys plight.

  44. Elayne Privett

    Fascinating Account of a Disgusting Chapter in U.S. History
    Excellent book, though best if listened to at 1.25x speed. At times, this was hard to listen to because it so strongly conveys the sense of virtual powerlessness black Floridians experienced given the good old boy white supremacists in positions of power. But this also conveys the bravery and sacrifice of those willing to stand up for justice.

  45. Shantel Sahagun

    You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
    Where does Devil in the Grove rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  46. James D McCarty

    This book should be required reading for all students in the United States of America. Marshall is a giant!

  47. Maida Wildsmith

    Not a biography, but an important book
    I bought this book hoping for a biography of Thurgood Marshall. It isn’t that, but it is enough to remind us that long before he was a Supreme Court Justice, he was a legitimate American hero. For that, and for reminding us of our deeply racist past, this book is an essential read.

  48. Jayson Koslosky

    makes me ashamed to be from Florida
    unbelievable. I was born and raised in for Florida. I am a “country girl”, and this story angers and saddens me more than any I’ve ever heard. the term “devil” is too kind. these horrible, evil, disgusting people are now seeing the devil face to face. and my heart breaks when I think of those poor boys and what their families went through. I now understand why allot of blacks don’t trust police!

  49. Tawna Reinholt

    Another good read?
    Very good reader. The reality of this part of our history was difficult to listen to. Enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

  50. Patsy P.

    Excellent and Important Read
    Excellent, well researched, important and intense read. Anyone with interest in inequities and inhumane treatment of blacks and who want to be sure we take no steps backwards should read this book.

  51. Jerilyn Bushovisky

    Excellent Portrayal of a Terrible Time
    What made the experience of listening to Devil in the Grove the most enjoyable?

  52. Darcel Carrick

    Gut Wrenching
    I didn’t know much about Thurgood Marshall or the Groveland case before reading this book. It was eye opening, unbelievable, and horrible all at the same time. To think these events happened not too long ago in this country is saddening.

  53. Tracy Temme

    Compelling reading
    Outstanding, the best book I have read in months. I was thinking about moving to Florida before I read this book, not anymore!!

  54. Lenny Zorko

    The best audiobook I have listened to
    The narrator, the gripping story and the fact that it sheds light on some of the most obscure years of America post world war II makes this an incredible listening experience. The most exciting part is sometimes forgetting that it is a non-fiction narrative, because of the authors ability to bring the characters to life and make this narrative even more relevant today. It is an amazing read for any American, and non American alike to understand the essence of the reasons behind the civil rights movement. My library primarily consists of sci-fi and science books, but this book is by far THE BEST BOOK that I have listened to in 3 years on service. I can only wish to find more wonderful writings like this in the future

  55. Roslyn Skalla

    One of the best and most disturbing books
    King is an incredible story teller. The people, places, scenes are alive as the book goes thru this case minute by minute and day by day. I felt like I was living in the middle of this horrible geography in American history. Thank goodness we have come so far in America, although there is still a lot to be done. And Thurgood Marshall, unlike the hagiography of so many recent American biographies, has many weaknesses but still emerges as a great historical figure who made a profound difference. Everyone should read this book.

  56. Craig

    Incredible stories of the civil injustices prevalent in the rascist South. Couldn’t stop listening once I started!

  57. Jessie Hadden

    Mind blowing account of Jim Crow south, especially Florida, through 1969. Thurgood Marshall a giant for justice throughout.

  58. Kenny

    Too much dialect
    A great, great book and a history lesson we all need to learn. We are all indebted to Thurgood Marshall. The reading is also very good, too. But to my taste the narrator overplayed the use of dialect. To a degree, the use was helpful. But it became tiresome over the course of the book.

  59. Miguel Gagliardo

    History came alive.
    This book was BRILLIANT! Brilliantly written and brilliantly performed.

    I had always wanted to know more about Thurgood Marshal. This book at once satisfied my need and had me wanting to learn more. It provided a thorough accounting of the events surrounding the Groveland case. It also seamlessly wove background information about other landmark civil rights cases and successfully incorporated them into the telling of this story.

    The narrator was both authoritative and comforting. Both of these things are needed when listening to a book on such a substantial topic.


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  60. Svetlana

    Hard reality. Would much rather know such atrocities hadn’t taken place but unfortunately they have… Well written, great narrator.

  61. Dell

    Very Informative read
    Where does Devil in the Grove rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  62. Florrie Amass

    This Book was Awesome! Best I’ve Read in a long time!!
    Book was one you didn’t want to stop. Characters developed – one had to choose sides!

  63. Rolf Hyslop

    Must Read
    If you want to recall just how far we have comeREAD THIS BOOK. if you are willing to think about how we must continue forward READ THIS BOOK.

  64. Jason Greem

    Was this really the United States of America?!
    What did you love best about Devil in the Grove?

  65. Kasie K.

    An incredibly detailed and compelling account of one of many miscarriages of justice and the brave men and women who fought against it. I have even more respect for Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP than I did before if that’s possible. Bravo Mr King! I must also add the narration was superbly done.

  66. Leigh Cuffari

    Amazingly told
    Loved this book, it is heart breaking to know people were so hateful and ignorant

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