Audie Award Winner, History, 2014
Pulitzer Prize, General Nonfiction, 2013
Arguably the most important American lawyer of the 20th 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 17-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."
©2012 Gilbert King (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
Profesionl, hard working woman who travels weekly, enjoys life. My best Friends are Michael and Scooter. Nonfiction books are the best!
This book is right up there with the best...
It's history, it's true, and most of all I learned about injustes to human beings.
Love his voice
WOW, there were several, no there were many..
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.
Love history,mystery,true crime,love books especially audio.
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.
I'm sure this book is fabulous but I could only get half way through it before I went screaming into the night because the narrator was so FLAT and SLOW. I even sped up the narration speed and it was still unlistenable! Which is so frustrating because I was very excited about this book.
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.
Book was one you didn't want to stop. Characters developed - one had to choose sides!
I couldn't put it down, of whatever the audiobook equivalent of that is. An engrossing story of southern cronyism.
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!
Fascinating story about a pernicious evil and the courage it took to combat it. I highly recommend this book.
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