The White House Boys

An American Tragedy
Narrated by: T. Ryder Smith
Length: 2 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Hidden far from sight, deep in the thick underbrush of the North Florida woods are the ghostly graves of more than 30 unidentified bodies, some of which are thought to be children who were beaten to death at the old Florida Industrial School for Boys at Marianna. It is suspected that many more bodies will be found in the fields and swamplands surrounding the institution. Investigations into the unmarked graves have compelled many grown men to come forward and share their stories of the abuses they endured and the atrocities they witnessed in the 1950s and 1960s at the institution.

The White House Boys: An American Tragedy is the true story of the horrors recalled by Roger Dean Kiser, one of the boys incarcerated at the facility in the late fifties for the crime of being a confused, unwanted, and wayward child. In a style reminiscent of the works of Mark Twain, Kiser recollects the horrifying verbal, sexual, and physical abuse he and other innocent young boys endured at the hands of their "caretakers." Questions remain unanswered and theories abound, but Roger and the other White House Boys are determined to learn the truth and see justice served.

©2009 Roger Dean Kiser (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tough. Brutal. Realistic. Vivid

If you could sum up The White House Boys in three words, what would they be?

Painful. Hard. Sad.

What did you like best about this story?

I am a child advocate and began my (volunteer) work with children of abuse/neglect in the early 1970s (and still do); a number of my cases involved children that were beaten to death and dealing with siblings that survived. The heartache and struggles that are carried from one generation to the next. Often detachment is the only way to survive.
This story is very real and I can see how such facilities could have been in many other states (and countries).
It is a wonder that Roger Dean Kiser was even able to relive and go through such brutality and was able to tell about it. It had to be tough just to reduce all of this pain to a book.
I am proud of him.

What does T. Ryder Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good telling.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I couldn't take all the reality in one sitting. I had to space it out because of the vivid brutality. Even with my personal experience with children (now adults), it was hard. But, a story that needed to be told. There are more stories out there. But, this kind of story takes a lot of courage.

Any additional comments?

Thank you Roger Dean Kiser. You are a testiment to the survival and you may help other children.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Haunting Reality.

Loved this book. Excellent narrating.
I not only learned what happened but I felt like I was there seeing it happen.

1 person found this helpful

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What an Atrocity

I chose this book because it was written by someone who experienced the horrible abuses at Dozier. It is hard to understand the mindset of the workers who participated.

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Understanding

This was absolutely heartbreaking. What a story . You really get to experience the kind of damage. Emotional , physical, sexual abuse does to a person. Amazing details and a great reader too.

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Ashamed

Well written, well narrated. Painful but uplifting. Makes me ashamed of humanity. This should be required reading for many.

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A look into warehousing of children in this countr

I enjoyed the book and finished it in one day. Very emotionally involved as you get through the book.

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Devastatingly sad

Thank you Mr. Kiser for sharing your horrific life story. You are turning the light on these unG-dly happenings every single time your book is read then shared. This abuse shall suffer no secret as long as brave people like yourself are opening the door to atrocities. We are now in the middle of young babies being ripped from the arms of their parents and placed in strangers arms. So alas, it has not ceased but your strength to share, to shed light, I believe is what is keeping this dirty perverse secret from hiding in the shadows ever again. Bless you sir.

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Rough Truths

I really appreciate the bravery it took to come forward. Loved this book. Thank you.

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a true voice and realization to never be repeated

Rodger gave these boys at your voice and realization of what should never be repeated again this story is breathtaking and honestly makes me want to cradle him even at the age that he is to say I'm sorry your childhood was such a horrible thing but the lessons you have learned will save others will Comfort others and your voice speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves truly an honor to hear and read such a remarkable personal experience I'm honored to hear it I'm honored to absorb it and I'm honored never to repeat it as a cycle of behavior should end and only show positivity no negativity I salute you

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Tragic

Astonished that so many boys endured this horrific brutality. Roger is very brave for sharing with us his life and I am deeply affected by this tragedy. I wish I could have saved them. These boys deserve more than an apology, they deserve justice.

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  • Jamie Cottam-howarth
  • 02-12-15

a great listen

an honest good paced story that touches the heart.I recommend very much .Will listen to again

2 people found this helpful