Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Devil in the Grove, 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
In this 2013 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, Devil in the Grove is about Thurgood Marshall's ("Mr Civil Rights" and arguably one of the best lawyers of the 20th century) work to save three black men accused of gang raping a 17 year old girl.

Gilbert King did an amazing amount of research for this book including reading the FBI's Groveland case files and the NAACP's legal defense files - and this research really shone through. His prose was acerbic at times, and it flowed smoothly keeping my interest the whole way through. Devil in the Grove gave a lot of background information on Thurgood Marshall's life outside of the of the trial, thus bringing a personal light to the story. Gilbert also included stories about KKK activities against lawyers who defended black people accused of rape, which was terrifying and disgusting. 

Overall, a fantastic book. Read it. 


  1. This looks like such an important and good book.

    The false accusations against Africans Americans for sexual violence in this era were epidemic and a terrible mark on American history. The repercussions of these horrors resound down through today.

    1. Yes they do. Such racism may be less blatant now, but there is still that "New Jim Crow" going on.