Devil in the Grove - Gilbert King

Devil in the Grove

By Gilbert King

  • Release Date: 2012-03-06
  • Genre: United States
Score: 4.5
From 153 Ratings


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“A must-read, cannot-put-down history.” — Thomas Friedman, New York Times

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 black men 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.


  • Justice Thurgood Marshall is what legends are made of

    By Natacha Fontaine
    This is a brilliantly written piece of African American history and our civil rights leaders.
  • Stunning!

    By rottenflower
    A remarkable bit of history that should be widely shared. We shouldn't run from our past, but seek to understand it and grow from it. This book evoked both sadness and anger in me.
  • A thrilling, inspiring story of courage & tenacity in the long struggle for racial equality

    By osavage
    This story of a long-forgotten milepost on the road to racial equality (that we're still traveling) was an astounding read. The Pulitzer was richly deserved. Bravo, Mr. King!
  • Devil in the Grove

    By Sweaty Dog
    One of the best books I've read in a long time...and I've read a few over the years (decades would be more to the point). I couldn't put it down. Keep up the good work Mr. King.
  • Mt

    By Noonerrally
    Absolutely compelling; chilling, horrific, scary, heart rending, a real page turner. What a massive tribute to a tireless advocate! Should be a must read!