Vero Beach Bookies discuss Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King

Monday, August 12th at 10:30 am

vero-beach-book-club-discusses-devil-in-the-grove.jpgDevil in the Grove is the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

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.”

Bookies Reading Choices July 2019 to June 2020

July 8th Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Aug 12th Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King

Sept 9th Beneath the Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Oct 14th The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty

Nov 11th The Overstory by Richard Powers

Dec 9th The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris


Jan 13th Carnegie's Maid by Maria Benedict

Feb 10th Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

March 9th Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

April 13th The Nix by Nathan Hill

May 11th Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

June 8th The Matriarch by Susan Page