Thurgood Marshall may be best remembered for his victory in the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. But the former Supreme Court justice did not begin his career in 1954.
"Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America," by Gilbert King, tells the story of another case tried by Marshall – a much earlier and seemingly unwinnable murder case that King argues helped to turn the young Marshall into the crusader that he would become.
Yesterday King was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction for "Devil in the Grove."
"King’s style, at once suspenseful and historically meticulous, advances the facts of the Groveland case while simultaneously weaving together details from Marshall’s professional rise within the NAACP and his home life in Harlem," wrote Monitor book critic Meredith Bennett-Smith in her review of the book last year. "The story of the Thurgood Marshall and his Groveland Boys reminds us that man’s capacity for evil may be deep, but so is his capacity for change.
You can see the Monitor's full review of "Devil in the Grove" here.