Download Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found Audiobook

Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found Audiobook, by Gilbert King Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Gilbert King Narrator: Kimberly Farr Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2018 ISBN: 9780525528258
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From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Devil in the Grove comes a gripping story of sex, race, class, corruption, and the arc of justice twisted and bent straight again in the Florida citrus groves.

In January 1957, which brings a rare killing freeze to Florida’s orange groves, Blanche Bosanquet Knowles, the wealthy young wife of a citrus baron, is raped in her home while her husband is away. She says a “husky Negro” did it, and Lake County’s infamously racist sheriff, Willis McCall, has no hesitation in rounding up a herd of suspects matching that description, alibis be damned. But within days, they are released, and instead the crime is pinned on Jesse Daniels, a slight-built, white nineteen-year-old with the mental capacity of a six-year-old. His uneducated parents’ every attempt to secure him competent legal representation fails, and he is packed up north to the Florida State Hospital for the Insane in Chattahoochee, where he will languish for more than thirteen years.

But facts are stubborn things, especially in the hands of a crusading journalist named Mabel Norris Reese, a heroine of Devil in the Grove. She recruits to the cause an inexperienced young lawyer named Richard Graham, who learns quickly from his fearless mentor. Together they dig deep into the case, winning unlikely allies, unearthing the shameful truths buried beneath its confounding contradictions, and slowly, relentlessly, bending the arc of history at long last back toward justice.

Powerful, page-turning, and rippling with the tensions that still fracture our own times, Beneath a Ruthless Sun will be devoured by Gilbert King’s many fans and will win him many, many new ones.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Compelling, insightful. and important, Beneath a Ruthless Sun exposes the corruption of racial bigotry and animus that shadows a community, a state, and a nation. A fascinating examination of an injustice story all too familiar and still largely ignored, an engaging and essential read.”

    Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author

  • “King tells this complex story with grace and sensitivity…His mastery of the material is complete…[and]occasional detours into such subjects as the history of the citrus industry and Dr. King’s protests in St. Augustine are welcome and illuminating.”

    New York Times

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice

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About the Author

Gilbert King is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winner Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. His other books include The Execution of Willie Francis and Beneath a Ruthless Sun. He has written about US Supreme Court history for the New York Times and the Washington Post and is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine’s history blog, Past Imperfect.

About the Narrator

Kimberly Farr is an actress and winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration. She has appeared on Broadway and at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout Theatre, Playwright’s Horizons, and the American Place. She created the role of “Eve” in Arthur Miller’s first and only musical, Up from Paradise, which was directed by the author. She appeared with Vanessa Redgrave in the Broadway production of The Lady from the Sea and has acted in regional theaters across the country, including a performance in the original production of The 1940’s Radio Hour at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage.