Extended Audio Sample

Download He Calls Me By Lightning: The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample He Calls Me By Lightning: The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty Audiobook, by S. Jonathan Bass Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: S. Jonathan Bass Narrator: Mirron Willis Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781515985563
Regular Price: $19.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $10.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Caliph Washington’s life was never supposed to matter. As a black teenager from the vice-ridden city of Bessemer, Alabama, Washington was wrongfully convicted of killing an Alabama policeman in 1957. Sentenced to death, he came within minutes of the electric chair nearly a dozen times.

His story, a Kafka-esque legal odyssey in which Washington’s original conviction was overturned three times before he was finally released in 1972, is the kind that pervades the history of American justice. Here, in the hands of historian S. Jonathan Bass, Washington’s ordeal and life are rescued from anonymity and become a moving parable of one man’s survival and perseverance in a hellish system.

He Calls Me by Lightning is both a compelling legal drama and a fierce depiction of the Jim Crow South that forces us to take account of the lives cast away by systemic racism.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Throughout a skilled recounting of Washington’s travails, Bass offers extended riveting passages about the broader battle for civil rights in Alabama. A stirring book that explores numerous aspects of racism in Alabama and the nation as a whole.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • He Calls Me By Lightning insists that we face the cost of lives that don’t matter to a persistent racial caste system. It reminds us that human endurance and irrepressible love outlast the glacial pace of change and proves how much we do not yet know about our history.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “In sharper focus, thanks to Bass’ painstaking research, is a picture of how Jim Crow legal systems operated at the local and state levels…Insight into a history of America that can no longer be left unknown.”

    Washington Post

  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2017
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Narrator

Mirron Willis—actor of film, stage, and television—is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2012 and a finalist for the Audie in 2015, as well as the winner of four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook recordings. He has worked extensively in film and television and on stage with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Ensemble Theatre, among others. He has recorded some 150 audiobooks, including the Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott and My Song by Harry Belafonte. He resides and records audiobooks on his family’s historic ranch in East Texas.