Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group 2018
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NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST"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, author of Just MercyFrom the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Devil in the Grove, the gripping true story of a small town with a big secret.In December 1957, the wife of a Florida citrus baron is raped in her home while her husband is away. She claims a "husky Negro" did it, and the sheriff, the infamous racist Willis McCall, does not hesitate to round up a herd of suspects. But within days, McCall turns his sights on Jesse Daniels, a gentle, mentally impaired white nineteen-year-old. Soon Jesse is railroaded up to the state hospital for the insane, and locked away without trial. But crusading journalist Mabel Norris Reese cannot stop fretting over the case and its baffling outcome. Who was protecting whom, or what? She pursues the story for years, chasing down leads, hitting dead ends, winning unlikely allies. Bit by bit, the unspeakable truths behind a conspiracy that shocked a community into silence begin to surface. Beneath a Ruthless Sun tells a powerful, page-turning story rooted in the fears that rippled through the South as integration began to take hold, sparking a surge of virulent racism that savaged the vulnerable, debased the powerful, and roils our own times still.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
04/24/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525528272
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865280c1-284e-b7f0-42b0-892655dff4fb
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:37:50
Date Updated:
Oct 20, 2019 02:03:18
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      • bioText: GILBERT KING is the author of Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. He has written about Supreme Court history and the death penalty for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine and The Marshall Project. An earlier book, The Execution of Willie Francis was published in 2008. He lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.
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title
Beneath a Ruthless Sun
fullDescription
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

"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, author of Just Mercy
From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Devil in the Grove, the gripping true story of a small town with a big secret.

In December 1957, the wife of a Florida citrus baron is raped in her home while her husband is away. She claims a "husky Negro" did it, and the sheriff, the infamous racist Willis McCall, does not hesitate to round up a herd of suspects. But within days, McCall turns his sights on Jesse Daniels, a gentle, mentally impaired white nineteen-year-old. Soon Jesse is railroaded up to the state hospital for the insane, and locked away without trial.
But crusading journalist Mabel Norris Reese cannot stop fretting over the case and its baffling outcome. Who was protecting whom, or what? She pursues the story for years, chasing down leads, hitting dead ends, winning unlikely allies. Bit by bit, the unspeakable truths behind a conspiracy that shocked a community into silence begin to surface.
Beneath a Ruthless Sun tells a powerful, page-turning story rooted in the fears that rippled through the South as integration began to take hold, sparking a surge of virulent racism that savaged the vulnerable, debased the powerful, and roils our own times still.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from February 12, 2018
        The perversions of justice under Jim Crow chart a devious path in this labyrinthine true crime saga. Pulitzer-winning historian King (Devil in the Grove) explores the aftermath of the 1957 rape of a white woman named Blanche Knowles, the wife of a wealthy citrus baron in Lake County, Fla., a locale notorious for trumped-up prosecutions of black men. A dragnet led by Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall rounded up African-American suspects, but then Jesse Daniels, a mentally impaired white teenager, was accused of the crime. Despite evidence that his confession was coerced, he was committed without trial to a hospital for the criminally insane. King follows the Daniels family’s struggle to free Jesse for two decades as it played out against Florida’s intensifying civil rights movement, untangling along the way the extraordinary web of lies that racism wove around blacks and whites alike (for example, Blanche’s family dismisses a lead on a new suspect to spare her husband “the indignity of having a wife who had been violated by a black man”). At the story’s center is the decades-long reign of terror of Sheriff McCall, a Klan leader who killed prisoners, beat suspects, brutalized interracial couples, and railroaded innocent people, and was opposed only by crusading journalist Mabel Reese, who braved death threats and bombings to help Daniels. Packed with riveting characters and startling twists, King’s narrative unfolds like a Southern gothic noir probing the recesses of a poisoned society. Photos.

      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Narrator Kimberly Farr's confident, conversational tone draws listeners into the tense world of Jim Crow-era Florida, making the arrogance of those in power and the pain they inflicted that much more tangible. In 1957, the wealthy white Blanche Bosanquet Knowles was raped in her home and described her assailant as a "husky Negro." Although the notoriously racist local sheriff authorized a brutal roundup of the black community, he ultimately arrested Jessie Daniels, a 19-year-old white boy with the mental capacity of a 6-year-old. Thankfully, journalist Mabel Norris Reese railed at the injustice and sacrificed years of her life to securing justice for Daniels. Farr wisely lets King's research and evocative writing speak for themselves in a jarring and timely history that does credit to Reese's quest. B.E.K. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine
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shortDescription
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

"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, author of Just Mercy
From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Devil in the Grove, the gripping true story of a small town with a big secret.

In December 1957, the wife of a Florida citrus baron is raped in her home while her husband is away. She claims a "husky Negro" did it, and the sheriff, the infamous racist Willis McCall, does not hesitate to round up a herd of suspects. But within days, McCall turns his sights on Jesse Daniels, a gentle, mentally impaired white nineteen-year-old. Soon...
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awards
      • source: Notable Books Council
      • value: Notable Books for Adults
subtitle
A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found
publisher
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group