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Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country

Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country

Scritto da Craig Pittman

Narrato da Mike Chamberlain


Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country

Scritto da Craig Pittman

Narrato da Mike Chamberlain

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (3 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
13 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Nov 15, 2016
ISBN:
9781515984153
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Oh, Florida! To some people, it's a paradise. To others, it's a punch line. As Oh, Florida! shows, it's both of these and, more important, it's a Petri dish, producing trends that end up influencing the rest of the country. Without Florida there would be no NASCAR, no Bettie Page pinups, no Glenn Beck radio rants, no USA Today, no "Stand Your Ground," . . . you get the idea.



To outsiders, Florida seems baffling. It's a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice, yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor. Florida is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it's also known for its perils-alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few. It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its manmade fantasies.



Oh, Florida! explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state. It is the first book to explore the reasons why Florida is so wild and weird-and why that's okay. Florida couldn't be Florida without that sense of the unpredictable, unexpected, and unusual lurking behind every palm tree. But there is far more to Florida than its sideshow freakiness.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Nov 15, 2016
ISBN:
9781515984153
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

CRAIG PITTMAN is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books. He is a native Floridian and in 2013 wrote a popular blog for Slate called "Oh, Florida! " which became the genesis for his book of the same title, and which led to his appearance on TV and radio discussing why Florida is so odd and entertaining. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    A kind of good take on the strange things that come out of Florida. But when you live here it seems kind of normal so I had heard a lot of these and it only drew and occasional chuckle or shake of the head. You could probably get these stories from any state it's just Florida has them in abundance. I attribute it to the many people from so many places gathering here to contribute their due.Pittman has his journalistic political slant on display but by and large he covers the gamut from the historical to the hysterical. The geographical separation Florida has with the rest of the country is probably for a good reason as a world unto itself.
  • (4/5)
    Very entertaining, and, simultaneously, horrifying. I grew up in Florida (moved to NC ten years ago, but Florida is still “home”), so much of the book is to some extent familiar, but Pittman tells fine stories, and there were many people and events here that I was glad to learn about in more detail. Though much of this is loosely connected “weird Florida” trivia, Pittman really does try in each chapter to tie things together and show how Florida events influenced the rest of America. I found this particularly fascinating in chapters 16 & 17, when he talks about how events in St. Augustine and Miami influenced the civil rights and gay rights movements, respectively. The story of activists, both black and white, wading into the Atlantic to protest the “whites only” St. Augustine beaches in 1964, and the white swimmers leaping out of the water, apparently in fear of black skin color transferring to them, reminded me of my mom's story of my grandmother worrying that young black neighbors would swim in our pool while we were away when I was a very small child and we lived in Coconut Grove. My mom thought she was worried, reasonably, about unsupervised children drowning, but was dismayed to learn that my grandmother was specifically concerned about whether black skin might not be “colorfast.” I always thought this was really bizarre (well, I still do), but it turns out that my grandma was expressing a common (if racist) concern of the time (I was born in 1965, so my mom and grandma probably had this conversation in '67 or '68). The story of Anita Bryant and her anti-gay activism in Miami in 1977 also clarified some memories for me, as I remember Bryant and her “a day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine” commercials, but also, vaguely, that there was something that we (my liberal family) didn't like about her. Actually, we were politically liberal, especially on environmental issues, but socially more conservative (and especially in the topics to be discussed, which did not include sex), so I imagine my parents never mentioned to us why we didn't like Ms. Bryant. Anyway, these chapters were especially enlightening for me. The whole book is interesting, though. Florida's contribution to the founding of the National Hurricane Center isn't much of a surprise, and I knew that the first national wildlife refuge, Pelican Island, which we regularly floated past when I was a kid fishing on the Indian River, was in Florida, but I hadn't realized that Florida's “Sunshine Law,” requiring public access to government meetings and records, was so groundbreaking. Of course, we've also contributed the “Stand Your Ground” legislation, “Cops,” and “hanging chads,” not to mention abortion center bombings. And then there are Indian casinos, space rockets, O'Connor v. Donaldson (mental health Supreme Court ruling), USA Today and the National Enquirer. A mixed bag, to be sure, but Pittman certainly establishes Florida's (often weird) influence, for good and for evil, on the rest of the country! My only real complaint with this one is that Pittman is apparently something of a frustrated stand-up comic and too often indulges his taste for wearisomely bad jokes and puns. “Every state has sleazy politicians, but Florida's pols really take the cake – as well as the knife, the plate, and all the candles.” These probably seem less tiresome in blog posts (apparently his “Oh, Florida” blog was the inspiration for this book), but they detract from his book. (Given the outrageousness of his material they would be coals to Newcastle even if they were funny.) And I do wonder whether readers who don't have a strong Florida connection would find this interesting. I found stories about various Florida governors, crooks, and crooked politicians engaging because they were mostly at least slightly familiar, but I doubt whether the history of the antics of politicians in, say, Nebraska, to be so fascinating for me. Still, I guess loads of people have visited Florida to visit the beaches or Disney, so maybe...I picked this because I was feeling homesick, but I wound up learning a lot that I'd somehow missed in my 40 years in Florida. Four stars.