Two Good FL Books from U of F Press

4 Nov

dream

With hurricane-force prose, journalist and Florida native Roberts hits the land of orange groves, theme parks and mobile homes with a torrential outpouring of love and hate, affection and disgust. Weaving her own family history into that of the state—she’s related somehow or other to many of Florida’s pioneering families—she chronicles the greed, political corruption and deceit that turned the swamps of the Sunshine State into a haven for retirees, wealthy or otherwise. She provides colorful sketches of the denizens of Florida, from the land-grabbing railroad tycoon Henry Flagler Jr., who turned South Florida into a playground for the rich and famous, to Gov. Claude Kirk, who tried to make the lowly mullet the state fish. Roberts reminds us that, despite Disney’s glitter, Florida’s backwoods and side roads reveal its true character as a Southern state still marked by racism and Confederate pride. In hilarious and touching sketches, Roberts nostalgically carries readers back to pre-Disney Florida while admitting that even then the state played by different rules than the rest of the country. If there was ever any doubt about the true nature of the Sunshine State—where “what people think happened is always more important than what really happened”—Roberts puts it to rest in this splendid unofficial history.

cracker

What exactly is a “Cracker”? An entertaining, informative look at a slice of old Florida culture. For over 200 years scholars have attempted to define the Crackers, but their name is as elusive as their nature, their character as tough as Florida’s hardscrabble countryside, and any real Cracker will tell you that’s just the way they like it. Part history, part folklore, Cracker is a generously illustrated account of Cracker heritage, its rich history, and its disappearance as today’s fast-paced society reaches even into the remote backwoods of the state. From the language they spoke to the houses they built, from clandestine moonshine stills and cowhunting to “grits and gravy,” Dana Ste. Claire offers a colorful and revealing tour of Crackerdom.
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One Response to “Two Good FL Books from U of F Press”

  1. Aunty Belle Cracker November 17, 2008 at 3:37 am #

    Well, heh…I reckon I Better order up these two volumes–jes’ did a post on Cracker vs. Redneck

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