Finding Florida by T. D. Allman

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...his relentless focus on the dark side of Florida's history can leave the reader demoralized, with the nagging intuition that he has occasionally orange-picked the record.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Longlisted for the National Book Award and a Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

Over the centuries, Florida has been many things: an unconquered realm protected by geography, a wilderness that ruined Spanish conquistadors, “god’s waiting room,” and a place to start over. Depopulated after the extermination of its original native population, today it’s home to nineteen million. The site of vicious racial violence, including massacres, slavery, and the roll-back of Reconstruction, Florida is now one of our most diverse states, a dynamic multicultural place with an essential role in 21st-century America.

In Finding Florida, journalist T.D. Allman reclaims the remarkable history of Florida from the state’s mythologizers, apologists, and boosters. Allman traces the discovery, exploration, and settlement of Florida, its transformation from a swamp to “paradise.” Palm Beach, Key West, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando boomed, fortunes were won and lost, land was stolen and flipped, and millions arrived. The product of a decade of research and writing, Finding Florida is a highly original, stylish, and masterful work, the first modern comprehensive history of this fascinating place.
 

About T. D. Allman

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T.D. Allman is the author of Miami: City of the Future, and Rogue State: America at War with the World. A native Floridian, Harvard graduate, and former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, Allman was for many years the foreign correspondent of Vanity Fair, and is credited with uncovering the CIA's "secret war" (a phrase he coined) in Laos. He has written about Florida for Esquire and National Geographic, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper's, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Le Monde, and The Economist, among other publications. He divides his time between Miami, New York, and the south of France.
 
Published March 5, 2013 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 578 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Finding Florida
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Alexandra Starr on Apr 26 2013

...there is much to commend in “Finding Florida.”...Allman’s book is a take-no-prisoners account of an influential corner of the country. It is also extremely timely and relevant.

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WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by Edward Kosner on Mar 15 2013

...his relentless focus on the dark side of Florida's history can leave the reader demoralized, with the nagging intuition that he has occasionally orange-picked the record.

Read Full Review of Finding Florida | See more reviews from WSJ online

NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Kathy Barber Hersh on Mar 05 2013

Why would people other than history buffs want to read a book about the past of a state they don’t live in? T.D. Allman is so good a writer he makes the question irrelevant.

Read Full Review of Finding Florida | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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57%

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