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Florida: A Short History (Columbus…
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Florida: A Short History (Columbus Quincentenary Series)

by Michael Gannon

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A book that matches up with it's title, it's a short history of Florida! It starts back in pre-Colombian dates and broadly (very broadly) covers the different nations that claimed parts of the state in it's history, the people, the agriculture, growth of population, cities, politics, etc. A good overview that would provide the casual reader many starting points for further investigation. ( )
  jztemple | May 13, 2010 |
The purpose of this book is really just as a quick outline of Florida history; it attempts to cover the whole history in ~160 picture filled pages. At this purpose it’s successful, but I wouldn’t recommend reading it for any other reason. It does provide a terrific jump off point to other more detailed books on Florida. As written here the history comes across pretty dull until Henry Flagler shows up in the 1890's. Then the population boom begins, and it's fascinating. There is a wonderful description of modern Florida on pages p142-148..."If Greater Miami could be described as a collection of municipalities in search of a city, Florida was a collection of cities in search of a state" ( )
  dchaikin | Feb 22, 2007 |
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"An exciting voyage through Florida's past. . . . Almost every page could make you say, I didn't know that!"Tampa Tribune "Gannon's love for Florida comes through in a marvelous narrative style [that] doesn't bog down in dates and reams of facts that historians find interesting, but others don't."--Miami Herald "First rate . . . desperately needed . . . entertaining . . . fun!"--Orlando Sentinel "Gannon is a lifelong student of the history of his state, an acclaimed teacher, a masterful and tireless raconteur, and a superb stylist. Florida: A Short History showcases each of these strengths and talents and contains the latest archaeological and historical scholarship."--Florida Historical Quarterly As if Ponce de León, who happened on the peninsula in 1513, returned today to demand a quick reckoning ("Tell me what happened after I was there, but leave out the boring parts!"), Michael Gannon recounts the longest recorded history of any state in the nation in twenty-seven brisk, fully illustrated chapters. From indigenous tribes who lived along spring-fed streams to environmentalists who labor to "Save Our Rivers," from the first conquistadors whose broad black ships astonished the natives to the 123,000 refugees whose unexpected immigration stunned South Floridians in 1980, the story of the state is as rich and distinctive as the story of America. And it's older than most people think. As Gannon writes, "By the time the Pilgrims came ashore at Plymouth, St. Augustine was up for urban renewal. It was a town with fort, church, seminary, six-bed hospital, fish market, and about 120 shops and houses. Because La Florida stretched north from the Keys to Newfoundland and west to Texas, St. Augustine could claim to be the capital of much of what is now the United States." Gannon tells his fast-marching saga in chronological fashion. Starting with the wilderness of the ancient earth, he fills the landscape with Indians, colonists, pioneers, entrepreneurs, politicians, and the panorama of Florida today--"the broad superhighways that wind past horse farms, retirement communities, international airports, launch pads, futuristic attractions, and come to rest, finally, amidst the gleaming towers of Oz?like cities." This revised edition concludes with a look into the twenty-first century, including "in-migration," restoration of the Everglades, education, the work force, and the infamous 2000 presidential election. Michael Gannon is distinguished service professor emeritus of history at the University of Florida. Among other honors, he has received the first Arthur W. Thompson Prize from the Florida Historical Society and the decoration Knight Commander of the Order of Isabel la Católica from King Juan Carlos I of Spain. He is the author of the best-selling Operation Drumbeat and editor of The New History of Florida.… (more)

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