A National Book Award Nominee 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 twenty-first-century America.
In Finding Florida, 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 the first modern comprehensive history of this fascinating place.
“A take-no-prisoners account . . . Extremely timely and relevant.” —The New York Times Book Review
“The Seminole Wars, the Civil War, various massacres, Reconstruction, a second Reconstruction, Disney World, the Marielitos, voter suppression—it’s all here, and even Carl Hiaasen couldn’t make it up.” —Booklist, starred review