Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State

Finding Florida The True History of the Sunshine State 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

  • Title: Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State
  • Author: T.D. Allman
  • ISBN: 9780802120762
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 theOver 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.

    One thought on “Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State”

    1. I'll sum up my feelings on this book in three words for those who scan reviews looking for some assessment: depressing, demoralizing and disheartening.It's quite clear that native Floridian and author T.D. Allman did extensive research on his new book Finding Florida, but for this reader, a former Florida resident for many years, it's apparent that there should have been some fact checking done before publication. Mr. Allman is highly-educated author and an accomplished journalist, with years of [...]

    2. I first posted this review of T. D. Allman's badly flawed history book in April 2013, shortly after it was published. For some reason deleted that review so I am reposting it:T.D. Allman's book Finding Florida is subtitled "The True Story of the Sunshine State" because it's supposed to correct all the myths and mistakes in the other Florida history books. But while reading it I kept finding forehead-slapping errors. You'd forgive a couple of goofs in a 500-page book, but after a while you wonde [...]

    3. This is a dangerous book. It is very entertaining to read, but based almost entirely on conjecture and the author's pet historians. The description of the attack on Negro Fort is where I finally had to stop reading. What is referenced in actual primary sources is the very mundane, uncontroversial stuff. The information that is more sensational, that through the entirety of chapter eight Allman laments has been covered up by inept historians, Allman bases on the books of other historians that he [...]

    4. The true history of the most racist state in the union.Terrifying to behold.Whites have been murdering blacks with impunity there since 1800.And the historians have lied about it ever since.

    5. What I was expecting was a survey of Florida history. What I received was a complete destruction of all past historical works, which is fine as a revisionist work, but the glaring inaccuracies of Allman's claims is appalling. He often lumps all works on subjects on Florida, or Jefferson, or Ponce De Leon, together as one long line of pro America works without an objective look, but those works referenced are from the early twentieth century. Any student of history would know that is a dated hist [...]

    6. "Way back in 1882 "The Critic," a New York literary review, revealed why it was so "difficult to ascertain the truth about Florida from any published writings. For the most part," the magazine explained, "it has been concealed by one or all of three different methods: by intensely magnifying small facts, by withholding great facts and by actual misrepresentation." What had been true, by then, for nearly one hundred years would be equally true for the next hundred years and more, to the point tha [...]

    7. I picked this book up thinking that I would like to read a factual, unbiased book detailing the history of my adopted home state. Boy was I wrong. I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to anyone other than fiction devotees for a variety of reasons. Where do I begin?1. A better title for the book would be "Finding RACISM in Florida" as that is pretty much the gist of the entire book. Every single incident of racism in the state of Florida for the last 500 years bears mention in this boo [...]

    8. I have no particular interest in Florida or even in visiting Florida, though I once spent three days half-drunk in Daytona Beach, Spring Break 1964. I read the book because it was written by an old friend. He relates an astounding history of racism, deceit, and venality, continuing right up to the present day. In this jeremiad every present day hero in Florida history turns out to have been a degenerate rascal, and the true heroes have been deliberately forgotten. Three samples: 1) The early Ame [...]

    9. 3.5 stars. I liked this as an intro to Florida's history, mainly because I knew nothing going in being one of those Northeastern transplants that Allman sounds so angry about, though the tone of the book left a lot to be desired. Mostly, I am confused as to whether Allman likes the state of Florida at all (and must wonder if the fact he wrote a book about Florida while living in Paris and New York is a decent indicator of the answer). To summarize what I learned in big picture: Florida history i [...]

    10. Starts off interestingly, but devolves into a hysterical attempt to character assassinate anyone who ever has done anything of significance in Florida. It gets very choppy and difficult to read once it enters the 20th century. There are certain things the author says that are too easily proven to be false and there is tooth opinion without any facts to back the opinions up.

    11. As a Florida native, this book caught my eye while browsing the new books section of my local library. As the title suggests, Allman revisits Florida's origins and decimates the myths of Florida that the nation has been subject to for the past 100 years (it never freezes in Florida, Florida is a "paradise," etc.) While revisiting Florida's history Allman sprinkles fun (and not-so-fun) facts about Florida mixed in with some dry wit. The middle section that deals with the Seminole Wars drags a bit [...]

    12. It took me a while to get through this book. It is a good read. It seems to be of the idea that people do not know about what actually happened in Florida's history and is trying to set the record straight. I found that it was a good harsh look at the hard truths about racism and in general radically different attitudes than my own that people held (and still do) from the 1800's to the modern day in Florida. Florida State Government does not come off looking competent in any era up to and includ [...]

    13. I spent part of my growing up years in Jacksonville and Miami and so this book really attracted me. It certainly did debunk most of the Florida history we were required to study in elementary school. I've always known FL was a crazy place but I guess I never knew how crazy it has been since its inception until I stumbled upon this book. On the negative side--this is way, way too long and parts of it are overly detailed. And it can never be said that T.D. Allman is a gifted writer--even with such [...]

    14. Excellent book. Allman punches through the fog and mist which have shrouded so much of Florida's real history for decades. Some readers may not like his views, but he presents a view of Florida's history as few others have done. Kudos to him for writing this book.

    15. Amazing and meticulously researched history of Florida w/ a heavy emphasis on its unique political landscape. Fascinating.

    16. Outstanding, informative, anecdotal, funny, deeply thoughtful history of a state whose reality is diametrically opposite to its myth.

    17. I was long overdue to learn more about my adopted state. However, I was not expecting such a shameful past. Great read, but very unsettling--no pun intended,

    18. While there were a few inaccuracies in the book--Pedro Menendez comes to mind--the general thesis of the book is correct. And it's pretty damned funny too.

    19. As you can see from the reactions of readers, this book generates a response from readers. Many take issue with its degree of accuracy, which is ironic as one of Allman's principal arguments is the high degree of inaccuracy of many Florida histories. Since I have not read other histories of the state, I cannot adequately assess this issue myself, but what strikes me about many of the complaints in this area are that they a) focus on smaller details and try to conclude that as a result the entire [...]

    20. Sorry I supported this socialist with a purchaseI have never read a more negative, more pessimistic book in my life. While the author rightly corrects the record on a lot of incorrect history, he does so with an agenda to convince everyone of his social positions. Instead of sticking to the history of Florida he wanders all over the place dealing with every perceived social injustice that ever occurred from confederate monuments to Trayvon Martin. It’s not particularly well written or that int [...]

    21. This book has many problems, but is an interesting philippic against the dangers of choosing to believe in comfortable fictions above uneasy truths throughout Florida history and, ultimately, American life. If you like Comedy Central's Drunken History, you will probably enjoy this. If you are looking for a scholarly work of history, you will be disappointed. Allman's notes and bibliographical sections are the two main problems. The notes and citation section is pretty thin and seems to be missin [...]

    22. This book is history at it's worst. Well, second worst - it's seeing all of history through a deeply biased lens (as opposed to fabricating history for political gain). It is history at its worst in the sense that Allman has dredged up the worst of history - all the bad stuff that has ever been written about Florida. This is "Lies My Teacher Told Me" and "Don't Know Much About" cranked up to 11.The "facts" have some issues which other reviewers have addressed here and elsewhere. The first one th [...]

    23. Here's a book that could use another edition, or two, or three. It has the right idea, attempting to elucidate the true history of this highly commercialized state, but it's executed so poorly that at times it becomes an absolute chore to read.Others have maligned the book's apparentl lack of effective fact-checking. As someone more interested in the big picture, I find the prose itself is the far greater issue - rambling, difficult to read, and at times nearly incomprehensible.Once I had alread [...]

    24. This can not all be true and accurate. I expect the author tried for full disclosure and total accuracy, but in a jungle such as Florida, over a period of hundreds of years, he must have slipped one or twice. No matter. What is here is appalling. Florida has had its problems, we all know. That so many were of its own making, and that so much of what we 'know' about it consists of pure fiction, i.e lies, comes as a loong revelation through hundreds of pages.I recently spent a month in Broward Cou [...]

    25. 3.5 / 5 starsSo maybe Ponce de Leon didn't really discover the Fountain of Youth in St Augustine but, according to T.D. Allman, most of the other history taught in Florida classrooms is white-washed, exaggerated, or just plain myth too. Instead, Allman proposes a history rife with corruption, deception, oppression, and racism.I found Finding Florida to be highly entertaining, but is it a definitive, comprehensive, or objective history? I'm not so sure. This book is highly subjective and, at time [...]

    26. Lots of fascinating historical tidbits and anecdotes. Convincingly debunks a number of pseudo-historical tall tales and misconceptions, such as Ponce de Leon's landing at St. Augustine in search of the Fountain of Youth, de Soto's discovery of the Mississippi, the U.S. purchase of Florida, and the like. The chronology grows less structured and cohesive as it approaches the present, probably because there is such a plethora of data, and perhaps because it begins to overlap the author's lifespan. [...]

    27. The book is filled with many well researched, well presented histories of Florida but the author's tone is frequently bombastic to the point of distraction. The best/worst example is on Page 164, describing how Florida before the American takeover was a refuge from the brutality of racism for Native Americans and escaped slaves, Allman writes "Back then, Florida was not the refuge for retirees, drifters, sports fishing and NASCAR fanatics, Christian fundamentalists, homosexual rights activists, [...]

    28. Interesting book on the history of Florida. It has a revisionist tone and an angry one but not overwhelming. I learned a lot about the history of Florida I haven't before, that Ponce de Leon wasn't looking for the Fountain of Youth but for fresh water. Washington Irving who knew Spanish and a relative wrote histories of Florida from Spanish sources and put their own spin on it. An area owned by Spain, had been a haven for Native Americans and escaped slaves who gathered to become the Seminoles w [...]

    29. This book claims to deliver the truth about the real hidden history of Florida and it does deliver on revealing some outright untruths that many have been led to believe. The other side of the truth is how Allman sees things with a very definite political viewpoint. On balance though we see much about this state that is not too pretty from a historical perspective, particularly the theft from and murdering of the natives. The other unsavory aspect we are shown is the flim flam smoke and mirrors [...]

    30. Picked up this book because we were taking a trip to Florida and I wanted to learn more about the history of the state. Boy did I learn about Florida history! I learned so much about many historical figures that I only knew tangentially from 8th grade and high school U.S. History classes. Allman took all the research he did and turned it into a very readable book. It was hard to put down. That said, however, it could do with some extra editing. There were occasional minor typos and in one of the [...]

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