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A New York Times Bestseller
“Painstakingly reported and researched…compulsively readable.”―The New York Times
“An extraordinary catalog of ‘weird Florida’…the definitive guide.”―The Los Angeles Times
Florida. That name. That combination of sounds. Three simple syllables packing mixed messages. To some people, it’s a paradise. To others, it’s a punch line. As award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Craig Pittman shows, it’s both of these and, more important, it’s a Petri dish, producing trends that end up influencing the rest of the country. Oh, Florida!: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country embraces those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state.
Without Florida there would be no NASCAR, no Bettie Page pinups, no Glenn Beck radio rants, no USA Today, no “Stand Your Ground,” . . . you get the idea.
To outsiders, Florida seems baffling. It’s a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice, yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor. Florida is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it’s also known for its perils-alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few. It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its manmade fantasies.
Florida couldn’t be Florida without that sense of the unpredictable, unexpected, and unusual lurking behind every palm tree. But there is far more to Florida than its sideshow freakiness. Oh, Florida! explains how Florida secretly, subtly influences all the other states in the Union, both for good and for ill. Florida is wild and weird―and that’s okay!