A New York Times Bestseller Oh, Florida! That name. That combination of sounds. Three simple syllables, and yet packing so many mixed messages. To some people, it’s a paradise. To others, it’s a punch line. As Oh, Florida! 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. 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. Oh, Florida! explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state. It is the first book to explore the reasons why Florida is so wild and weird-and why that’s okay. 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.
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With the arrival of the twentieth century, Americans continued in the pioneering spirit of their forebears and looked upon the automobile as a new way to explore the unknown. Thousands of Americans packed their tents in the backs of their cars and set out to enjoy the back roads of the United States. Carrying extra gasoline in five-gallon cans, plenty of canned food, and extra tires strapped to the fenders, these intrepid souls began an exploration of the North American continent with a thoroughness that put Lewis and Clark to shame. These tourists became the symbol of another "New Generation" of Americans, restless, adventuresome, and filled with boundless curiosity. These were the "Tin Can" tourists. In 1919, the official organization of Tin Can Tourists of the World was formed in Tampa, and the group held two meetings annually until disbanding in 1977. Early on, residents of Florida recognized the potential economic impact of the Tin Canners on the state, and the movement to improve roads and provide accommodations and amusements to these seasonal travelers flourished. By 1930, Florida had built more than 3,000 miles of paved roads, and campsites, roadside motels, and exotic animal parks could be found along most major thoroughfares.
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It's one giant leap for all boy-kind in Frank Cottrell Boyce's out-of-this-world story: Cosmic. Liam is too big for his boots. And his football strip. And his school blazer. But being super-sized height-wise has its advantages: he's the only eleven-year-old to ever ride the G-force-defying Cosmic rollercoaster – or to be offered the chance to drive a Porsche. Long-legged Liam makes a giant leap for boy-kind by competing with a group of adults for the chance to go into space. Is Liam the best boy for the job? Sometimes being big isn't all about being a grown-up. This edition of Cosmic includes bonus material and discussion questions from Frank Cottrell Boyce and features fantastic cover artwork from Steven Lenton.
The biographies of Gunnar and May Carlson, a couple from Moline, Illinois whose wedding included Ronald Reagan, who lived through the Depression, served in World War II through Vietnam and became a general and his lady.