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And what happens when something that wants to be noticed goes unacknowledged? Things escalate... Read this hauntingly true story, of one of the earliest televised exorcisms in the nation, brought to the forefront by NBC.
The story of how Florida became entwined with Americans’ 20th-century hopes, dreams, and expectations is also a tale of mass delusion, real estate collapses, and catastrophic hurricanes.
About this book
The story of how Florida became entwined with Americans’ 20th-century hopes, dreams, and expectations is also a tale of mass delusion, real estate collapses, and catastrophic hurricanes. The Fantasy of Florida hones in on the experiences of William Jennings Bryan and Edwin Menninger, the two men who shaped the image of Florida that we know today and who sold that image as America’s paradise. The cast of characters also includes the Marx Brothers, Thomas Edison, Al Capone, and Mark Twain. A tale of a colorful and tragicomic era during which the allure and illusion of the American Dream was on full display—a Jazz Age period when Americans started chasing what F. Scott Fitzgerald called “the orgiastic future”—the book reveals how the recent economic collapse in Florida is eerily similar to events that happened there between 1925 and 1928. What sets the mid-1920s’ Florida land boom apart from more recent booms-and-busts, however, is that this was the first modern boom, the first time that emerging new technologies, mass communications and modern advertising techniques were used to sell the nation on the notion that prosperity and happiness are simply there for the taking. Florida’s image as a place where the rules of everyday life don’t apply and winners go to play was formed during this dawn of the age of consumerism when Americans wanted to have fun and make lots of money, and millions of them thought Florida was the perfect place to do that.
In A World More Concrete, N. D. B. Connolly uses the history of South Florida to unearth an older and far more complex story.
About this book
Many people characterize urban renewal projects and the power of eminent domain as two of the most widely despised and often racist tools for reshaping American cities in the postwar period. In A World More Concrete, N. D. B. Connolly uses the history of South Florida to unearth an older and far more complex story. Connolly captures nearly eighty years of political and land transactions to reveal how real estate and redevelopment created and preserved metropolitan growth and racial peace under white supremacy. Using a materialist approach, he offers a long view of capitalism and the color line, following much of the money that made land taking and Jim Crow segregation profitable and preferred approaches to governing cities throughout the twentieth century. A World More Concrete argues that black and white landlords, entrepreneurs, and even liberal community leaders used tenements and repeated land dispossession to take advantage of the poor and generate remarkable wealth. Through a political culture built on real estate, South Florida’s landlords and homeowners advanced property rights and white property rights, especially, at the expense of more inclusive visions of equality. For black people and many of their white allies, uses of eminent domain helped to harden class and color lines. Yet, for many reformers, confiscating certain kinds of real estate through eminent domain also promised to help improve housing conditions, to undermine the neighborhood influence of powerful slumlords, and to open new opportunities for suburban life for black Floridians. Concerned more with winners and losers than with heroes and villains, A World More Concrete offers a sober assessment of money and power in Jim Crow America. It shows how negotiations between powerful real estate interests on both sides of the color line gave racial segregation a remarkable capacity to evolve, revealing property owners’ power to reshape American cities in ways that can still be seen and felt today.