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Monte Burke profiles head coach of University of Alabama's football team, Nick Saban, perhaps the most enigmatic man in the sport.
About this book
Instant New York Times Bestseller “Insidery, detailed, and absorbing. Come for the chapter titled ‘Why Can’t He Be Happy’ and stay for the one called ‘Miami Vice.’” —Sports Illustrated A defining biography of Nick Saban, the influential and polarizing University of Alabama football coach who not only transformed the college game but might also be the best ever at winning. As the head coach of the University of Alabama’s football team, Nick Saban is perhaps the most enigmatic man in the sport. Unpredictable in his professional loyalties, uncompromising in his vision, and unyielding in his pursuit of perfection, the highest-paid coach in college football has changed the face of the game. His program-building skills have delivered packed stadiums, rabid fans, hundreds of millions of dollars, legions of detractors, countless NFL draft picks, and a total of four national championships, including three in the last six years. Monte Burke’s Saban—the first major biography of the man who has come to epitomize the game—presents this towering figure with a never-before-seen human depth. Though a great deal is known about Saban the coach, not much is known about Saban the man. Little has been written about his early climb through the coaching ranks as an assistant in college and in the NFL, or his head-coaching stints at Michigan State and Louisiana State and his struggles as a pro coach with the Miami Dolphins. Through unprecedented interviews with more than 250 friends, coworkers, rivals, former players, and others, Burke reveals the defining moments of the coach’s life. Saban paints a portrait of a complex and compelling man, fundamentally shaped by both his past and the game he loves, in a way that no previous book has.
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.
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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.
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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.