By telling it with such eloquence and learning in Some Kind of Paradise, Mr. Derr has revealed the dark side of the historian Frederick Jackson Turners famous hypothesis: our national character was indeed shaped by the frontier.
. The states tortuous journey from one extreme to the other is his subject, and he tackles it with brilliance and bravado."--New York Times Book ReviewFor 500 years, visitors to Florida have discovered magic.
In Some Kind of Paradise, an eloquent social and environmental history of the state, Mark Derr describes how this exotic land is fast becoming a victim of its own allure.He begins by examining the period between Reconstruction and the Great Depression, when wealthy capitalists led by Henry Flagler and Henry Plant opened the peninsula to a flood of development by building railroads and luxury hotels.Turning to the distant past, he describes the geologic origins of the state and early fossil finds.
Written with both tenderness and alarm, Derrs book presents their competing views of Florida: a paradise to be protected and nurtured or a frontier to be exploited and conquered.Mark Derr moved to Florida with his family at age six; his interest in the states history and ecology dates back to the late 1960s, when he watched the landscape around Winter Park change with the construction of Walt Disney World.