Dreams in the New Century
Instant Cities, Shattered Hopes, and Florida’s Turning Point
A leading Florida historian explores oneof the state’s most consequential eras
It was a time of stunning episodes of boom andbust, an era of extremes, a decade of historic changes that point to Florida’sfuture. In this book, eminent historian Gary Mormino illuminates earlytwenty-first-century Florida and its connections to some of the mostsignificant events in contemporary American history.
Following Mormino’s milestone work Land ofSunshine, State of Dreams, which details the dynamic history ofFlorida from 1950 to 2000, Dreams in the New Century explores the state’s tumultuous next chapter, a period that included the Bushv. Gore election, 9/11, the housing bubble and Great Recession, and theelection of Barack Obama. During these years the Elián González story engrossedthe country, Tim Tebow rose to football fame, and Donald Trump became a Floridacelebrity. From hurricanes to Ponzi schemes, red tides, climate change, the “Stand-Your-Ground” gun law, demographic diversity, and more, Florida offerednonstop news fodder that reflected its extraordinary internal trends and itsimportance in the nation.
As Mormino shows, Florida is a place ofdeep conflicts—North and South, liberal and conservative, newcomer and local,growth and conservation—with histories that can be traced back centuries. In2000‒2010, Mormino argues, these tensions collided to produce a “Big Bang” thatwill continue to resonate in years to come. Mormino takes stock of thiscrucible of change and explains the social, cultural, and political intricaciesof a state the world struggles to understand. Dreams in the NewCentury unravels Florida’s complicated recent history in a gripping,informative, and fascinating narrative.
“Fascinating. . . . [Mormino’s] knowledge of the state isencyclopedic, and he has included an astonishing amount of it in this book. . .. Dreams in the New Century is both important history and a glimpse intoour future.”—Tampa Bay Times
“Mormino’s latest book reads like fiction but isn’t. . . . Amust-read. . . . Takes readers on the 10-year bumpy ride that begins in 2000with Florida at the millennial crossroads of America’s political destiny.”—ParadiseNews
“GaryMormino is one of the finest writers in Florida. His eye for irony andpoignancy is strong, and its power is on full display in these pages. Dreams in the New Century makes sense of the state in a period of rapid growth and change.”—Evan P.Bennett, author of When TobaccoWas King: Families, Farm Labor, and Federal Policy in the Piedmont
“A thorough, entertaining, and often moving reflection on the history ofmodern Florida. Mormino convincingly and rightfully situates the history ofturn-of-the-twenty-first-century Florida at the forefront of Americanpolitical, economic, and cultural history.”—Peggy Macdonald, author of <i>Marjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida’sEnvironment</i>
“Youneed to read this book if you live in Florida, have ever visited Florida, orhope to move to Florida. Read it as a wake-up call, an entertainment, and ahistory written by a master.”—Jeff Klinkenberg, author of Son of Real Florida: Stories from My Life
“GaryMormino has skillfully engaged his readers in an entertaining narrative of thecontinuing saga of the state we love . . . the land of dreams for the mostdiverse population in America!"—Adelaide "Alex" Sink, formerchief financial officer of Florida
“Tellingthe story of Florida’s manic decade between 2000 and 2010 is particularly difficultbecause we lived through these times and hold dear to our own memories. Morminochallenges and expands our perspectives by brilliantly telling the backstorieswhich created modern Florida. As the wise always do, he helps us to see throughothers’ eyes.”—Steve Seibert, former executive director, Florida Humanities
<b>GaryR. Mormino</b> is the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of History Emeritus atthe University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He is the winner of the FloridaHumanities 2015 Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and serves as FloridaHumanities scholar in residence. His many books include <i>Land ofSunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida.</i>
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