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Publisher's Summary

Over its long history, Florida has been many things: a native realm protected by geography; a wilderness that ruined Spanish conquistadors; a place to start over; "god's waiting room". With a native population as high as 900,000 (who all died), it became a pestilential backwater with a few thousand inhabitants, but today is our fourth most populous state, with 19 million. The site of vicious racial violence, including massacres, slavery, and the roll-back of Reconstruction, Florida is now one of our most diverse states, a dynamic multicultural place with an essential role in 21st century America.

However, the remarkable story of Florida has been distorted and whitewashed. In Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State, journalist T. D. Allman reclaims this remarkable history from the mythologizers, apologists, and boosters.

Allman traces the discovery, exploration, and settlement of Florida, its transformation from a swamp to a paradise. Palm Beach, Key West, Miami, Tampa, and Orlando boomed, fortunes were won and lost, land was stolen and flipped, and millions arrived.

The product of a decade of research and writing, Finding Florida is a highly original, stylish, and masterful work, the first modern comprehensive history of this fascinating place.

©2013 T. D. Allman. Recorded by arrangement with Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator James Patrick Cronin leads listeners on a journey that seeks to dispel the many myths surrounding Florida's history, development, and present-day tribulations. Cronin's narration is engaging and varied." (AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
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    20
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    9
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Performance

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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    22
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    8
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    10
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    8
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    4

Story

  • 3.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Excellent, well rounded

I have listened to this book over 3 times since I bought it a few weeks ago. I listened before a recent to trip to Northern Florida, again while on the trip, and again when I came home. It has fascinating details about the state history and touches on many aspects: ethnic and race relations, politics, skirmishes, geology, cultural history, geography, tourism, etc. It also focuses on different parts of the state so you get good representation. Good for general listening as well as for trips.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Florida without the fluff

Attacks the common beliefs on what the history of Florida has been and uses that as a air up call for all of us. He deals with everything from Ponce De Leon not really searching for the fountain of youth to the negative financial and civil rights impact of Disney World on the state. I didn't not agree with all of the author's conclusions but it was a very thought provoking read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Bias to the extreme!

T.D Allman's book was more about putting down Florida history instead of telling it. If a event does not fit his opinions it is backwards and proves that rich white men are evil. He only shows one side of the story. A good example is the giving away of land to rich men in the 19th century. Yes millions of acres were given away, but look at Illinois, and Nebraska during the railroad era and besides Florida was giving them swamp land. If you really want to find Florida see it and make your own observation.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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The last part undermines the rest

What would have made Finding Florida better?

Objectivity

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of James Patrick Cronin?

Someone less glib and sarcastic

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and anger.

Any additional comments?

The rabbid bias that the author showed in the last third of the book raised doubts as to whether one could trust the material in the first two thirds. In the few incidents in which the author commented on matters I was familiar with, the facts were incorrect. This is good raw meat for any angry rabble raiser with an axe to grind in today's world.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Worst History read ever.

What disappointed you about Finding Florida?

The author seems to have a desire to make himself appear an expert on all that is wrong in writings by others. Very repetitive themes that have little to do with Florida history. I wanted to learn something about the state and now what was wrong with written histories. Very negative writing on all subjects mentioned. Easier to do this I think rather than to do real history and make it interesting.<br/>This person seems like a preacher rather than a historian. I couldn't stand anymore and stopped half way throught his ravings one subjects. How could anyone rate this more than a minus 3 stars.\?

What could T. D. Allman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Researched and presented a history of Florida as the title says.

Would you be willing to try another one of James Patrick Cronin’s performances?

Not sure. His reading and the authors poor work leave me cold.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Finding Florida?

There was little to salvage from this whole thing.

Any additional comments?

A true historian can make this an interesting story but it would only be about 2 or 3 hours long.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Author was hurt by florida

Addresses some good points on florida history but is a bit dismissive of other works.

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things a PhD in hisory (like me) did not know

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely<br/>You dont really know Florida until you do

What was one of the most memorable moments of Finding Florida?

Finding out that it was once considered a wasteland unwanted even by mosquitos

What about James Patrick Cronin’s performance did you like?

has the spirit of the tale down cold or should I say humid

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes except I had to kill giant roaches

Any additional comments?

I'll be glad to sell you a railway to Key West

  • Overall
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Loved the facts. Hated the sanctimonious tone.

What did you like best about Finding Florida? What did you like least?

I found the historical facts about early europeans in Florida very interesting and educational. I enjoyed hearing about the early explorers and what happened to them. <br/><br/>I didn't like the author's seemingly endless assertions that the deeds and events involving important people in the history of Florida had been "wiped from the history books." He cites sources and references, so obviously, it has not been "wiped from the history of Florida." If he could just dial it back so he doesn't make that assertion more than a few hundred times in every chapter, the book would be more enjoyable.

What was most disappointing about T. D. Allman’s story?

I didn't like his sanctimonious tone. I quickly tired of hearing the author's disdainful denigration of "white" settlers. Also he prattled on about the evil deeds of U.S. Presidents and others trying to acquire and then settle early Florida. At one point, he seems to suggest that Spain wasn't involved with slavery in the Florida Territories after the Revolutionary War because the Spanish were too far away to enforce their policies and that it was just those greedy white US citizens who wanted to move into Florida and put all the free living people of color into chains.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the first few chapters that dealt with the early exploration of Florida. After that, I found the sanctimonious tone off-putting .

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed his writing style in the one or two places he writes about events and doesn't make his writing a billboard for how morally superior he is. If you can put up with a heavy dose of sanctimonious stink-eye, then I recommend this book to anyone wanting to become familiar with what actually happened verses the fictional accounts of early Florida's exploration and settlement generated by marketing schemes.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Left Slant

Book started off great, very interesting. Ended up being how Florida is full of white racist.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Garbage, don't waste a credit.

This book is one big conspiracy theory. There were a few interesting facts but otherwise a story about how, even until this day, Florida is racist. It went so far back in history that it was ridiculous. Not only that but it stayed back there for some time, making it painful to hear. The book spent more time out of Florida than in it.
The final chapter was garbage. The story about Trayvon martin was false and had none of the facts, saying that Zimmerman was "stalking his prey." This was a liberal pile of garbage, don't waste your credit.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful