Florida in the Popular Imagination

Essays on the Cultural Landscape of the Sunshine State


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About the Book

This book provides the first critical discussion of popular culture in Florida, which began drawing winter visitors before the Civil War and now boasts more than a hundred million visitors annually. These essays explore many facets of Florida’s culture, examining such topics as the ever-present specters of Mickey, Shamu, and other theme park staples; early tourist sites enjoyed by tin-can campers before the ubiquitous megaparks elbowed out more organically Floridian attractions; Key West as a mecca of queer culture; the infamous relationship between Key West and its favorite son, Ernest Hemingway; and an overview of several iconic Florida institutions, including Bike Week, the Daytona 500, and Spring Break. The work concludes with a look at Florida’s role in the highly controversial presidential election of 2000.

About the Author(s)

The late Steve Glassman was a professor of humanities at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Steve Glassman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 278
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3964-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5376-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Mickey, Mammals, Movies, and More: A Theme Park Extravaganza
(Joy M. Banks)      5
Before the Mouse: From Glass-Bottom Boats to Gatorland
(Keith L. Huneycutt)      19
Where Being Gay Isn’t a Drag
(Margaret Mishoe and Michael Perez)      33
The Architecture of Dreams
(Jeff Morgan)      46
Weathering the Climate
(Steve Glassman)      57
Taking to the Water
(Duncan H. Haynes)      77
Sunsets, Sunglasses, and Celebrities on the Small Screen
(Valerie E. Kasper)      98
Dangerous Game: Snakes, Gators and One-Ton Sharks
(Steve Glassman)      117
Hollywood East
(Linda B. Moore)      138
“‘If you don’t like this town get out and stay out’”: Ernest Hemingway’s Key West
(E. Stone Shiflet and James H. Meredith)      147
The Space Coast: Where Dreams Meet Possibilities
(Tammy Powley)      159
Cuban Miami: Manufacturing Casablanca
(Rafael Miguel Montes)      172
The Highwaymen and Other Black Icons
(Edmondson Asgill)      185
The Dazzling Lure of Treasure Hunting
(Kathleen Robinson)      201
Snowbirds Seek Solar Solace
(Steven Knapp and Sarah M. Mallonee)      217
Spring Break
(Jeff Morgan and Salena Coller)      231
Motorsports Rev Up the Economy
(Alan Pratt)      236
Peculiar Presidential Politics Among the Palm Trees
(Steve Glassman)      252

About the Contributors      265
Index      267

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Full of interest and variety…a very good book…high quality, well written and quite evidently thoroughly researched.”—Midwest Book Review
  • “An entertaining and educational read”—The Florida Historical Quarterly