Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country

Oh Florida How America s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country A New York Times BestsellerOh Florida That name That combination of sounds Three simple syllables and yet packing so many mixed messages To some people it s a paradise To others it s a punch line

  • Title: Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country
  • Author: Craig Pittman
  • ISBN: 9781250071200
  • Page: 280
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A New York Times BestsellerOh, Florida That name That combination of sounds Three simple syllables, and yet packing so many mixed messages To some people, it s a paradise To others, it s a punch line As Oh, Florida shows, it s both of these and, important, it s a Petri dish, producing trends that end up influencing the rest of the country Without Florida thereA New York Times BestsellerOh, Florida That name That combination of sounds Three simple syllables, and yet packing so many mixed messages To some people, it s a paradise To others, it s a punch line As Oh, Florida shows, it s both of these and, important, it s a Petri dish, producing trends that end up influencing the rest of the country Without Florida there would be no NASCAR, no Bettie Page pinups, no Glenn Beck radio rants, no USA Today, no Stand Your Ground, you get the idea.To outsiders, Florida seems baffling It s a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice, yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor Florida is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it s also known for its perils alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its manmade fantasies.Oh, Florida explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state It is the first book to explore the reasons why Florida is so wild and weird and why that s okay Florida couldn t be Florida without that sense of the unpredictable, unexpected, and unusual lurking behind every palm tree But there is far to Florida than its sideshow freakiness Oh, Florida explains how Florida secretly, subtly influences all the other states in the Union, both for good and for ill.

    One thought on “Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country”

    1. Very entertaining, and, simultaneously, horrifying. I grew up in Florida (moved to NC ten years ago, but Florida is still “home”), so much of the book is to some extent familiar, but Pittman tells fine stories, and there were many people and events here that I was glad to learn about in more detail. Though much of this is loosely connected “weird Florida” trivia, Pittman really does try in each chapter to tie things together and show how Florida events influenced the rest of America. I f [...]

    2. A few years ago I attended a signing/reading by one of my favorite Florida writers and columnists Carl Hiaasen. A member of the audience asked him where he got his wacky ideas for his novels of strange goings on in my home state of Florida. "Simple", says Carl, "pick up a newspaper!". Another Florida writer, Tim Dorsey, he of the 20+ novels featuring the serial killer Serge who only kills folks who harm Florida or Floridians and who dispenses Florida trivia as he travels the state with his drug [...]

    3. Florida has a certain reputation in the United States: an armpit, a cesspool of weirdness, a haven for retirees who can't drive even though their lives depend on it. And, Pittman argues, it is an unusual state, a battleground for a lot of cultural movements in the U.S from the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement to 2000 election to the pro-life movement and, perhaps most recently, the opiate crisis. Pittman, a lifelong resident of the state, is a connoisseur of Florida's weirdness, [...]

    4. Second book about Florida and its craziness that I read in the last month (first was Dave Barry’s “Best. State. Ever”). While Barry’s book was funny, it left me feeling like there was more to the story. Pittman’s work tells the rest of the story. We know we’re the land of the Mouse and NASA and Gatorade but did you know that the Sierra Club has malaria from Florida to thank for its existence? What about a pug named Princess Penny Pickles that helped solve a murder? Cool Hand Luke, Mi [...]

    5. This was quite a fun and fascinating read. I love the wide swath of history here (giving me jumping off points for finding more books/historical Florida things to research). I also think Pittman does a great job at arguing how Florida - for good, for bad, or for worse - affects the national stage. I both love and hate my weird, ironic home state.

    6. This book was so much fun. If you live in Florida, I highly recommend it - it dives in to all the wackiness of Florida and its residents. Lots of laugh out loud moments. A great time to be had by all while learning something about this quirky state.

    7. Puts the Fun back in the Funshine StateI was once a reporter in Florida. While there, I met a man who had run for office 40+ times before being elected Supervisor of Elections in Hillsborough County. The county commissioners had him committed to a mental institution. Three weeks later, doctors there released him for lack of evidence. He later ran for Governor, declaring himself "the only candidate to be declared sane." While on the campaign trail, he regularly faced the audience and mooned them. [...]

    8. As a resident of Florida for 35 years, I was very intrigued by the title. After reading the first couple chapters, I was hooked. Craig Pittman is a wonderful writer and presents the facts with a humorous approach. As I was reading, I found myself laughing out loud many times. If I was not a Florida resident and did not know some of the history and news stories that were so unbelievable, I would question some of the information presented. However I am aware that these are the truths. I was a litt [...]

    9. I always thought I would hate Florida until I went there. To my shock, I loved it. It's a place steeped in contradictions and weirdness -- so, exactly my kind of place. I don't know that I could live there, but it sure is fun to visit.Craig Pittman is an excellent armchair tour guide in Oh, Florida!, which covers how the state's oddities have influenced the rest of the nation and offers up loads of fun stories. Pittman, a newspaper reporter, has never met a pun he didn't like, which gives this b [...]

    10. Whether you binge read this book or consume it in small bites, it is a tasty meal. Because I am a long time Florida resident and was a reporter and editor at six newspapers, I was familiar with many of the tales Pittman tells in his eminently readable book. Seeing all the weirdness chronicled in one place gave me an entirely -- and not always comfortable -- perspective on my home state. There's no place like home.

    11. A must read for anyone thinking of moving to Florida. You just might have second thoughts! Author Craig Pittman writes in a breezy informative style that Is engaging and funny. The sad or scary part is everything he writes about is true. It all happened. No exaggeration needed. That all said, Pittman does not just focus on the crazies and the weird. While the state has more than its share of both some good and smart people have emerged and the author gives them their due.

    12. I got about 3/4 of the way through this book, when I realized I just couldn't go on. Pittman needed a ruthless editor to cut at least 1/3 of the material for each chapter, if not a chapter or two entirely. It just goes on and on at a relentless pace, where only another Florida journalist could keep up!

    13. Wonderful! Hilarious! Educational! Should be required reading for every Florida resident or visitor. I'm a fifth generation Floridian and thought I knew a great deal about Florida but I really learned a lot from this book.

    14. Loved the book. Read a Chapter a Day and keep the Doldroms away. A funny, scary, refreshing book that keeps this insane election season in perspective. Should be a coffee table book or library book for anyone who lives in Florida of VISITS Florida! Enjoy. A great gift as well!

    15. This is a fun book, but I admit I waffled between three and four stars for it. It's a compendium of stories about Florida, some enlightening, some tragic, and many, many kind of wacky. But other than an epilogue trying to tie the stories together enough to justify the subtitle ("how America's weirdest state influences the rest of the country"), there's no narrative thesis here. Instead, this feels like a series of columns edited together with segues. As a Florida semi-native (in California now b [...]

    16. A must read for any Floridian, written by an author who reminds me of a cross between the famous Florida authors Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen. Some of the things I didn't know about my home state until I read this book are downright shameful. (Pivotal turning points in the Civil Rights Movement and the foundation for the right to a defense attorney in all criminal trials both happened in Florida.) I also had quite a few "SMH" moments related to the long history of absurd, corrupt, and incompetent [...]

    17. This was a great book full of freaky facts about Florida. Not only does it showcase strange things Florida related that have influenced the rest of the country but it also tells of local lore and history. This is a book you should definitely put on your list if you are curious about this state!

    18. A fun, interesting and humorous insight into how we became who we are here in Florida! At times, a bit tedious with detail, but well worth the read.

    19. Started fun but distractions came up and it was too easy to walk away and not come back to this book. Florida is hilarious- the natives, transplants, and tourists all contribute to wild Florida Man stories. The book seems better suited to the blog format that (I think) I read it started as.

    20. I guess you could call me a lapsed Floridian. I grew up in Florida (Collier County) and really could not wait to get out of there. I left when it was time to go to college in 1971. Now at 63 years old, I am trying to understand the place, trying to visit as many sites as possible and trying to learn some history. So, that might be why I was so taken with Oh, Florida! I was starved for information about Florida and Pittman really delivered. I learned four or five things every chapter. Some times [...]

    21. 5 stars! Craig has an easy writing style and this is an informative, entertaining read. I learned a lot about my home state!

    22. I knew this was a collection of crazy Florida stories, but it turns out to be a lot more than that. Craig Pittman has collected not just crazy stories, but distinctive events in Florida history and woven them seamlessly together in a narrative that tells you a tremendous amount about how we got to where we are today. He is, I decided, an absolute master of the segue, moving from one story to the next with perfect ease and a delightful sense of humor. While there are many, many stupid criminal st [...]

    23. This is the best book I've read about Florida history. It breaks a lot of well researched history into a range of subjects, with an engaging tone that ranges from humorous to head-shaking chagrin. The many faults of characters are displayed, leavened with an underlying positive belief that Yes, Florida is weird, but overall most people are good and life is good. One thing that I enjoyed was that Craig Pittman clearly loves the natural beauty of the Florida outside of the metropolitan areas. Poli [...]

    24. Delightful, entertaining and humorous. Florida is the state that keeps on giving, whether it wishes to or not.

    25. If you have ever lived in Florida, visited Florida, known anyone from Florida whom you thought was a little bit off, or even heard jokes about Florida, then you need to read this book. The author, Craig Pittman, a native Floridian, made his reputation as probably the best environmental reporter in Florida (he works for the Tampa Bay Times, formerly the St. Petersburg Times), but he has also collected stories about weird things that have happened here. He has compiled his encyclopedic knowledge o [...]

    26. On the face of it, especially on the cover, this book seems to come across as a fun read all about the weird and wacky state of Florida and the weird and wacky people that inhabit and visit. The book is deeper than that. It tells a pretty good history of the state, along with some stark realities. It is written in a reportage style, which makes sense since the author is also a journalist.The book expounds on all the hazards of Florida, such as hurricanes, alligators, sharks, poisonous snakes, mo [...]

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