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Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression

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Christopher Knowlton, author of Cattle Kingdom and former Fortune writer, takes an in-depth look at the spectacular Florida land boom of the 1920s and shows how it led directly to the Great Depression.

The 1920s in Florida was a time of incredible excess, immense wealth, and precipitous collapse. The decade there produced the largest human migration in American history, far exceeding the settlement of the West, as millions flocked to the grand hotels and the new cities that rose rapidly from the teeming wetlands. The boom spawned a new subdivision civilization—and the most egregious large-scale assault on the environment in the name of “progress.” Nowhere was the glitz and froth of the Roaring Twenties more excessive than in Florida. Here was Vegas before there was a Vegas: gambling was condoned and so was drinking, since prohibition was not enforced. Tycoons, crooks, and celebrities arrived en masse to promote or exploit this new and dazzling American frontier in the sunshine. Yet, the import and deep impact of these historical events have never been explored thoroughly until now.

In Bubble in the Sun Christopher Knowlton examines the grand artistic and entrepreneurial visions behind Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Miami Beach, and other storied sites, as well as the darker side of the frenzy. For while giant fortunes were being made and lost and the nightlife raged more raucously than anywhere else, the pure beauty of the Everglades suffered wanton ruination and the workers, mostly black, who built and maintained the boom, endured grievous abuses.

Knowlton breathes dynamic life into the forces that made and wrecked Florida during the decade: the real estate moguls Carl Fisher, George Merrick, and Addison Mizner, and the once-in-a-century hurricane whose aftermath triggered the stock market crash. This essential account is a revelatory—and riveting—history of an era that still affects our country today.

432 pages, Hardcover

First published January 14, 2020

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About the author

Christopher Knowlton

3 books26 followers
BUBBLE IN THE SUN is the winner of the 2021 Excellence in Financial Journalism (EFJ) Best Book Award.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 148 reviews
Profile Image for Jeanette (Ms. Feisty).
2,179 reviews1,898 followers
March 2, 2020
3.5 stars

I'll confess to feeling more than a frisson of schadenfreude at the final fates of the foolish fellows most responsible for the spectacular crash of the Florida real estate boom in the 1920s. They all died impoverished and in poor health, victims of their own greed and extravagant living.

These men made mountains of money early in the boom, and they could have lived richly for the rest of their lives on that money. But their greed and egos and need for prestige knew no bounds. They had to keep trying to one-up each other, building more and more lavish properties, irreparably altering and despoiling Florida's nearly pristine ecosystems. They overextended themselves financially, and got what they deserved. Unfortunately, they ruined a lot of other people's lives in the process.

The bank failures and the bust of Florida's real estate market in 1926 were a preview and perhaps a precursor of what was to come for the entire nation in 1929. I knew nothing of this story, and I found this book to be a fairly comprehensive overview. I had never heard of most of the major figures, so I did have some difficulty keeping track of who was who and what were their backgrounds and eccentricities.

Those who do not learn from the mistakes of their grandcestors are likely to repeat those mistakes, and thus we had the financial crisis of 2008. I found many glaring parallels between the two debacles.
Profile Image for Lorna.
653 reviews352 followers
April 13, 2021
Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression was an interesting and meticulously researched account of the grand visions and designs coupled with business acumen of architects and businessmen to bring development to the state of Florida from the time of the Gilded Age through the crash of 1929. Florida has long been one of our favorite destinations, and a state where we have spent a lot of time, thus the keen interest in this remarkable history of the great Florida land boom and the opening of this beautiful state.

It goes without saying that Henry Flagler, the American industrialist and partner of John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil, was the first visionary seeing the promise of the state when he first spent time in St. Augustine and later in Palm Beach, where he built luxurious resorts followed by the development of the Florida East Coast Railway to these destinations and beyond along the Atlantic coast of Florida. Because of his determination, the Florida Overseas Railroad was extended from Biscayne Bay to Key West, a 128 miles past the end of the Florida peninsula and completed in 1912.

Christopher Knowlton tells the story of four men that were instrumental in the development of Florida in the midst of the 1920s and the sequence of events that transpired in Florida:

"The stars of this story are the handful of daring men who, eager for fame and wealth, took enormous risks to open up Florida for real estate development and then chased the boom to its ruinous conclusion. . . Chief among these are the 'uncrowned kings of real estate: Carl Fisher in Miami Beach, Addison Mizner in Palm Beach and Boca Raton, George Merrick in Coral Gables, and David Paul 'D.P.' Davis in Tampa and St. Augustine."

And one of my favorite people shaping Florida during this time was Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a journalist for The Miami Herald, a freelance writer, a staunch women's suffrage advocate and a conservationist protecting the Everglades from major development. In 1993, when she was 103 years old, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her efforts to preserve and restore the Everglades. The author notes that "she lived to be 108 before succumbing to a gentle death, far outliving the four great developers who had been her contemporaries. Her ashes were scattered in the Everglades."

And in his conclusion, Christopher Knowlton sums it up this way:

"The great Florida land boom left several important legacies; chief among these were the vibrant cities, most notably Palm Beach, Miami and Miami Beach, which would rebound in the decades to follow and emerge as proper metropolises."

And in the prescient words of the author:

"I believe the collapse of the Florida land boom pricked the national real estate bubble of the twenties, causing the initial contraction in the economy to begin. This explanation accommodates both classical monetarist thinking and competing Keynesian explanations for what happened. . . . However, the role played by the collapse of Florida's real estate boom in launching the Great Depression has surely been vastly underappreciated by economists and historians."
Profile Image for MicheleReader.
682 reviews124 followers
October 4, 2020
Bubble in the Sun is a work of non-fiction which details the Florida land boom that took place about 100 years ago. It’s an age old story of rich men behaving badly. Something that doesn’t surprise us today. Greed, status, wealth, power. Florida has seen it all. This is the story of the real estate moguls Carl Fisher, George Merrick and Addison Mizner. While they helped to create South Florida, their ambition ultimately led to their ruin. Not one of the men profiled survived the boom with his fortune or health intact.

I found this book absolutely fascinating. The era was post World War I and people were looking to invest. People had money and many had cars. Buying land in Florida became a sure-fire way of getting wealthy. Credit was easy to get. Prices continued to rise. The developers were getting very rich and living lavish lifestyles. These men didn’t just create developments, they were creating new towns such as Coral Gables. “Binder boys” helped serve as selling agents. But then came the bust. Land prices rose too high. People became sellers, no longer buyers. The Hurricane of 1928 and news that South Florida was essentially wiped out destroyed any lingering desire for people to invest in land. The Great Depression soon followed.

While the developer kings were ruined, their legacies remain. They helped to create now vibrant cities, which would end up growing and becoming successful in the decades to come. Architect Addison Mizner’s influence in Palm Beach and Boca Raton are still very visible. This is where I live and his style continues to define much of the area.

A hero in this tale of excess is Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the other environmentalists who stopped ill conceived developments in the Everglades and elsewhere. Stoneman Douglas was a true pioneer. At age 103 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She lived to age 108.

If you live in or enjoy visiting South Florida, you might find Bubble In the Sun as engaging as I did.

Review posted on MicheleReader.com.
Profile Image for Aura.
752 reviews65 followers
August 2, 2020
At the turn of the century, Florida was nothing but swampland. It was considered a frontier state with a sparse population. Then came the tycoons, among them Flagler and Rockefeller with their money and ventures and followed by droves and droves of people. The author documents the development of hotels and golf courses by rich men for rich people. It is an interesting story of how Florida became such a densely populated state. I always thought well of Mr. Flagler as so many buildings, roads, plazas and parks are named after him in my home state of Florida. It was disappointing to learn that like most tycoons of the time, he was not such a great guy.
Profile Image for David Wineberg.
Author 2 books683 followers
October 6, 2019
It all started with Standard Oil money. Henry Flagler, Rockefeller’s partner (who John D. called the brains of the Standard Oil Trust) retired from the company and discovered the new frontier – Florida. Like a Jeff Bezos pushing into outer space, Flagler spent what today would be billions developing land in Florida and building a railway to and through it. This opened the state to freight and passengers, and the madness of the bubble began. Where mere mortals saw swamps, clouds of mosquitos and impenetrable jungles, Flagler saw a potential wonderland.

In Christopher Knowlton’s excellent Bubble in the Sun, the young billionaires of the era flocked to the state, making it a high end, luxury destination for them and their kind. The book examines the excesses they went to, and how they built new fortunes selling their dreams (and their partying) to the rest of the country.

Over the (Roaring) 1920s, they would buy up raw land, subdivide it and put it on the market. Like bees to honey, people literally threw money at brokers to own their own piece. Knowlton relates how new records were set every time a development came to market, with millions committed on the first day of sales alone. At one point, he says, people were literally throwing checks at brokers, which had to be collected in a barrel because they couldn’t fill out the contracts fast enough. By the height of it all, there developed a shortage of police, because so many quit to become real estate agents.

The book thoroughly profiles the highflyers of the bubble, in all their anachronistic and anarchistic character. William Jennings Bryan, who got dragged into it as a shill, admitted “Coral Gables is the only city in the world where you can tell a lie at breakfast that will come true by evening.”

My own favorites are the Mizner brothers, the architect and the grifter, who rose to national fame on the back of the bubble. I treasure my first edition of Alva Johnston’s profile of them (The Legendary Mizners, 1952), and Knowlton gives him credit as he digs into the lives of all these hustlers from across the country and a couple from Europe too. They made billions in a short time, then lost it all and more even faster.

One was a bicycle racer who made his first fortune repairing bicycles in Indianapolis. Bikes had recently replaced the unworkable penny-farthings and become all the rage. He turned out to be quite the showman. After building the Indianapolis 500 Speedway, he took on Florida, where among other things, he developed cheesecake – the photos of young women in bathing suits that made the rest of the country wonder what they were missing. Like all of them, the bubble’s instability escaped him, and he died essentially penniless. Another megastar ended as a failing real estate agent, another became a beggar, and at least one committed suicide. Several blew their massive inheritances trying to make their own fortunes. These were people who until recently had fleets of buses and limousines circulating all over the southeast, bringing prospects to see for themselves. One employed an elephant as a golf caddy. They built world class marketing organizations so their projects were always in the newspapers all over the country. Prohibition was openly laughed off. Parties were everything.

The signs of a bubble were there, but everyone carried on regardless. Then a series of hurricanes wiped out almost everything they had built, and scared off new prospects. Even Flagler’s railway to the Florida Keys was torn to shreds, and no one raised their hand to restore it. Land prices plunged, banks closed, lending ceased, investors vaporized. The stock market crash of 1929 was the final nail, plunging the whole country into a depression the likes of which had never been seen in America. Nobody wanted to buy anything in that atmosphere. Nobody gave Florida another thought.

A new generation of billionaires scooped up the remains at bargain prices and the cycle has of course repeated. Today, it’s rising seas and more violent hurricanes that are the primary threats, but that has stopped nothing in the way of land development. As long as prices are rising, everyone is happy to dive right in.

There are three things that make Bubble in the Sun outstanding, besides the characters, who wrote themselves for Knowlton. He is careful to put things in perspective, because we take so much for granted. He explains the rolling daisy-chain effects of the depression so readers can see how it deepened and took Florida down. He explains the monetary policy of the era, banking policy as it was then, and always tells readers what a dollar amount would mean in today’s money. All this keeps the book from being just a flat history that today’s readers could not relate to. This adds tremendous value.

Knowlton also seems to have tapped everyone in the world for their takes on the players and the era. He assembled everyone’s contributions into an easy-reading, engaging and often exciting tale that is seamless where it could easily have been disjointed. A tremendous amount of work went into Bubble in the Sun, and it wears well.

Finally, he is very clear on the racism of the builders. Communities had in their very contacts that no one could sell to a non-white. Blacks could work in construction or service (after protests by a megarich doyenne to the state about her need for servants), but lived in shantytowns far away. That this was normal for the times is no excuse. These innovative builders missed a huge opportunity to make a real difference. But the difference they were after was who died with the most toys.

I was particularly taken with Knowlton’s emphasis on Marjory Stoneman Douglas, born and raised in the Miami area – the only one. She started out in journalism because her father ran the paper, but developed into a national storyteller for the Saturday Evening Post. She lived alone, appreciating more and more the nature she grew up with as the developers made it disappear. She became a rabid environmentalist, attempting to stanch the destruction of the Everglades, the main source of freshwater in the state. As Frank Barbour said in 1944: “It was an easy state for man to ruin and he ruined it with ruthless efficiency.” She outlived all of the other characters, getting a Congressional Medal of Honor from the president at the age of 103. She was a product of the bubble, one that turned out far better because of it, and far better than all the celebrity developers combined. Knowlton acknowledges her outsized contribution to there being more to life than making billions destroying a state.

David Wineberg
Profile Image for Leo.
4,247 reviews385 followers
February 28, 2021
Read 61 % but couldn't for the life of me concentrate on what I've read. Don't know if it was my mood or if the writing just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Michael Perkins.
Author 6 books344 followers
January 20, 2020
I've done a bestseller on the tech stock bubble, so the dynamic of this bubble, especially the irrational psychology behind it (FOMO) was very familiar.

The book really has no story arc. It's largely episodic, full of a lot of detail, which makes for a choppy read. But I think the formula was clear. The tycoons were selling average people something that was too good to be true. They were told there was a chance you could "flip" the "land" you bought to someone else and pocket the gain. Too much of it, however, was notorious swampland.

So what brought this mania to an end?

“Very simple,” noted St. Petersburg developer Walter P. Fuller. “We just ran out of suckers.”

The 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane and the Wall Street Crash of 1929, along with the devastating arrival of the Mediterranean fruit fly, would crush Florida's prospects. It would not get a fresh start until after WW II.
3 reviews
January 25, 2021
Very informative book full of personality telling a little-known chapter of American history. Knowlton does a great job introducing and connecting the various players across the decades of Florida's real estate boom. This book gave me a whole new understanding of the development of Florida and the effect real estate speculation has on the overall economy.
Profile Image for Fred Forbes.
953 reviews48 followers
October 21, 2020
I got into this one for two reasons. First, as a long time Floridian who spends a lot of time in the areas covered (much of the state, actually) I wanted to get into the discussion of the people who shaped our culture (?) and history. Second, the book makes the claim that the Florida land boom and bust was a huge contributor to the collapse of the economy in the nineteen twenties and actually makes a pretty good case for that. Well written, notated and sourced and worthy of interest for any Floridian - go ahead, pick out a spot on the beach, grab a drink, plop your carcass down and settle in for a worthy read.

Also, talk about a great life lesson - "...not one of Florida's four real estate kings survived the boom with either his fortune or his health intact. One drank himself to death, one ate himself to death, one worked himself to death, and one most probably committed suicide on a desperate, drunken dare". Fascinating stuff, but their names live on in the names of structures and locations through out the state.
Profile Image for Amy Robertson.
131 reviews1 follower
January 6, 2020
Thank you to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for an advance of this title in exchange for my honest review. Bubble in the Sun, by author Christopher Knowlton , was like reading about the Gold Rush, of the West, but rather the land rush of the state of Florida. From early discovery of Florida's beaches, to the purchasing of land, through the industrialization of the state, to development, and marketing, Knowlton creates a picture of wealth and glamorous living. We learn of the railroad expansion and the hotel industry. The billions of dollars dumped into the creation of this, America's new playland, were astronomical, by the standards of then and now. Developers and investors were not interested in keeping up with one and other. Bigger, better, newer, more luxurious and more outrageous were the expectations.

The book goes on to follow the dreams of the movers and shakers of the prospect. The many interesting stories and people were shared in great wonderment and detail. Everyone wanted a piece of this action and there was no shortage of buyers. The prohibition was in full swing, but in Florida, the excesses of alcohol and luxury partying were welcome. People could not get enough or fast enough. At one point in the book it states "4000 people were entering Florida daily by car, an additional 3,000 by train, and hundreds more by ship". The author tells us this is a conservative estimation and does not include vacationers, snowbirds, retirees, etc. Populations soared, realty was booming, and the money flowed.

Finally, as all good things must come to an end, it was the natural disasters of Florida hurricanes that burst it's economic bubble and broke the state of financial strength. This not only devastated investors and developers, but shut down banks and sent people fleeing the state. All those involved were left destitute and broke. They lost, and they lost big, most never again to regain their fortunes and inheritances. Coinciding with Stock Market Crash of 1929, the Florida Sun Bubble became nothing but a poor investment example in greed and excessive overspending.

Very interesting read. Certainly a topic in which I had never considered. Full of fast talkers and big spenders, glitz, and doom. Maybe a bit lengthy, but I would recommend this read.

#netgalley #simonandschuster #bookreview @Bubbleinthesun #nonfiction
291 reviews2 followers
December 25, 2021
The Florida land boom makes other land rushes look like Black Fridays. 50,000 people moved to Oklahoma in 1889. 2,500,000 people came to Florida in 1925. The lucky ones would flip a lot the same day and profit by thousands. Of course, it didn't last and left a legacy of exploitation and environmental destruction.

The profile of an economic bubble never changes: A belief that values will continue rising forever, lax lending standards and over-extended credit, failure of regulation, using borrowed money to speculate rather than buy and hold, a foreseeable disaster (hurricane) with no recovery plan or resources, overpayments that build on overpayments*... . We know it well, but it happens anyway.

This book follows four men who were instrumental in developing Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Cocoanut Grove. All became wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. On paper. And they were true believers. No stock sales or golden parachutes in advance of the collapse; they went down with their ships. Fortunes and livers ruined, they lived out their days in modest obscurity.

The huge personalities (e.g., Addison Mizner, who always had a monkey named Johnny Brown on his shoulder) and outlandish huckstering (e.g., a promotional picture of a man driving a golf ball on the back of an elephant) are entertaining. For historians, the author injects something new with his theory that the Florida bust triggered the Great Depression. But overall, the story is too familiar.

* One developer, stuck with lots that weren't selling, raised prices by 10%, then advertised the increase as evidence that the lots were gaining value.
Profile Image for Jamie.
251 reviews3 followers
September 30, 2020
For some time now, I have wanted to take a tour of Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida. I know we also have Flagler County and who knows how many Flagler Avenues, but before reading this book, I knew next to nothing about Henry Flagler. I was surprised to learn that he was actually one of Rockefeller's partners and, "[when] John D. Rockefeller was asked if the Standard Oil company was the result of his thinking, he answered, 'No, sir. I wish I had the brains to think of it. It was Henry M. Flagler.'"

Knowlton's book talks about Flagler and others who bought up real estate in Florida, building up resort towns and attracting extremely wealthy people from all over to come here and enjoy an amenities (including freely flowing alcohol during Prohibition). He makes the case that this real estate boom and its inevitable bust was a major contributing factor to the Great Depression. People were buying and selling land, often sight unseen, at increasingly higher prices; sometimes plots would change hands multiple times before the deed was even drawn.

He follows the lives of several prominent people, including Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, who I admit I had only previously heard of because of the Parkland school shooting. Knowing more about her now, about her journalism career and her conservation efforts, I am interested to read her writings. I am also now curious to learn more about the work of architect, Addison Mizner.
Profile Image for Patrick SG.
366 reviews5 followers
April 8, 2020
Excellent and engaging read about the great Florida boom of the first quarter of the 20th century. Don't let the subtitle suggesting an economics lesson put you off. This is a well-written, engaging profile of the larger than life people who converted America's last frontier (pre-Alaska) into an exotic playground for the rich and those who hoped to be..

By profiling about a half-dozen key movers and shakers of the Florida boom, Knowlton draws a detailed, yet entertaining look at how a swampy, hot, sometimes fetid environment became a destination that drew people - and their money - from all over the world. The author doesn't neglect those who supported this extravegance either. Along the way he tells the stories of the workers and support people who are too often forgotten in social histories.

He also tells how this extravagance was not without cost, largely through the eyes of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Introduced to Florida by her father, publisher of the Miami Herald, for which she worked, she quickly became aware of what the growth was doing to the natural world that was being displaced, especially the Everglades.

This is a well-balanced book, with multiple stories and lessons for our own time, a century removed from their telling.
773 reviews2 followers
December 7, 2020
One of the characters in the wonderful novel Florence Adler Swims Forever, which I read several weeks ago, was caught up in the 1920s Florida land boom. When Bubble in the Sun was well-reviewed I was intrigued -- and now I know a LOT more about the early 20th century real estate wheeling and dealing that made modern Florida. Knowlton doesn't write only about the land guys -- he also includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas who crusaded to preserve the Everglades. It's quite a story and it's very well-written.
Profile Image for Maria.
1,150 reviews4 followers
July 17, 2020
This is a fascinating, frenetic, and fun account of a wild time in economic history: the Roaring Twenties and Florida's development and real estate. The author's thesis is that this contributed greatly to the Great Depression. But he also delves into the lives of the men and women--specifically George Merrick, Carl Fisher, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and Addison Mizner--who were key players. The cultural history of the decade and the architectural history of South Florida is engrossing and entertaining, maddening, heartbreaking, and amazing to read. The author also draws comparisons with the 2008 housing crisis but, there again, we humans have short memories and do not seem to learn our lessons and will forever repeat mistakes, citing "but this time will be different." Ha!
97 reviews
January 16, 2023
As a Floridian, I enjoyed the early history. However, thought the author spent way too much time forecasting the pending property bust but didn't spend any time actually explaining the mechanics of how it happened.

If you are simply interested in learning more about the characters that helped to develop Florida, this is a great book. If you are looking for more insight into the boom and how it was created and how it burst, the book leaves something to be desired.
Profile Image for Kyle Gagnon.
1 review
January 23, 2022
LOVED every page of this book. The first half pulled me in quickly as it was a gripping story of success and grandeur during the infamous roaring 20s. The second half was a play by play account of how it all fell apart.
Profile Image for Rita Ciresi.
Author 15 books57 followers
February 8, 2020
For fans of Florida lore. Of special interest to me were the stories of architect Addison Mizner and the mysterious disappearance at sea of D.P. Davis, founder of Davis Islands.
Profile Image for Jason.
205 reviews4 followers
January 21, 2023
I do love a good boom/bust story (Devil Take the Hindmost, The Big Short) and this one did not disappoint!
Profile Image for Andrew.
589 reviews8 followers
October 8, 2020
I loved this kind of book—an in depth analysis and social history of a specific time and place told through the stories of various interesting personages. Knowlton keeps the story moving with wild and interesting anecdotes. He doesn’t let the history get in the way of his telling us about an interesting time in American history(the Florida land boom and bust of the 20’s) but he really knows his history. A great combo. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Paul Szydlowski.
262 reviews5 followers
April 24, 2021
This book makes it clear that nothing is new - not asset bubbles, market collapses, crazy characters who make them happen or use them to scam others, and folks who are adamant about keeping government at bay - unless it can help give them an advantage or bail them out of a mess.
Profile Image for Pam.
28 reviews2 followers
February 16, 2022
Really enjoyed this book. Covers the people who developed the beautiful properties in Florida, especially Miami, Miami Beach and Palm Beach. Talks about the overextension of Real Estate development of the 1920s and its role in the Great Depression that followed.
Profile Image for Ellen L.
549 reviews2 followers
August 10, 2020
Very engaging. Especially illuminating as to how the present is very much on a continuum of historical precedent.
Profile Image for Sue.
81 reviews
October 2, 2021
This was a fascinating book about the history of real estate and the crazy building boom in mostly south Florida during the twenties. Mr. Knowlton's premise that it was a major contributor to the Great Depression is certainly plausible. If you love history and you love Florida (mostly Palm Beach, Miami and Tampa/St Pete), this is a very readable book.
Profile Image for Susan.
189 reviews
December 30, 2020
This book was recommended to Rick and it was our first attempt at listening to an audiobook together on a trip. I found it very interesting given that we have lived in Florida twice and recognized most of the places that were discussed. The book covered the 1920s and connected the Florida land boom to the Great Depression. I found the description of rum running during prohibition to be very much like the drug running portrayed in Miami Vice. It was very telling that these very wealthy developers lost both their wealth and their health due to their greed.

Profile Image for Travis Braun.
15 reviews
August 11, 2021
Probably 4+ stars for either someone from Florida or someone doing research on Florida. Lots of great stories, I enjoyed it. But there is just so much detail that it drags along too much the casual reader.
Profile Image for Karen.
152 reviews1 follower
October 11, 2021
Enjoyed learning this period’s history of Floria. A worthwhile read into how men with unique skills put them
to use, some for good and some for bad. The book also shows how somethings have not changed such as race relations and protecting the environment.
105 reviews
January 14, 2020
The author's lively style matches the exuberant tempo of the times chronicled in this well-documented social, economic, and environmental history of boom and bust in Florida. His intriguing analysis of the Sunshine State's real estate craze during the 1920s and his memorable prose portraits of the wild, risk-taking characters who drove the development of South Florida will interest both general readers and specialists. Note: The publisher supplied an advance reading copy via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
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