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  • Bubble in the Sun

  • The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression
  • By: Christopher Knowlton
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)
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Bubble in the Sun cover art

Bubble in the Sun

By: Christopher Knowlton
Narrated by: Fred Sanders
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Summary

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. It was the largest human migration in American history, far exceeding the settlement of the West. It spawned the suburbs as we know them and the first large-scale assault on the environment in the name of “progress.” Thousands flocked to the grand hotels and new cities rose rapidly from the teeming wetlands. Nowhere was the glitz and excess of the Roaring Twenties more blatant than in Florida. It was Vegas before there was Vegas; gambling was legal and so was drinking (prohibition was not enforced). Tycoons and celebrities flocked to this new frontier. Yet, the import and deep impact of this historical moment has never been explored thoroughly until now. 

In Bubble in the Sun Christopher Knowlton shows us the grand artistic and entrepreneurial visions behind Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Mar-a-Lago, Miami Beach, and other storied sites. It was a time when the nightlife raged more raucously than anywhere else in America; workers, mostly black, who built and maintained the boom endured grievous abuses; and the pure beauty of the Everglades suffered wanton ruination. Knowlton also breathes dynamic life into the four forces that made and/or broke Florida in the time: the real estate moguls Carl Fisher, George Merrick, and Addison Mizner, and the once-in-a-century storm whose aftermath included the stock market crash. This essential account is a revelatory - and relevant - history of a specific time that is still affecting our country today.

©2020 Christopher Knowlton (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Ever take a punt on a book?

i saw the title and remembered Jack Lemmon and Joe E Brown and Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe and I thought yeah, I'll have a go.

Listeners, I wasn't disappointed. I know it's a hackneyed phrase but it's a fascinating story. Well told. Great ensemble cast.. Some of the speculators, investors, socialites were as entertaining as Lemmon, Brown, Curtis, Monroe. And I'm certainly convinced the author's premises, that the land boom in Florida and its collapse was the cue break (8 ball in the corner pocket) which put in motion the start of the Great Depression in the US.

Fred Sanders did an excellent job of narrating the book. He certainly sounded as if he was interested in the topic, too. It's not always been my experience with readers of non-fiction. Sometimes if the subject doesn't float their boat; the listener kens. A smile can help modulate the voice. And I think Mr Saunders smiled through this one. There were many subtle but effective vocal techniques he employed to differentiate the rogues and gentlemen and ladies and golddiggers you'll meet in Bubble in the Sun.

Recommended.

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2 people found this helpful