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For anyone who loves the old Florida and still has hope for the new "Should be required reading for everyone who calls Florida home."--Miami Herald "There is a richness and sadness in this book. . . . A museum of Florida's choicest people, places and monuments."--Palm Beach Post "Ever wonder what's the best way to eat a rattlesnake? Puzzled over the origin of the term 'Florida Cracker'? Have an interest in alligator wrestling or catfish? Al Burt has some answers for you."--Forum "Burt's writing shows a Florida that is vanishing before our eyes. [He] reveals the strange, quirky, charming face of the Sunshine State by writing about catfishermen on Lake Okeechobee, by relating the stories of Florida cowboys who drove free-range cattle across the state and by describing the hardships of a couple who abandoned south Florida for an organic farm in the Panhandle."--Weekly Planet "Burt grabs the spirit of the Florida that once was, tantalizes us, makes us nostalgic and weaves a bit of oral history as we travel with him. . . . It's as warm as a front-porch gathering on a July evening or a grandma's hug, as fresh as a fall breeze through the pinewoods or across an undeveloped coastal dune."--Gainesville Sun "Drawing upon his long career as a roving Florida journalist, Burt uses a series of vivid biographical profiles to explore the full range of 'crackerdom,' from the good old boys and 'pork chopper' politicians of the Panhandle to the native Conchs of Key West. Perhaps most impressive, he brings these endangered subcultures to life without resorting to sensationalist caricature or lapsing into nostalgic revery. Cracker Florida, which surely has suffered more than its share of condescension and misunderstanding, has finally found its laureate."--from the Foreword
Al Burt worked as a journalist for forty-five years, the last twenty-two at the Miami Herald. The recipient of numerous journalism awards, he was a freelance contributor to many magazines, including The Nation and Historic Preservation, and the author of several books, among them Florida: A Place in the Sun, Becalmed in the Mullet Latitudes, and Al Burt’s Florida: Snowbirds, Sand Castles, and Self-Rising Crackers, which was awarded the 1998 Patrick D. Smith Florida Literature Book Award. In his honor, the 1,000 Friends of Florida established the annual Al Burt Award for Florida journalism.