Craig Pittman presents
Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but lately, it’s gotten the reputation of being the Punchline State. Amid all the mockery that comes with the Florida Man and Florida Woman stories, though, people forget just how important and influential Florida has been. Everything from NASCAR to Native American casinos got started here, and major events such as the Rev. Martin Luther King’s arrest in St. Augustine changed life across the country. Explore these contradictions with award-winning journalist Craig Pittman who will delve into why Florida produces so much weird news and how everything fits together to make this the most interesting state.
About the Books:
"Florida, that sandy, sunny, coda hanging off the gothic Deep South, is the strangest of American states, half-land, half-water, all fantasy. Nobody knows the dubious history, fractious present and overall oddity of the place better than Craig Pittman. He writes like a trippy combination of Carl Hiaasen and Gail Collins, sharp as a stingray's tail, deep as a first magnitude spring and seriously funny. Oh, Florida! is a smart, sly wild ride of a book."―Diane Roberts, author of Dream State
For more than 30 years, investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author Craig Pittman has chronicled the wildest stories Florida has to offer. Featuring a selection of columns that have appeared in the Tampa Bay Times and other outlets throughout Pittman’s career, The State You're In highlights just how strange and wonderful Florida can be.
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About the Author:
Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. Born in Pensacola, he graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him "the most destructive force on campus." Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Between 1998 and 2020, he covered environmental issues for Florida's largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, winning state and national awards. He now writes a weekly column for the Florida Phoenix and co-hosts the popular “Welcome to Florida” podcast. He is the author of six non-fiction books, including the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won the gold medal for Florida non-fiction from the Florida Book Awards. His fifth book, Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther, was hailed as one of the top 20 books of 2020 by Garden & Gun magazine. His latest book, published in September, is The State You're In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.
This program is a partnership between the Florida Humanities and Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park. Funding for this program was provided by Florida Humanities and sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Florida Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.