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The Origin Story Of The Sunshine State

An image of author Willie Drye
Doward Jones
/

Florida is the third largest state in the U.S. and gets millions of tourists each year. But back in the early 1900s, the state was mostly undeveloped swampland and had quite a different reputation.

During the Roaring ‘20s, the Sunshine State experienced a huge land boom due to the work of entrepreneurs, movie stars and scoundrels, and began to attract wealthy entrepreneurs and eager vacationers. 

In his new book, "For Sale- American Paradise: How Our Nation Was Sold an Impossible Dream in Florida" (Rowman & Littlefield/2016), Willie Drye chronicles how the tropical paradise was born.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Drye, author and retired journalist, about his new book. Drye reads at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11.

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC. His fascination for audio storytelling and radio journalism began as a broadcast major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career as a reporter for Carolina Connection, UNC’s student-led radio news show, where Charlie’s work won multiple Hearst Journalism Awards.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.