Miami Babylon

Miami Babylon
Title Miami Babylon PDF eBook
Author Gerald Posner
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Pages 0
Release 2009-10-13
Genre True Crime
ISBN 9781416576563

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Here, in all its neon-colored, cocaine-fueled glory, is the never-before-told story of the making of Miami Beach. Gerald Posner, author of the groundbreaking investigations Case Closed and Why America Slept, has uncovered the hair-raising political-financial-criminal history of the Beach and reveals a tale that, in the words of one character, "makes Scarface look like a documentary." From its beginnings in the 1890s, the Beach has been a place made by visionaries and hustlers. During Prohibition, Al Capone had to muscle into its bootlegging and gambling businesses. After December 1941, when the Beach was the training ground for half a million army recruits, even the war couldn't stop the party. After a short postwar boom, the city's luck gave out. The big hotels went bankrupt, the crime rate rose, and the tourists moved on to Disney World and the Caribbean. Even after the Beach hosted both national political conventions in 1972, nobody would have imagined that this sandy backwater of run-down hotels and high crime would soon become one of the country's most important cultural centers. But in 1981, 125,000 Cubans arrived by the boatload. The empty streets of South Beach, lined with dilapidated Art Deco hotels, were about to be changed irrevocably by the culture of money that moved in behind cocaine and crime. Posner takes us inside the intertwined lives of politicians, financiers, nightclub owners, and real estate developers who have fed the Beach's unquenchable desire for wealth, flash, and hype: the German playboy who bought the entire tip of South Beach with $100 million of questionable money; the mayoral candidate who said, "If you can't take their money, drink their liquor, mess with their women, and then vote against them, you aren't cut out for politics"; the Staten Island thug who became king of the South Beach nightclubs only to have his empire unravel and saved himself by testifying against the mob; the campaign manager who calls himself the "Prince of Darkness" and got immunity from prosecution in a fraud case by cooperating with the FBI against his colleagues; and the former Washington, D.C., developer who played hardball with city hall and became the Beach's first black hotel owner. From the mid-level coke dealers and their suitcases of cash to the questionable billions that financed the ocean-view condo towers, the Beach has seen it all. Posner's singular report tells the real story of how this small urban beach community was transformed into a world-class headquarters for American culture within a generation. It is a story built by dreamers and schemers. And a steroid-injected cautionary tale.

Fool's Paradise

Fool's Paradise
Title Fool's Paradise PDF eBook
Author Steven Gaines
Publisher Crown
Pages 290
Release 2009-12-29
Genre History
ISBN 0307346285

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From the acclaimed bestselling author of Philistines at the Hedgerow comes a remarkably revealing profile of the Miami Beach no one knows–a tale of fabulous excess, thwarted power, and rekindled lives that will take its place among the decade’s best works of social portraiture. Created from a mix of swampland and dredged-up barrier reef, Miami Beach has always been one part drifter-mecca and one part fantasyland, simultaneously a catch basin for con men, fast-talk artists, and shameless self-promoters, and a Shangri-La for sun worshippers and hardcore hedonists. In Miami Beach it’s often said that "if you’re not indicted you’re not invited." But the city’s mad, fascinating complexity resists easy stereotyping. Fool’s Paradise is more than just a present-day profile of a dark Eden. Gaines journeys back into the city’s social and cultural history, unearthing stories of the resort’s past that are every bit as absorbing–and jaw-dropping–as those of its present. The book begins with a snapshot of the city’s current excess (this is, after all, a sun-washed hamlet that boasts, on a per capita basis, more bars–and breast implants–than any other place in America), then plunges into the Beach’s origins, chronicling the audacious rise of such hoteliers as the Fontainebleau’s Ben Novack and the Eden Roc’s Harry Mufson, the sharp-elbowed tactics of Al Capone and Frank Sinatra, and the Mac-10 shooting sprees of the Marielito and Colombian drug lords. From there, the narrative shifts to two wildly eccentric souls who gave their lives to preserving the city’s architectural dazzle and creating its color palette, introduces us to "the Most Powerful Man in Miami Beach," and arrives finally in the modern day, where we meet, among others, a kinky German playboy who once owned a quarter of South Beach and publicly flaunts his sexual escapades; a fabulously successful nightclub promoter whose addictive past seems to have given him a portal into the night world’s id; and a gaggle of young sexy models, dreamers, and schemers on a mission to achieve significance. Evoking the Beach’s surreal blend of flashy Vegas and old Hollywood glamour, as well as its manic desperation and reckless wealth, Gaines persuasively demonstrates that though the Beach is–in the words of its most famous drag queen–"an island of broken toys . . . a place where people get away with things they’d never get away with anyplace else," it casts an irresistible spell.

Assisted Dying

Assisted Dying
Title Assisted Dying PDF eBook
Author Serena Nanda
Publisher Rowman Altamira
Pages 221
Release 2011
Genre Fiction
ISBN 0759119945

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Assisted Dying is an ethnographically based murder mystery that uses the unexplained deaths of elderly people on Florida's Gold Coast to examine American cultural values. Diversity, immigration and the American Dream, and aging, retirement, death, and dying are just some of the issues illuminated. The novel skillfully draws readers in, teaching students key concepts in the social sciences as they follow cultural anthropologist Julie Norman in her quest to solve the dark mystery.

Impressions of South Beach

Impressions of South Beach
Title Impressions of South Beach PDF eBook
Author Carol Schaller Carmichael
Publisher Carol Schaller Carmichael
Pages 73
Release 2012-06-28
Genre Art
ISBN 1477569065

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Paintings of South Beach by Carol Schaller Carmichael -- the Art Deco and Miami Modern architecture and vintage cars. 58 full color images. The paintings are accompanied by captions describing a little of the history of the buildings, the architect, and a brief story in some cases. The book is organized from South to North along Ocean Drive and along Collins so that it could be used as a walking tour. http: //www.leesidefarmphotography.com

Blood and Smoke

Blood and Smoke
Title Blood and Smoke PDF eBook
Author Charles Leerhsen
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Pages 278
Release 2012-05-22
Genre History
ISBN 1439149054

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One hundred years ago, 40 cars lined up for the first Indianapolis 500. We are still waiting to find out who won. The Indy 500 was created to showcase the controversial new sport of automobile racing, which was sweeping the country. Daring young men were driving automobiles at the astonishing speed of 75 miles per hour, testing themselves and their vehicles. With no seat belts, hard helmets or roll bars, the dangers were enormous. When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909, seven people were killed, some of them spectators. Oil-slicked surfaces, clouds of smoke, exploding tires, and flying grit all made driving extremely hazardous, especially with the open-cockpit, windshield-less vehicles. Bookmakers offered bets not only on who might win but who might survive. But this book is about more than a race--it is the story of America at the dawn of the automobile age, a country in love with speed, danger, and spectacle.--From publisher description.

Stiltsville

Stiltsville
Title Stiltsville PDF eBook
Author Susanna Daniel
Publisher Harper Collins
Pages 326
Release 2010-08-03
Genre Fiction
ISBN 0061963070

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Describes the love story between Frances Ellerby and Dennis DuVal against the backdrop of the Biscayne Bay, as they struggle with Florida's weather, infidelity, parenthood, friendship, and debilitating illness over the span of thirty years.

Off the Beaten Page

Off the Beaten Page
Title Off the Beaten Page PDF eBook
Author Terri Peterson Smith
Publisher Chicago Review Press
Pages 306
Release 2013-05-01
Genre Travel
ISBN 1613744293

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Blending literature and travel, this book offers a look at 15 U.S. destinations featured in the works of famous writers. Designed as a guide to help avid bibliophiles experience, in person, the places they've only read about, award-winning journalist Terri Peterson Smith takes readers on lively tours that include a Mark Twain inspired steamboat cruise on the Mississippi, a Devil in the White City view of Chicago in the Gilded Age, a voyage through the footsteps of the immigrants and iconoclasts of San Francisco, and a look at low country Charleston's rich literary tradition. With advice on planning stress-free group travel and lit trip tips for novices, this resource also features “beyond the book” experiences, such as Broadway shows, Segway tours, and kayaking, making it a one-of-a-kind reference for anyone who wants to extend the experience of a great read.