Miami: A Cultural and Literary History

Miami: A Cultural and Literary History is one of around 40 titles in the series “Cities of the Imagination” and is written by Anthony P. Maingot who is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Founding Professor at Florida International University in Miami.

Format: Paperback
Page: 246 pages
Publisher: Interlink Publishing Group
Date: September 1, 2014
ISBN: 1566569834
Size: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches

Unlike the more usual guide books, the Cities of the Imagination series (originally from Signal Books) cover major cities throughout the world and offer you broad insights into how the cities are the way they are today and how they developed over time in terms of their culture, politics, race relations, literary influences and history etc.

Miami is one of America’s newest cities, it was only incorporated in 1896 and its growth and culture have been greatly influenced by its proximity to the Caribbean and in particular its relationship with Cuba.

Miami: A Cultural and Literary History is the kind of book you will read both before a visit to Miami and after to provide a deeper appreciation of what you may see and experience whilst visiting Miami.

The book takes you from the earliest settlers, through the three Seminole Wars in the 1800s to the early railroad and hotel pioneers like Henry Flagler and Henry Plant who both saw the potential that Cuba had to offer. The railroads brought tourists looking for winter sun and citrus farmers looking for better growing conditions.

From those early days, the book progresses through the impact of Prohibition, the Great Depression and the Second World War.

Miami has been popularised through TV series like Miami Vice and the book looks at the effect of early gangsters like Al Capone and Meyer Lansky on Miami society up to the present day corruption and drug smuggling. It also reviews the authors who have based their books on this part of Miami’s history.

Because of Miami’s proximity to South America, it was a natural jumping off place initially for steamers and then for aircraft to make the journey south. That proximity has also brought a lot of human traffic in the opposite direction.

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As well as Amazon.com, Miami: A Cultural and Literary History can also be bought at other book stores like Amazon.co.uk. This book is also available through the Kindle Store.

Miami, probably more than most American cities has been shaped throughout its history by the large influx of migrants and the book looks in great detail at the impact of the millions of migrants and refugees who have made Miami their home over the past few decades, especially since Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba.

Today Miami has the highest percentage of foreign born inhabitants than any other American city and this enormous influx of mainly Hispanics has had a profound effect on Miami and its earlier residents.

Whilst the majority of the book looks at the history of Miami, there is one chapter which gives you a guided tour of Miami’s architecture, cuisine, music and art.

The book concludes with a chapter on what the future might hold for Miami and how new nations like Brazil are looking to the opportunities that Miami has to offer and how companies like Genting from Malaysia are hoping to open a super-casino right in the heart of Miami.

Miami: A Cultural and Literary History is the kind of book you will read both before a visit to Miami and after to provide a deeper appreciation of what you may see and experience whilst visiting Miami.

The book is illustrated throughout with a series of black and white photographs and a basic map. At the back there is a very comprehensive list of books for further reading.

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