"The Origins of Modern Florida: From Swamp to Swamped"

Professor of History, U. South Florida

Date: Wednesday, March 18
Time: 7 p.m.
Venue: R.A. Gray Building, 500 S. Bronough, the State Library • map

"Florida is America a little ahead of itself. This book explains how it got that way." —Anniston Star, 9/11/2005, in a review of Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams by Gary Mormino.

Gary Mormino is the most prolific writer of Florida history who is still working as a full-time professor. He serves as the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of Florida History and co-director of the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg where he has taught since 1977.

His most recent book, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Florida (University Press of Florida, 2005) has been called a "brilliant compilation" that "will be the standard against which all future such efforts in Florida will be measured" by Michael Gannon, the widely acknowledged "dean of Florida Studies" and professor emeritus of history at the University of Florida.

Mormino also is co-author of at least three books dealing with Florida's environment. Such works include The Everglades: An Environmental History (with Raymond Arsenault and David McCally (1999); Death in the Everglades: The Murder of Guy Bradley, America's First Martyr to Environmentalism (with Arsenault and Stuart B. McIver) (2003); and Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast (with Arsenault and Doug Alderson) (2003).

A graduate of Millikin University (B.A.) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D.), Mormino also has written extensively on immigration and urban America. In 1986, the University of Illinois published Immigrants on the Hill: Italian-Americans in St. Louis, 1882-1982. The following year the University of Illinois Press included in its inaugural Statue of Liberty Series, The immigrant world of Ybor City: Italians and their Latin neighbors in Tampa, 1885-1985 (with George Pozzetta). Presently he is completing a history of World War II in Florida.