The Swamp Peddlers by Jason Vuic audiobook

The Swamp Peddlers: How Lot Sellers, Land Scammers, and Retirees Built Modern Florida and Transformed the American Dream

By Jason Vuic
Read by Mike Chamberlain

Tantor Audio
9.59 Hours 1
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Florida has long beckoned retirees seeking to spend their golden years in the sun, but, for many, the American dream of owning a home there was financially impossible. That changed in the 1950s, when the so-called "installment land sales industry" appeared out of nowhere to hawk billions of dollars of Florida residential property, sight unseen, to retiring northerners. For only $10 down and $10 a month, working-class pensioners could buy a piece of the Florida dream: a graded homesite that would be waiting for them in a planned community when they were ready to build. The result created Cape Coral, Port St. Lucie, Deltona, Port Charlotte, Palm Coast, and Spring Hill, among many others—sprawling exurban communities with no downtowns and little industry but millions of residential lots. As Jason Vuic recounts in this raucous history, these communities allowed generations of northerners to move to Florida cheaply, but at a price: high-pressure sales tactics begat fraud; poor urban planning begat sprawl; developers cleared forests, drained wetlands, and built thousands of miles of roads in grid-like subdivisions, which, fifty years later, played an inordinate role in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.

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Summary

Summary

Florida has long beckoned retirees seeking to spend their golden years in the sun, but, for many, the American dream of owning a home there was financially impossible. That changed in the 1950s, when the so-called "installment land sales industry" appeared out of nowhere to hawk billions of dollars of Florida residential property, sight unseen, to retiring northerners. For only $10 down and $10 a month, working-class pensioners could buy a piece of the Florida dream: a graded homesite that would be waiting for them in a planned community when they were ready to build. The result created Cape Coral, Port St. Lucie, Deltona, Port Charlotte, Palm Coast, and Spring Hill, among many others—sprawling exurban communities with no downtowns and little industry but millions of residential lots.

As Jason Vuic recounts in this raucous history, these communities allowed generations of northerners to move to Florida cheaply, but at a price: high-pressure sales tactics begat fraud; poor urban planning begat sprawl; developers cleared forests, drained wetlands, and built thousands of miles of roads in grid-like subdivisions, which, fifty years later, played an inordinate role in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.

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Author

Author Bio: Jason Vuic

Author Bio: Jason Vuic

Jason Vuic is an assistant professor of modern European history at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia. He has published articles in the South Slav Journal, Serbian Studies, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Indianapolis Star. He earned a BA from Wake Forest University, an MA from the University of Richmond, and a PhD in Balkan and East European history from Indiana University at Bloomington. He has also served as assistant director of the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at Ohio State University. He lives in Staunton, Virginia.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 9.59
Audience: Adult
Language: English