Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. It was established in 2006 to celebrate the best Florida literature.

We are pleased to announce our three award-winning titles in this year’s competition.



George Merrick, Son of the South Wind

by Arva Moore Parks

Helping to create the land boom of the 1920s, George Merrick transformed his family’s citrus grove just outside of Miami into one of the finest planned communities: the “master suburb” of Coral Gables. Hailed in national publications as a visionary, Merrick was green before green, a New Urbanist before the movement even had a name.

With unprecedented access to the Merrick family, and mining a treasure trove of Merrick’s personal letters, documents, speeches, and manuscripts, Arva Moore Parks presents the remarkable story of George Merrick and the development of one of the nation’s most iconic planned cities..



Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home

by Tameka Bradley Hobbs

Florida is frequently viewed as an atypical southern state—more progressive and culturally diverse—but, when examined in proportion to the number of African American residents, it suffered more lynchings than any of its Deep South neighbors during the Jim Crow era.

Investigating this dark period of the state’s history and focusing on a rash of anti-black violence that took place during the 1940s, Tameka Bradley Hobbs explores the reasons why lynchings continued in Florida when they were starting to wane elsewhere. She contextualizes the murders within the era of World War II, contrasting the desire of the United States to broadcast the benefits of its democracy abroad while at home it struggled to provide legal protection to its African American citizens.



Challenge and Change: Right-Wing Women, Grassroots Activism, and the Baby Boom Generation

by June Melby Benowitz

In the mid-twentieth century, a grassroots movement of women—mostly white, middle-class, and conservative—sought to shape the political, cultural, and social ideologies of the baby boomers in what they perceived was a quickly changing world poisoned by communism.

In Challenge and Change, June Melby Benowitz draws on a wide variety of primary sources to highlight the connections between the women of the Old Right, the New Right, and today’s Tea Party. She examines the issues that stirred them to action—education, health, desegregation, moral corruption, war, patriotism, and the Equal Rights Amendment—and explores the development of the right-wing women’s movement and its growth from the mid-twentieth into the twenty-first century.



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