The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera
An Insider’s History of the Florida-Alabama Coast

Harvey H. Jackson III

How a southern coastline became an iconic tourist attraction

Reviews

"Whether or not you have an attachment to the Gulf Coast, you'll find much that is interesting and entertaining in The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera. . . . Mr. Jackson's personal perspective enhances rather than interferes with his analysis, and his lucid, often pithy writing makes this book an engaging read."
—Ray Hartwell, The Washington Times

"Reared in Clarke County, Ala., chasing 'submarines and alligators' along the Alabama River and whiling summers away on the Florida Panhandle, Jackson is as far from a tweedy academic as it is possible to imagine. He looks good in shorts, T-shirt and flip-flops, glories in offshore fishing, and loves the Flora-Bama with a passion to match that of any bubba. And, man, can he write. If after finishing this beer-soaked and sand-whipped tour de force you don't find yourself heading to the beach, check your pulse."
—John Sledge, Mobile Press-Register


More / Hide

Description

The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera traces the development of the Florida-Alabama coast as a tourist destination from the late 1920s and early 1930s, when it was sparsely populated with "small fishing villages," through to the tragic and devastating BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.

Harvey H. Jackson III focuses on the stretch of coast from Mobile Bay and Gulf Shores, Alabama, east to Panama City, Florida—an area known as the "Redneck Riviera." Jackson explores the rise of this area as a vacation destination for the lower South's middle- and working-class families following World War II, the building boom of the 1950s and 1960s, and the emergence of the Spring Break "season." From the late sixties through 1979, severe hurricanes destroyed many small motels, cafes, bars, and early cottages that gave the small beach towns their essential character. A second building boom ensued in the 1980s dominated by high-rise condominiums and large resort hotels. Jackson traces the tensions surrounding the gentrification of the late 1980s and 1990s and the collapse of the housing market in 2008. While his major focus is on the social, cultural, and economic development, he also documents the environmental and financial impacts of natural disasters and the politics of beach access and dune and sea turtle protection.

The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera is the culmination of sixteen years of research drawn from local newspapers, interviews, documentaries, community histories, and several scholarly studies that have addressed parts of this region's history. From his 1950s-built family vacation cottage in Seagrove Beach, Florida, and on frequent trips to the Alabama coast, Jackson witnessed the changes that have come to the area and has recorded them in a personal, in-depth look at the history and culture of the coast.

A Friends Fund Publication

Page count: 352 pp.
68 b&w photos, 2 maps
Trim size: 6 x 9

 

CUSTOMERS: Our online checkout service is down for a few days while we make some improvements. Please call 800-266-5842 to place your orders. Thanks for your support, and apologies for this inconvenience!

Cloth
List price:
978-0-8203-3400-4
5/1/2012
View Shopping Cart

Paper
List price:
978-0-8203-4531-4
3/1/2013
View Shopping Cart

Ebook
List price: $19.95
978-0-8203-4378-5
5/1/2012
Check ebook availability


Harvey H. Jackson III is Eminent Scholar in History at Jacksonville State University. His many books include Lachlan McIntosh and the Politics of Revolutionary Georgia (Georgia), Rivers of History: Life on the Coosa, Tallapoosa, Cahaba, and Alabama, and Inside Alabama: A Personal History of My State.