Power and Paradise in Walt Disney’s World


Power and Paradise in Walt Disney’s World

by Cher Krause Knight

A roller coaster of a book that will leave you marveling.”—Harriet F. Senie, author of The “Tilted Arc” Controversy

Why is Disney World such a huge sociocultural force? Find out in this lively book. Cher Krause Knight explores every detail of Walt Disney’s inspiration and vision for Disney World, from the scale and design of the buildings to the sidewalk infrastructure to which items could and could not be sold in the shops, discussing how each was carefully arranged to shape the experience of every visitor. Knight expertly delves into the unexpected nuances and contradictions of this elaborate playland of the imagination.

Miami for Families: Fun for All Ages in the Magic City

Albritton, Laura headshot - credit Zickie Allgrove

Vibrant and glamorous, the Magic City offers an amazing variety of family-friendly activities from kayaking with Manatees or hand-feeding macaws at Jungle Island to taking in the Design District on Lincoln Road. Laura Albritton, mother and long-time Miami resident, shares her appreciation and zest for the city in Miami for Families: A Vacation Guide for Kids and Parents. Her insider tips and enthusiasm will have you planning your own trip in no time!

“Having to move away from Miami, for my husband’s job, and coming back to visit on vacation really showed me the city with new eyes. I was struck by how fabulous Miami is for both parents and children. (And very glad when later, we moved back.)  So many travel articles focus on Miami’s nightlife and bar scene that they miss a lot of what makes this area a great place to visit – and to live,” says Albritton.




Available wherever books are sold.

University Press of Florida (UPF): What first brought you to Miami?

Laura Albritton (LA): I was quite frankly a bit exhausted with living in Manhattan after 10 years, and wanted to move back to Florida, where my family is. I loved Miami’s energy and cosmopolitan vibe. When the University of Miami offered me a James Michener fellowship to get my MFA in Creative Writing, I leapt at the chance to move.

UPF: What is your family’s favorite activity in Miami?

LA: Besides going out to eat at one of the city’s many international restaurants, our favorite activity is definitely going to the beach. Once we rented kayaks (one single, and a double for my husband and daughter) off Key Biscayne, and saw a mama manatee and her baby swim underneath us. My daughter was amazed by the size of them, and also by their gentleness. Nothing like seeing nature up close!


UPF: In Miami, what’s one thing you should never leave the house without?

LA: Sunglasses. We get so many clear, sunny days, that I’m literally blinded without my sunglasses. (It’s also a good excuse to invest in a nice pair.) My second answer would be sunscreen. I try to slather it on before I leave the house.


UPF: Is there a popular Miami destination that you think is over-rated?

LA: While I adore South Beach, the Atlantic Ocean off its actual beach (Lummus Park) can sometimes be very wave-y, and on those days it’s really not ideal for small children. In the book I discuss this and the fact that the drop-off is fairly quick. A lot of out-of-towners have never heard of Key Biscayne, but for toddlers and little kids, the beaches there can be much easier going.


The author and her family enjoy Miami's Grove Art Fest.

The author and her family enjoy Miami’s Coconut Grove Art Festival.

UPF: In addition to your personal experiences, how did you go about gathering material for Miami for Families?

LA: While I was writing the book, I was fortunate in that three sets of out-of-town family friends came to visit us. We went sightseeing with them, and I also listened hard and pestered them with questions about the sightseeing they did on their own. I also had some writer friends – who live with their children in Miami – look over my chapters and give me feedback. 

The author and her family in The Florida Keys.

The author and her family in The Florida Keys.

UPF: What is your favorite thing to do in Miami that is geared toward adults?

LA: My husband and I have a standing day-time date at Le Bouchon du Grove in Coconut Grove. Adult conversation, a little Edith Piaf on the sound system, and French cuisine makes for a romantic lunch. I could also say the art galleries and museums – but we like taking our daughter along, too.


Albritton and her daughter at the Perez Art Museum in Miami.

Albritton and her daughter at the Perez Art Museum in Miami.

UPF: What hobbies do you have that are especially “Miami?”

LA: After years of being a jogger and a walker, I’ve discovered tennis. I have a fantastic Peruvian coach who is teaching me from scratch. It’s tough, much tougher than it looks from watching matches on TV, but what a challenge! Suddenly exercise isn’t boring – and in Miami we can play all year. Also, I want to paddleboard more; when the water is clear you can see amazing sea life right under you. It’s very Zen, very therapeutic. My daughter loves it.


The author and her family enjoying a boat ride while snorkeling in The Florida Keys.

The author and her family enjoying a boat ride while snorkeling in The Florida Keys.

UPF: Where is your favorite place to travel with your family other than Miami?

LA: That’s a tough question. We love going to the Caribbean: last year we went to Martinique, and this summer we’re going to Guadeloupe. We love the French and Creole culture mixed together. Since my husband’s Jamaican, we visit Jamaica as often as we can. My husband and I also love Greece, and we plan on taking our daughter on a trip to Athens and a few of the islands, especially Hydra—where there are no cars, only donkeys!


UPF: What’s your writing routine?

LA: I check emails and social media, then get down to writing in the morning. But I do take breaks, because sitting in a chair and staring at my laptop screen can feel stultifying. So I take my three dogs for walks down our jungle-y street, on the lookout for little green parrots and even peacocks. I also get the blood flowing by doing some household chores. After school lets out and my daughter’s home, I usually don’t get any writing done.


UPF: What are you currently reading? My stepmother just gave me a signed copy of Chang-Rae Lee’s new novel On Such a Full Sea. And I finished And the Dark Sacred Night, the new one by Julia Glass, for a review for the Miami Herald. Also, the brilliant travel classic Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese by Patrick Leigh Fermor. His writing is simply phenomenal.


UPF: What are you working on next?

LA: I am doing some research on the Florida Keys, another one of my favorite places in the world. We’ll see where that leads. I’m also drafting travel articles for magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Short form travel writing has its own rules and conventions, so that’s an education for me. I love expanding my skills.


Miami for Families: A Vacation Guide for Parents and Kids is available wherever books are sold.

Promotions & Staff Additions to UPF’s Acquisitions Team

University Press of Florida Announces Acquisitions Staffing Changes

Gainesville, FL—Exciting changes have been afoot in the acquisitions department at University Press of Florida (UFP). We are incredibly pleased to announce the promotion of Erika Stevens and Shannon McCarthy as well as the addition of new staff members Stephanye Hunter and Alexa Zelinsky. “The enthusiasm and skill level of these four individuals is impressive. We are excited to be back up to full staffing levels in the department for the first time since the economic collapse of 2008, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds with this extremely talented team,” says Director and Interim Editor-in-Chief Meredith Morris-Babb.

Erika Stevens head shot

Erika Stevens joins UPF full-time as Senior Editor, building on her work as editor-at-large. Stevens will continue acquiring titles in Latin American and Caribbean studies with the addition of anthropology and dance. No stranger to the university press community, Stevens was previously acquisitions editor at the University of Georgia Press in the areas of American studies and creative writing, as well as national and regional trade titles. Her career in academic publishing began at Duke University Press and the University of North Carolina Press. She is owner-operator of Quick Bread Editorial and poetry editor at large for Coffee House Press.



Shannon McCarthy head shot

Shannon McCarthy has been promoted to Assistant Editor due to her outstanding contributions over the last two years. McCarthy earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida in 2008. Prior to joining UPF as a part-time acquisitions assistant, she worked as a freelance sportswriter and nonfiction editor. Since 2012, her responsibilities have evolved to include her own acquisitions. As Assistant Edtior, McCarthy will oversee the literature and literary criticism portions of UPF’s list, especially modernism and medieval literature. In her spare time, she enjoys attending Gator sports events, reading, and taking day trips to the springs or the beach.


Stephanye Hunter head shot

Stephanye Hunter comes to UPF as Acquisitions Assistant having recently completed her M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas, Austin with an emphasis on Israeli and Palestinian literature and Hebrew language. She has an M.A. in English from North Carolina State University. Hunter has interned at both the University of North Carolina Press and the University of Virginia Press and worked at the Papers of George Washington. She will be assisting Senior Editors Sian Hunter and Erika Stevens. Stephanye has lived in Israel, where she began studying Hebrew, and traveled in the West Bank and Jordan. She has also worked for a nonprofit assisting LGBTI refugees. When she isn’t at UPF, she can be found with her dog, Rosalind.



Alexa Zelinksy head shot



Alexa Zelinski completed her acquisitions internship at UPF by accepting the role of Rights and Permissions Coordinator. Zelinski recently completed her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Florida with minors in business administration and anthropology.

March 2014 Review Roundup: UPF Books in the News!

We hope you enjoy these highlights from reviews our books received last month. You’ll also catch a few glimpses of what our authors have been up to lately. Take a look!


In a recent Tampa Bay Times op-ed, Brandon Haught looks at science education in Florida’s private schools. Haught is the author of the new book Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom.


The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer

by James Dempsey

“What do you call a person who was slandered by Ernest Hemingway, cuckolded by E.E. Cummings, befriended and promoted T.S. Eliot, treated by Sigmund Freud, led modernist art’s charge into American culture in the 1920s and declared officially insane not long after? … A damn good subject for a biography.”Worcester Magazine

The Worcester Telegram is also intrigued: “Scofield Thayer, in many ways, was a real-life … version of Jay Gatsby.”

Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana

by Marc Frank

“[Frank] hides neither his admiration for Cuba nor his pride at its citizens’ ability to survive the numerous tumultuous times and turbulences that outsiders repeatedly predicted would lead to chaos in the streets and, finally, the end of the Castro regime.”Los Angeles Review of Books


Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles

by Lynn Waddell

“Paradise on earth has become a travel-writing cliché, but if you’re a nudist biker in Florida with a swinger partner, a pet iguana, and a mud buggy, it would seem that you have found yours.”—Weekly Standard

 Author Lynn Waddell gave the Huffington Post a behind-the-scenes look at her experience writing Fringe Florida:

“The research forever changed the way I look at the world and the humanity of people who do things many consider weird. Of course, the state is a microcosm of all strangeness, which is what led me to write the book.” (BONUS: You’ll get to read part of a chapter!)

Check out the April/May issue of Pointe Magazine!

Jennifer Kronenberg, principal dancer at Miami City Ballet and author of So, You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer?, is featured in the Dancer Spotlight.

“Unlike many ballerines, Kronenberg, 37, has taught regularly at MCB’s summer intensive. The sometimes startling gaps in her students’ knowledge has inspired Kronenberg to write a how-to guide.”


 Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock

by Bob Kealing

Uncut Magazine chose Calling Me Home as one of its best music books of 2013, saying that Bob Kealing “added a layer of detail to the Parsons story missing even from supposedly definitive GP histories.”

The Georgia Historical Quarterly was amazed by the book’s “Faulknerian components of a gothic narrative that even Cormac McCarthy would have difficulty conjuring.”

Enchantments: Julian Dimock’s Photographs of Southwest Florida

by Jerald T. Milanich and Nina J. Root

“A unique and invaluable record of Southwest Florida during the days it was one of the country’s last frontiers.”—Naples Daily News

100-year-old pioneering photographs from this book were displayed last month at the Marco Island Historical Museum. Missed the exhibit? Make sure to pick up a copy of Enchantments!


The Archaeology of French and Indian War Frontier Forts

Edited by Lawrence E. Babits and Stephanie Gandulla

“In this exceptional volume, the authors bring archaeology to the study of this key conflict. Fifteen noted scholars contribute important articles on a good sampling of these forts and the military strategy they represented. … An important contribution to a field of study that is just taking off. It sets the stage for new investigations of the dozens of frontier forts that remain unexplored.”—American Archaeology

Inside Bush v. Gore

Charley Wells

“[This] spellbinding book shows the remarkable human side of the Bush v. Gore saga. But more importantly, it captures an essential chapter of Florida history and presents a new and different look at one of the most well-known legal disputes of all time.”Florida Law Review


Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future

by Steven Noll and David Tegeder

“Tells the story of the transformation of twentieth-century American liberalism, the fracturing of the New Deal coalition, and the birth of the environmental movement. … Ditch of Dreams is not only highly readable, it’s still highly relevant as we struggle to balance the need for economic development with the imperative to preserve the natural world.”

Listen to the full interview with author Steven Noll on New Books in American Studies.

Check back next month for more review highlights!

Uncommonly Savage

New from the University Press of Florida!

Uncommonly Savage: Civil War and Remembrance in Spain and the United States

by Paul D. Escott

“Reminds us that both losers and victors often had powerful motives to remember—and to forget.”—Caroline E. Janney, author of Remembering the Civil War

Spain and the United States both experienced extremely bloody and divisive civil wars that left lasting social and emotional wounds. In this book, award-winning historian Paul Escott compares how both countries processed their civil wars for generations afterward. He looks at the impact of civil war violence on memory, politics, and reconciliation. The first book of its kind on Spain and the United States, Uncommonly Savage is a pioneering and illuminating work.

Pitching Around Fidel

Now available!

Pitching Around Fidel: A Journey into the Heart of Cuban Sports, Revised Edition

by S. L. Price

S. L. Price, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated since 1994, has been called a “Master of the New Journalism” by the New York Times. We’re pleased to announce that his acclaimed book Pitching Around Fidel is available again in a new edition. This book tells the story of one journalist’s quest to discover the secret to the unbridled passion Cuban players show for their sports. As you travel through the island with Price, you’ll meet some of Cuba’s greatest athletic heroes and discover the truth behind its unparalleled sports culture.

“Price describes a lovely, proud, impoverished people caught in [a] repressive system that destroys thousands as it celebrates a handful.”—Kirkus

“It’s an unforgettable story of supremely gifted athletes, the utter madness of politics, and the scent of big money across the sea.”—Carl Hiaasen

“Unprecedented… Astonishing.”—Miami Herald

“Price is one of the finest writers on sports anywhere.”—USA Today

Black Power in the Caribbean

Black Power in the Caribbean

Edited by Kate Quinn

We’re excited to announce the publication of the landmark volume Black Power in the CaribbeanHere’s what people have been saying about the book:

“An altogether path-breaking collection of riveting essays.”—Robert A. Hill, Editor in Chief of The Marcus Garvey & UNIA Papers

“A fascinating, original, and much-needed history of the development of Black Power on the various islands of the Caribbean.”—Stephen Tuck, author of We Ain’t What We Ought to Be

“The little-understood role of the Afro-Caribbean Left in the English-speaking islands receives a powerful dose of insight here.”—Paul Buhle, author of C.L.R. James: The Artist as Revolutionary

“A scintillating addition to Black Power’s vibrant historiography. While its geographic focus is relatively small, its implications for our understanding of black radical politics could not be broader. It proves beyond a doubt that Black Power was a truly transnational phenomenon.”—Joe Street, author of The Culture War in the Civil Rights Movement

“Most case studies of the Black Power phenomenon which swept through the Caribbean islands in the seventies focus mainly on one or two Caribbean islands. The value and importance of Kate Quinn’s book is that it marshals studies drawn from as far south as Trinidad and Tobago to others as far North as Jamaica and Bermuda. It also has the advantage of looking at cultures and languages other than English. The book is a must-read.”—Selwyn Ryan, author of Eric Williams, The Myth and the Man


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