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Gladesmen: Gator Hunters, Moonshiners, and Skiffers (Florida History and Culture) Paperback – September 5, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

It is difficult to believe, but there was a time when South Florida was not populated with Rust Belt retirees, packed with strip malls, and landscaped like the world's largest golf course. Florida has had a few economic booms and busts, and after the roaring Twenties, many Floridians survived only by hunting and fishing. Simmons, a lifelong gator hunter born in the swamps in 1916, teams up with anthropologist Ogden to document that time, only 70 years ago. Though Ogden's text is curiously similar to Steinbeck's Log from the Sea of Cortez, it is humorous and easy to read. This book is part of a series designed to preserve Florida's history, and Simmons contributes rather admirably. Lay readers will appreciate his work, but it will be of particular interest to ecologists, conservationists, and even hunters and fishers.AAndrew Riccobono, Marymount Univ., Arlington, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

“An homage to the rugged ‘swamp rats’ who were largely overlooked or scorned by the region’s historians, naturalists, and adventurers.”—Miami Herald

 

“Documents an aspect of Florida history and culture of which far too little has been written. . . . [Gladesmen] is alive with South Florida history and spiced with Simmons’ understated humor and world view.”—Folk Winds

 

“Contains interesting tales of outlaws, moonshiners and other characters—some who lived on the edge of right and wrong—and roamed the inhospitable backcountry prairies of soft muck and massive mosquitoes.”—South Dade News Leader

 

“We Floridians sometimes . . . long for the simple life of pioneers and wonder how we would manage ‘living off the land.’ This book serves as a slap in the face of such fantasy.”—St. Petersburg Times

 

“Simmons tells us that he is no hero, but he is the stuff of Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett, Jim Bridger, and Alfred Wallace.”—Florida Frontier Gazette

 

“Simmons is Florida’s answer to Huckleberry Finn.”—Georgia Historical Quarterly

 

 

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Product Details

  • Series: Florida History and Culture
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida (September 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813035554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813035550
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fascinating study of fishing, hunting, and working in the Florida Everglades. Most of the activities that are described are set in the 1930s. Most of the book consists of stories and descriptions of live from Glen Simmons, a boat builder who has lived in the Everglades region all his life. The stories are intriguing accounts of the everyday events and the extraordinary happenings that form the stuff of history. Readers of this book will find interesting encounters with a colorful cast of characters, learn about Florida wildlife, and discover how a unique style of boat is built. This book is annotated with well-written introductions by Laura Ogden and illustrated with a wide variety of period photographs that make the rich descriptions even more vivid.
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Format: Hardcover
it is with great honor that i speak of this book that was wrote by my friend, who lived all his life in the glades. his grandfather was ducan brady the founder of flamingo and his parents were the keepers at waddell grove on cape sable. this book is testimony to the hardships that our pioneer familys endured in a land all but gone.hell westerneralvin in naples
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Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this interesting book. The details about Florida history are fascinating as Ogden presents some terrific stories told by Simmons. There is rich information about alligator hunting, bootlegging, and boat building. I am especially interested in Simmons' boats as the type of skiff that he makes is characteristic, if not unique, to the 'glades.
This portrait of Florida is vivid and harsh, and the book provides a richer, more nuanced, view of the state than most imagine.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a fascinating description of life in times in the Glades, Florida Pioneers and a life forgotten. It will move you, awe you, intrigue you and you will come away with a sense of admiration for the people of the Everglades whether white or black or Indian. It was not an easy life but it was a life full of wildness and freedom. This book provides a rare glimpse into the past and the Florida of yesterday. Well done.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am pleased to report that the Kindle version has all the photos and maps of the original and a fully functional table of contents. In addition, the text-to-speech function is enabled. The publishers are to be congratulated!
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Format: Hardcover
A close friend and Capt. that grew up in this area recommended this book to me and being a dedicated sportsman and from florida I thought it would be a very interesting read as I can relate to the author and his experiences. I have done many of the same things myself. If you are interested in early Florida life and hunting and fishing I would expect you would enjoy and appreciate the book. This is basically a book on what early life was like in and around the everglades, hunting and fishing to survive and the adversities that the people of the area had to endure.
Larry S.

If your are interested in the outdoors in Florida You might be interedted in my blogs, [...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives a person a nice insight into the Old Florida and the way it was before tourism got a fist around Florida strangling the way it use to be.
These are stories about how it was when the state was wide open , great fishing and hunting along with lots of wilderness and virtually no pollution that we know today.
Reading it is a step back into time and history that very few folks would ever believe actually happen in the Florida as they know it today.

As an additional benefit the back section of the book has the plans for making a traditional Everglades Skiff , the major form of transportation in the Everglades before the water flow was controlled by the Government. As far as I know these are the only plans for the traditional skiff available today.
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By S. MACKEY on September 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in Florida or the everglades history will really enjoy this book. Another great book was about a man named Totch (AMAZON carries this great book also). Torch lived in everglades city fishing and hunting threw out the 10,000 islands to FLAMINGO in the EVERGLADS. Both books cover About the same time frame. This book covers the south east of the glades and Torch covers the south west of the glades Both books brought back some great memories of stories my family use to tell at family gatherings. My uncle used to travel from Miami to Naples by push boats before Tamiami trail or alligator alley was built.
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