Author Jason Vuic

Cover image of The Swamp Pedders and a photo of Jason Vuic

Join us on Friday, August 6 at 4 pm to hear author Jason Vuic talk with us about his new book, The Swamp Peddlers: How Lot Sellers, Land Scammers, and Retirees Built Modern Florida and Transformed the American Dream. After his talk, Jason will be happy to sign copies of his book.

Purchase the book from us online here or give us a call. To enable us to continue to bring these events to you  and to support the authors  please purchase their books from us. 

Register online via Eventbrite here or let us know.

We know we're in a time of transition during the pandemic. If you are fully vaccinated, we no longer require you to wear a mask in our store. We do support the wearing of masks if you are not vaccinated or feel more comfortable doing so. Your patience and understanding is appreciated as we navigate our reentry into a time of hosting in-person events. We're excited, the authors are excited, and we know you are, too!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Florida has long been a beacon for retirees, but for many, the American dream of owning a home there was a fantasy. That changed in the 1950s, when the so-called installment land sales industry hawked 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 home site that would be waiting for them in a planned community when they were ready to build. The result was Cape Coral, Port St. Lucie, Deltona, Port Charlotte, Palm Coast, and Spring Hill, among many others--sprawling communities with no downtowns, little industry, and millions of residential lots.

In The Swamp Peddlers, Jason Vuic tells the raucous tale of the sale of residential lots in postwar Florida. Initially selling cheap homes to retirees with disposable income, by the mid-1950s developers realized that they could make more money selling parcels of land on installment to their customers. These swamp peddlers completely transformed the landscape and demographics of Florida, devastating the state environmentally by felling forests, draining wetlands, digging canals, and chopping up at least one million acres into grid-like subdivisions crisscrossed by thousands of miles of roads. Generations of northerners moved to Florida cheaply, but at a huge price: high-pressure sales tactics begat fraud; poor urban planning begat sprawl; poorly-regulated development begat environmental destruction, culminating in the perfect storm of the 21st-century subprime mortgage crisis.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Originally from Punta Gorda, Jason Vuic is a writer and historian living in Fort Worth, Texas. His previous books include The Yucks! Two Years in Tampa with the Losingest Team in NFL History and The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History. Jason is a graduate of Wake Forest University and holds an M.A. in history from the University of Richmond and a Ph.D. in history from Indiana University Bloomington. He has been both a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar, and has appeared on such well-known programs as NPR’s Weekend EditionFox and Friends in the Morning, and C-SPAN’s Book TV. His website is www.jasonvuic.com.

Event address: 
212 W. Virginia Avenue
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
The Swamp Peddlers: How Lot Sellers, Land Scammers, and Retirees Built Modern Florida and Transformed the American Dream Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781469663333
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - June 21st, 2021

Florida has long been a beacon for retirees, but for many, the American dream of owning a home there was a fantasy. That changed in the 1950s, when the so-called "installment land sales industry" hawked billions of dollars of Florida residential property, sight unseen, to retiring northerners.