In June, 1836, 24-year-old Jacob Rhett Motte, a Harvard-educated Southern gentleman trained as a surgeon, departed his hometown of Charleston to serve as an Army surgeon in wars against the Creek and Seminole Indians. Motte, who had a genuine literary flair, began keeping a journal – “While witnessing the dreadful scenes of Indian warfare, I was also impressed with the conviction that descriptions of horrible massacres, imminent and hair-breadth escapes, bloody battles, and dreadful murders have always been subjects of interest to the human mind,” he later wrote.
In the 1930s, the Federal Writers' Project paid Stetson Kennedy and Zora Neale Hurston, along with other lesser-known writers, to create driving tours of Florida. The FWP and the State of Florida jointly published the results as Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State. In Backroads of Paradise, Cathy Salustri retraces the routes these writers traveled, bringing a modern eye to the historic tours.
Tells the story of how women led the fight for unprecedented changes in how the Sunshine State reveres its unique natural resources and set the foundation for this century's environmental agenda, which came to include the idea of sustainable development. As a collective force they forever altered how others saw women's roles in society.