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The Gulf of Mexico, then criminal justice – Wednesday 9am on Peace & Justice

Written by on Saturday, March 9, 2019

This Wednesday morning, March 13, on the Peace & Justice Report at 9am Bob and I will talk to Jack Davis, the 2018 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History for his book “Gulf – The Making of an American Sea.” Jack will be speaking at a fundraiser for the Florida Maritime Museum Thursday, March 14 at the Seafood Shack, 4110 127th St W., Cortez, FL 34215 at 6pm.

Join Jack E. Davis for his lively long historical view of the Gulf of Mexico, drawn from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, in his talk The U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico: History, Wisdom, and Hope. Significant beyond tragic oil spills and hurricanes, the Gulf has historically been one of the world’s most bounteous marine environments, supporting human life for millennia. Davis starts from the premise that nature lies at the center of human existence, and takes his audience on a compelling journey from the Florida Keys to the Texas Rio Grande, along marshy shorelines and majestic estuarine bays, profoundly beautiful and life-giving. At the center of his talk is the way people, from pre-Spanish natives to present-day coastal residents, have organized their societies and individual lives around nature, and how Gulf nature has been a positive force in human events.


Jack E. Davis is a professor of history specializing in environmental history and sustainability studies and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea. Before joining the faculty at UF in 2003, he taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Eckerd College, and in 2002 was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Jordan in Amman. Upon joining the faculty at UF, he founded the department’s student journal, Alpata: A Journal of History. His Race Against Time: Culture and Separation in Natchez Since 1930 won the Charles S. Sydnor Prize for the best book in southern history published in 2001. His next book, An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century(2009), received a gold medal from the Florida Book Awards. In 2014, he was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, where he worked on his latest book, The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea. The New York Times Book Review called his book a “beautiful homage to a neglected sea.” The Gulf was a New York Times Notable Book for 2017 and made several other “best of” lists for the year, including those of the Washington Post, NPR, Forbes, and the Tampa Bay TimesThe Gulf was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and winner of the Kirkus Prize for nonfiction. With his former student Leslie Poole (UF PhD 2012), he is currently editing a new edition of Wild Heart of Florida, a collection of personal essays and poems about natural Florida. In January 2018, he signed a contract with the publisher of The Gulf, Liveright/W.W. Norton, to write a new book, employing the working title “Bird of Paradox: How the Bald Eagle Saved the Soul of America.”

Jack is now writing that book on the cultural and natural history of the bald eagle. He divides the seasons between two “villes”: Gainesville, Florida, and Harrisville, New Hampshire.

Then we’ll be talking to Bradenton attorney Tracey Pratt about criminal justice. We’ll discuss Florida’s FIRST STEP Act. One of its objectives is to assist formerly incarcerated individuals as they re-enter society.