The Wide Brim:
Early Poems and Ponderings of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, edited by Jack E. Davis

Foreword by Raymond Arsenault and Gary Mormino, Series Editors
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"This collection is a treasure . . . the poetry a delightful surprise. Everyone who cares about Florida will be inspired by the early musings of this legendary crusader."--Carl Hiaasen

"This volume makes an important contribution to our understanding of Douglas as well as the early tension between the environment and development in the state. It will be of tremendous value to historians interested in Florida's boom years and to environmental historians."--Suzan Harrison, Eckerd College

Often described as the savior of the Everglades, Marjory Stoneman Douglas is best known for having been Florida's most passionate environmentalist, but she was first, foremost, and always a writer. As the author of fiction and nonfiction books, most notably The Everglades: River of Grass, and scores of short stories, Douglas devoted over ninety years to her career as a writer. Her fascinating and little-known work as a journalist began as a columnist for the Miami Herald.

The Wide Brim presents a collection of her best articles--many of which were preceded by a poem of her own composition--from her daily column "The Galley," which ran from 1920 until 1923. The selections reflect Douglas's many voices, which made her a distinctive commentator of the time: nature lover, South Florida booster, political analyst, woman, social progressive, intellectual, and philosopher and observer of human nature. With the same passion and eloquence that she became famous for in later years, Douglas maneuvered gracefully from one topic to the next. From straightforward commentary to witty prose, from harsh criticism to infectious humor, from biting sarcasm to whimsical verse, from glimpses into nature to those into human nature, the rich and vibrant voice of Marjory Stoneman Douglas in her 30s is now readily accessible.

Because Douglas's columns engage matters of the day, the pieces collected in this volume provide insight not only into her maturation as a writer and civic-minded citizen of South Florida but also into the intellectual, cultural, and political world of Miami in the early stages of its development. For today's reader, her columns combine literature and history at their most informative and entertaining.

Jack E. Davis is associate professor of history and director of environmental studies at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. He is currently at work on a biography of Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

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"This is a book to keep on the table beside your favorite chair, although you may find yourself reading most of it in one setting." - The Villages Sun The Villages Sun

"The Wide Brim is a wonderfully entertaining and informative addition to the annals of Florida history." - Florida Today Florida Today

"The Wide Brim is a wonderfully entertaining and informative addition to the annals of Florida history." - Florida Today Florida Today

"has to be considered essential reading for anyone interested in Florida's history, especially the boom years of the twenties… Davis had done a tremendous job of bringing to light the writings of an important figure in Florida's history. The Wide Brim stands on its own as a delightful read, but it leaves me anxiously awaiting the biography of Marjory Stoneman Douglas that Jack Davis is writing." - H-Net H-Florida

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