Alas, Atlas III
Atlas of Florida. Edward A. Fernald, Elizabeth D. Purdum, eds., James R. Anderson, Peter A. Krafft, cartographers. Gainesville: U. Press of Florida. 280 pages. $29.95
     Three quarters of a million people discovered a new backyard between 1992 and 1995. They had moved to Florida, which, since the publication of the last Florida Atlas, is in the throes of continuing urbanization. Any newcomer, or any Florida old-timers for that matter, should find this newest edition (the third since 1981) a good way to discover the newest Florida before it morphs into something else again.

Childish Things
Imaginary Parents. By Sheila Ortiz Taylor and Sandra Ortiz Taylor. Albuquerque: U. of New Mexico Press. 260 pages. $35
     It may be a trick we all use in remembering our childhoods, but the authors of Imaginary Parents make adroit use of colorful word pictures, photographs and shadow boxes to recreate family dramas of theirs in sharp detail.

A Wiregrass Witness
Wiregrass Country. by Jerrilyn McGregory, University Press of Mississippi, 171 pgs; softcover edition, $18
     If you’ve ever picked cotton, ate homemade mayhaw jelly, drowned a wiggler in a bed of red bellies, stuck a tooth in warm peanut brittle, been to a dinner-on-the-ground or a hog-killin’, sang sacred harp, choked on smoke from burning pecan leaves, gone snipe hunting--or known anybody who has--then you just might be from Wiregrass Country

Real-Life Radio
Radios: Short Takes on Life and Culture. By Jerome Stern. 142 pages. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Hardback, $20
     “She looks at us coyly.” Five words bring to mind a trip through the Apalachicola National Forest, racing home while Jerry Stern tells the world in his very urgent voice that she is beguiling, seductive. Now, reading those words in a collection of the late author’s radio commentaries, that exact moment of first hearing jumps into place. Remembering the tone of his voice describing seduction by French pastries then brings a smile.

School Sex Wars
Sex, Kids & Politics; Health Services in Schools. By Catherine Emihovich, Carolyn D. Herrington. New York: Teachers College Press. 228 pages. Hard cover $46.00, paperback $21.95.
     Responding to a growing concern over rising teenage pregnancy rates and poor health care for many children, Florida took the lead in exploring alternative ways to reduce teenage pregnancies. A law was passed in 1990 in spite of substantive issues that divided the legislature along ideological lines which “ran deep and were not amenable to rational or technical solutions.”

Hippie Days
Communal Organization and Social Transition. By Barry Laffan. New York: Peter Lang, American University Studies. 288 pages. $27.50
     In this case study of the 1960s and 70s, Barry Laffan has produced an ethnographic investigation of the counter culture. Rural Vermont is the backdrop where communes, hippies, drop-outs, and LSD form the complex web that leads to a crisis in self-identity. Placing himself in the midst of the counter-culture movement, anthropologist Laffan became both an observer and participant.