The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera (Kobo eBook)
A “lucid, often pithy” history of the eastern Gulf Coast vacation destination by an Alabama native who is “a talented storyteller as well as a scholar” (Washington Times).
In The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera, Southern historian Harvey H. Jackson presents a cultural history of the coastal region stretching from Mobile Bay and Gulf Shores, Alabama, to Panama City, Florida—an area known as the “Redneck Riviera.” Jackson chronicles the evolution of the are from the late 1920s, when it was sparsely populated with small fishing villages, through to the devastating BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.
With both personal and historical perspectives, Jackson explores the area’s development as a middle- and working-class vacation destination following World War II, the building boom of the fifties and sixties, and the emergence of the Spring Break “season.” He tracks the hurricanes that destroyed historic construction, the building boom that brought high-rise condos, and the effects of the 2008 housing market crash. While his major focus is on the social, cultural, and economic development, he also documents the environmental and financial impacts of natural disasters and the politics of beach access and dune and sea turtle protection.