Book Release: Jack Davis – “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea”


Jack E. Davis presents his book, THE GULF: The Making of an American Sea, at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 24, at Octavia Books.

This rich and original work explores the Gulf through our human connection with the sea. Jack E. Davis finally places this exceptional region into the American mythos in a sweeping history that extends from the Pleistocene age to the twenty-first century.

The Gulf tells the narrative of the American Sea–from the sport fish that brought the earliest tourists to Gulf shores to Hollywood’s engagement with the first offshore oil wells–as it inspired and empowered, sometimes to its own detriment, the ethnically diverse groups of a growing nation. Ultimately, Davis reminds us that amidst the ruin, beauty awaits its return, as the Gulf is, and has always been, an ongoing story. Sensitive to the imminent effects of climate change, and to the difficult task of rectifying grievous assaults of recent centuries, The Gulf suggests how a penetrating examination of a single region’s history can inform the country’s path ahead.

Jack E. Davis is a professor of Environmental History at the University of Florida and the author of the award-winning An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century (2009). Published in 2001, his Race Against Time: Culture and Separation in Natchez Since 1930 won the Charles Sydney Prize for the best book in southern history.