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Five hundred feet underground, Jeanne Marie Laskas asked a coal miner named Smitty, ?Do you think it?s weird that people know so little about you?? He replied, ?I don?t think people know too much about the way the whole damn country works.?
Hidden America intends to fix that. Like John McPhee and Susan Orlean, Laskas dives deep into her subjects and emerges with character-driven narratives that are gripping, funny, and revelatory. In Hidden America, the stories are about the ...
Five hundred feet underground, Jeanne Marie Laskas asked a coal miner named Smitty, “Do you think it’s weird that people know so little about you?” He replied, “I don’t think people know too much about the way the whole damn country works.”
Hidden America intends to fix that. Like John McPhee and Susan Orlean, Laskas dives deep into her subjects and emerges with character-driven narratives that are gripping, funny, and revelatory. In Hidden America, the stories are about the people who make our lives run every day—and yet we barely think of them.
Laskas spent weeks in an Ohio coal mine and on an Alaskan oil rig; in a Maine migrant labor camp, a Texas beef ranch, the air traffic control tower at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, a California landfill, an Arizona gun shop, the cab of a long-haul truck in Iowa, and the stadium of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleaders. Cheerleaders? Yes. They, too, are hidden America, and you will be amazed by what Laskas tells you about them: hidden no longer.
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Underworld: Hopedale Mining, Cadiz, Ohio 11
Hecho En América: Migrant Labor Camp, Cherryfield, Maine 47
G-L-O-R-Y: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio 79
Traffic: Air Traffic Control Tower, LaGuardia Airport, New York, New York 107
Guns 'R'US: Sprague's Sports, Yuma, Arizona 141
Beef: R.A. Brown Ranch, Throckmorton, Texas 173
The Rig: Pioneer Natural Resources Oil Rig, Oooguruk Island, off the Shores of Alaska's North Slope 201
Sputter: 1-80, Exit 284, Walcott, Iowa 245
This is Paradise: Puente Hills Landfill, City of Industry, California 277
Posted December 28, 2012
This book is very interesting and packed with activities. It does take us into the "hidden America". I suspected blueberry pickers didn't have a good life and this book validated my suspicions. I knew very little about coal mines. The chapter named "The Rig" has put some suspicion in my mind though about the amount of hyperbole contained in this book, especially in this chapter. I don't believe anyone like TooDogs could ever hold a job anywhere. And it constains a technical error. She said that there are 56 days of the year without sunshine. That would be 28 days on each side of the winter solstice: From Thanksgiving to Jan. 18. She calls these 56 days "the dead of winter", and mid February "mid-death"! By mid February the sun has been back for several hours a day. So skip that chapter if you don't want to read erroneous information, but read the rest of the book! It's very informative and entertaining.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2012
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