This is one state history which Hispanic American historians might well find useful. Unlike so many syntheses or textbooks covering areas penetrated by Spain, this book gives the colonial background an important place. In his history of Florida Charlton Tebeau devotes at least a third of his book to the period of Spanish and British domination to 1821. Another short chapter of interest to Hispanists covers “Florida and the War for Cuban Independence.” Actually there is little that is new in either section, but the author is careful to rely on fundamental secondary and primary sources to fashion his narrative. For the first Spanish period this has meant special emphasis on discovery and exploration, the missions, and intercolonial rivalry. At the same time his discussion makes it patently clear how much still needs to be done in the rich fondos of the P. K. Yonge Library in Gainesville, the Library of Congress, European repositories, and other archives. The economy, demography, social life, military history, Indians, and a host of other topics for the two periods of Spanish domination cry out for scholarly investigation.

The book has many virtues. Building on a lifetime of research in Florida history, the author has used his wide knowledge to good advantage. His style is straightforward, lean, and informative. He is enamored of quantitative data as a framework for his narrative—census figures, vote counts, lists of campaign expenses, state budget figures, and the like—and turns to statistics of this sort for some of his interpretations. For the most part these are cautious and measured, with the author tending to be tolerant and positive rather than critical and negative about the accomplishments of the important figures in Florida history. To complement the narrative, Tebeau has included a welter of plates and photographs which should delight aficionados of Floridiana. In sum, this is the best one-volume history of Florida to appear to date.