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Hidden America: Book summary and reviews of Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Hidden America

From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work

by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas X
Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas
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About this book

Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Laskas here profiles everyday folks who make life in America work. Good thought in these divided times." - Library Journal

"Although these pieces are character-driven, Laskas has done her research, and she inserts some provocative facts and figures. [She] succeeds in capturing the attitudes, concerns, experiences and sometimes the private lives of workers that most readers are unlikely to come into contact with. Highly informative and thoroughly entertaining." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. In this thoroughly entertaining study of what some people do that other people would never do, journalist Laskas (The Balloon Lady and Other People I Knew) makes her subjects sing...Laskas's depictions are sharply delineated, fully fleshed, and enormously affecting." - Publishers Weekly

This information about Hidden America was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jeanne Marie Laskas

Jeanne Marie Laskas is the director of the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in many publications, including GQ, where her exploration of coal miners was a finalist for the National Magazine Awards, and The Washington Post Magazine, where her long-running weekly column, "Significant Others," was the basis for a trilogy of memoirs. She lives in Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania.

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