In Hidden America, award-winning journalist Jeanne Maries Laskas dives deep into her subjects and emerges with character-driven stories about the people who make our lives run every day—yet we barely think of them. “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, “Idon’t think people know too much about the way the whole 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 Bengals cheerleaders. Cheerleaders? Yes. They, too, are hidden America, and you will be amazed by what Laskas tells you about them: hidden no longer.

Themes in this book include career paths, educational pathways, America, social issues, immigration, environment, human connection, and the economy. This book was reviewed and recommended by a student-led selection committee from various majors and colleges including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Agricultural Life Sciences, Warrington College of Business and College of Journalism and Communications. Students on the committee were passionate about how it introduced them to a variety of jobs in America, exposed them to social issues and encouraged them to look beyond what many of them see in their day-to day. They believe that this book will resonate with new students as they begin their professional and educational journeys at
the University of Florida.


Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of seven books, including Concussion, Hidden America, and The Exact Same Moon. Her writing has appeared in GQ; Esquire; The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; and many other publications. Laskas serves as director of the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing. She lives on a horse farm in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.