Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins had all the opportunities when they researched Celebration, U.S.A. They bought a house in the town, sent their kids to school, made friends, joined the social circle, even interviewed a few people here and there. You'd think this would make an exceptional book - well researched, deeply felt, rigorously documented. It doesn't. Instead, their book is disjointed, incomplete, and on every page gives the sensation of writers trying to cover for scanty research.
Several of the town's most important early struggles, like the school and its curriculum, or the poor home construction, are discussed in depth. However, the authors fail to provide context and completion for each issue. They never, for example, note the outcome of the battle that could be described as parents v. school, although the outcome certainly occured while they were residents in town. Nor do they discuss in any real detail the local and regional political climate that had such an effect on the school. This sort of thing turns their book into a series of stories with no beginnings and no endings.
They also completely missed many quieter, but just as crucial, events and movements in the town. They failed, for example, to document the Montessori School at all - not its beginnings, which were precedent-setting in Celebration, not its future, nothing. Frantz and Collins failed, too, to reach citizens of Celebration who *weren't* like themselves. There is little dicussion of the single parents, the renters, the gays, the elderly, or the (admittedly limited) ethnic minorities. These omissions create an incredible bias in their book.
Add to this the poor quality of the writing with its distracting conventions, and you have a worthless, random discourse on a truly gripping, relevant topic - the building of a new town by a corporate giant. Despite the fascinating subject, the book cannot hold the attention of the reader for any length of time. If you want to read a decent and interesting book about Celebration, read Andrew Ross's The Celebration Chronicles instead.