New Orleans: A Cultural History

Overview


Founded in 1718 by two French-Canadian brothers for French King Louis XIV, New Orleans grew from its roots as a Euro-Caribbean port city at the nexus of North, Central and South America. Situated at the bottom of the Mississippi River Delta, the city became "Paris on the Mississippi," the fashionable cultural capital of the American South, home to America's first opera house and birthplace of jazz.
Many think of New Orleans, with its antebellum mansions, above-ground cemeteries...
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Overview


Founded in 1718 by two French-Canadian brothers for French King Louis XIV, New Orleans grew from its roots as a Euro-Caribbean port city at the nexus of North, Central and South America. Situated at the bottom of the Mississippi River Delta, the city became "Paris on the Mississippi," the fashionable cultural capital of the American South, home to America's first opera house and birthplace of jazz.
Many think of New Orleans, with its antebellum mansions, above-ground cemeteries and ghostly moss-bearded oaks as a haunted place. It is certainly the most un-American of American cities, creating its own laid-back "Big Easy" attitude from the customs of the people who founded it: French and Spanish colonists, gens de couleur libres, Northern adventurers, riverboat men, pirates, and Cajuns. From this eclectic mix of influences has evolved a distinctive Creole culture, expressed in language, architecture and cuisine.
Louise McKinney explores the soul of this deeply spiritual and hedonistic place, where every year the pre-Lenten Mardi Gras bursts forth with outrageous excess.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195301366
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Series: Cityscapes Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Louise McKinney is a journalist whose writing has appeared widely in New Orleans, The Washington Post, and The Globe & Mail.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 New Orleans people : Gumbo in a melting-pot 11
Ch. 2 River and riverfront : "Paris on the Mississippi" 29
Ch. 3 The French quarter : "splendid Bedlam of a city" 51
Ch. 4 Faubourg Treme, Faubourg Marigny and bywater : Goin' downtown and "Backa town" 83
Ch. 5 Uptown haunts 117
Ch. 6 Mid-city : the New Bohemia 141
Ch. 7 Canal Street, central business district, and the warehouse district : booms and busts in the "big uneasy" 159
Ch. 8 The lakefront : crossing the causeway 177
Ch. 9 Cajun country : Lafayette and beyond 187
Ch. 10 Culture of celebration : Mardi Gras and other spectacles 201
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