A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans / Edition 1

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This environmental history explores the rise, fall, and rebirth of one of the nation's most important urban public landscapes and, more significantly, the role that public spaces play in shaping people's relationships with the natural world. Ari Kelman focuses on the battles fought over New Orlean's waterfront, examining the link between a river and its city and tracking the conflict between public and private control of the river. He describes the impact of floods, disease, and changing technologies on New Orlean's interactions with the Mississippi. Considering how the city grew distant - culturally and spatially - from the river, this book argues that urban areas provide a rich source for understanding people's connections with nature and, in turn, nature's impact on human history. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Kelman underscores the role that common people have played in shaping the city and portrays the Mississippi as an active participant in New Orlean's history.
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Editorial Reviews

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In a post-Katrina article, the author of this book called attention to New Orleans' blessing and curse: This Mississippi River port has a near-perfect location but almost unimaginably bad real estate. A River and Its City, Kelman's classic 2003 study, stands as an extended response to everybody's post-hurricane question: Why did they build a city there? With compelling clarity and convincing erudition, Kelman documents the development of America's most improbable metropolis, explaining how nature has affected the city's history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520234338
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition, With a New Preface
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 990,485
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Ari Kelman is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Davis.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Prologue: Nature's Highway to Market 1
1 A Batture Laid Out for the Particular Use of the Public 19
2 Human Genius, Organed with Machinery 50
3 The Necropolis of the South 87
4 Triumphs in the Cause of Advancement and Progress 119
5 An Act of God 157
Epilogue: The Simple Needs of Automobiles 197
Notes 223
Works Cited 253
Index 273
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