Accidental City Improvising New Orleans

ISBN-10: 0674725905
ISBN-13: 9780674725904
Edition: 2013
List price: $21.00 Buy it from $14.84
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Description: This is the story of a city that shouldn t exist. In the seventeenth century, what is now America s most beguiling metropolis was nothing more than a swamp: prone to flooding, infested with snakes, battered by hurricanes. But through the intense  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 10/14/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 448
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.496
Language: English

This is the story of a city that shouldn t exist. In the seventeenth century, what is now America s most beguiling metropolis was nothing more than a swamp: prone to flooding, infested with snakes, battered by hurricanes. But through the intense imperial rivalries of Spain, France, and England, and the ambitious, entrepreneurial merchants and settlers from four continents who risked their lives to succeed in colonial America, this unpromising site became a crossroads for the whole Atlantic world.Lawrence N. Powell, a decades-long resident and observer of New Orleans, gives us the full sweep of the city s history from its founding through Louisiana statehood in 1812. We see the Crescent City evolve from a French village, to an African market town, to a Spanish fortress, and finally to an Anglo-American center of trade and commerce. We hear and feel the mix of peoples, religions, and languages from four continents that make the place electric and always on the verge of unraveling. "The Accidental City" is the story of land-jobbing schemes, stock market crashes, and nonstop squabbles over status, power, and position, with enough rogues, smugglers, and self-fashioners to fill a picaresque novel.Powell s tale underscores the fluidity and contingency of the past, revealing a place where people made their own history. This is a city, and a history, marked by challenges and perpetual shifts in shape and direction, like the sinuous river on which it is perched.

David Connolly is Professor of Translation Studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.Lawrence N. Powell, former holder of the James H. Clark Endowed Chair in American Civilization, is Professor Emeritus of History at Tulane University.

An Impossible River
A Landjobbing Scheme
Utopian by Design
Improvising a City
Changing of the Guard
In Contraband We Trust
A Creole City
Slavery and the Struggle for Mastery
The Slaves Remake Themselves
A New People, a New Racial Order
The American Gateway
Epilogue
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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