Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How New Orleans Got to Be New Orleans

In CREATING THE BIG EASY a native New Orleanian tells how, between the World Wars, the city transformed its image from that of a corrupt and sullied port of call into that of a national tourist destination. Anthony J. Stanonis reveals how boosters and politicians reinvented the New Orleans to build a modern mass tourism industry and, along the way, fundamentally changed the city's cultural, economic, racial, and gender structure.

Kent Germany is another Louisiana native and a former New Orleans resident. In NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE PROMISES Germany goes back to the Great Society era of the 1960s and 1970s to offer a detailed look at one of the greatest transformations in the city's history. He tells how a few thousand New Orleanians put their faith in God and American progress to the test as they sought to conquer poverty, confront racism, establish civic order, and expand the economy. At a time when liberalism seemed to be on the wane nationally, says Germany, black and white citizens in New Orleans cautiously partnered with each other and with the federal government to expand liberalism in the South.

Books for Understanding: New Orleans is a listing of authoritative books on the history, culture, and geography of the city.

Books for Understanding: Hurricane Katrina covers the hurricane itself but also includes books on such timely topics as emergency preparedness and disaster relief.

The H-Urban site is a good place to discover the multifaceted histories of our great cities.