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The Accidental City

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Email required Address never made public. It's an account of how an improbable city came to be and then survived through its own determination and the flexible social and political structures of its first inhabitants In his telling, Powell deftly manages to bring historic personages to life with a few well-chosen words Like the city itself, [the book] is a successful hybrid, filled with well-rendered writing that doesn't preen.


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But 'accidental'? A strange word, but appropriate, according to this fascinating account of the origin and history of what the author describes as 'America's only original contribution to world culture. The heart of this story lies in the rich chapters devoted to the African-Americans who came as slaves. Many of them attained their freedom because they held the city together through their strength and ingenuity. From the three-tiered culture that developed--white planters, free blacks and slaves--grew the cuisine and music that make New Orleans the queen of the delta.

He traces the dynamics of politics and business that ultimately located a city in virtually uninhabitable swampland. The lively narrative continues from the French through the Spanish colonial periods, concluding with Louisiana statehood in , all the while revealing the disparate forces that bound the city together just as they threatened to tear it apart.

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Consistent with the author's established interests, race and race relations remain central to this interpretation. Readers may not agree with all aspects of Powell's argument, but they are certain to find this an intriguing read that answers scores of questions about a complex city. This will become the definitive book on the early history of not only New Orleans but much of the Gulf Coast. Powell's brilliant study meticulously traces the story of the city's founding in a swamp and its first century of growth into an extraordinary hybrid Indian-European-Caribbean-African-American place The narrative traces the early French settlers' conflicts and relationships with Indians, slaves and free people of color around the settlement and its architectural designs, through the short but significant period of Spanish rule, and finally to the famous Louisiana Purchase and American political, though never social and cultural, domination.

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It documents with compelling detail and anecdote the disputes and compromises involved in the settlement's design and post-conflagration rebuilt versions, and illuminates the complex history of the city's smuggling, tripartite racial order, slave and free population and African-American 'cultural creation, ' metissage race mixing , marronnage fugitive slaves , Creolization and hybrid religions notably Catholicism and voodoo This will become the definitive study of New Orleans' early history.

When, I ask impatiently, can we read Powell on the next two centuries of this 'accidental' city's life? Powell evokes the swamps, sweat, misery, grandeur, and colorful and seedy characters that came together to create a place that Thomas Jefferson could never comprehend. Toon meer Toon minder.

Lees de eerste pagina's. Betrokkenen Auteur Lawrence N.

The Power of Urban Improvisation: Lawrence Powell’s The Accidental City – The Metropole

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