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We're Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City Hardcover – June 9, 2015
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It’s the city’s density, its architecture, streetscape and potential that attract Gratz, an urbanist who has made New Orleans her second home .Gratz’s account is strongest when delivering a David-versus-Goliath narrative, as when she champions the determination of those rebuilding their family homes without funds or official sanction.” New York Times Book Review
A welcome contribution to an animated conversation about the city and its uncertain future What is most valuable about We’re Still Here Ya Bastards at this moment of mass retrospection is its intelligent glance forward at upcoming struggles, and its argument that the actions of elected officials and administrators in Washington, Baton Rouge, and Orleans Parish matter as much now as they have at any time in the past ten years.” The Architect's Newspaper
The remarkable book by Roberta Brandes Gratz, We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City, is a story about the people of New Orleans overcoming the torpor of governmentand sometimes the self-congratulations of governmentand the pro-business biases of the development process. Gratz describes community-level activism, both formal and informal, that fights to redevelop New Orleans for New Orleanians. It is a story of grassroots democracy in action.” Rick Cohen, Nonprofit Quarterly
Gratz’s love for New Orleans, her home since 2007, is evident in the pages of this challenging but rewarding exploration of the city, 10 years post-Katrina. Gratz (The Battle for Gotham) clearly did her homework.” Publishers Weekly
Gratz writes with clear affection for the people, neighborhoods, and unique culture of New Orleans...Recommended for any reader interested in New Orleans and also for those looking for an intelligent and readable book about urban planning or community activism.” Library Journal
"Gratz provides a moving chronicle of the efforts of real people to rebuild their battered city in the face of bad engineering, cynical politicians, incompetent bureaucrats and greedy developers. It frames the challenges urban revitalization, inequality and gentrification in a smart and nuanced way. This book is an absolute must read for anyone who cares about the future of our communities and nation." Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class and professor at NYU
Roberta Gratz knows as much about the way cities work as anyone alive. In We're Still Here Ya Bastards she turns her sharp, experienced eye on New Orleans, post-Katrina, and delivers a lucid assessment of the city's stunning progress as well as its chronic, sometimes toxic, problems. Drawing on a broad variety of voices, this is a valuable addition to the growing body of literature about this most complex and beautiful city.” Tom Piazza, author of Why New Orleans Matters and City of Refuge
No major American event of this century has generated so much myth as the 2005 flooding of New Orleans. Roberta Gratz tackles these assumed truths with two essential tools: the tenacity of an old-style journalist and the devotion of a Jane Jacobs-style urbanist. She chronicles the city’s improbable and unpredicted recovery, without the dubious help of big plans, a recovery that, like her reporting, was and is literally ground-up. Most important to me, she writes not only with understanding, but with deep affection for this incomparable city.” Harry Shearer
Do we need another Katrina book? No. Not just any book. We need this one. Whether the subject is education, healthcare, urban development or environmental preservation, Roberta Gratz has masterfully assembled a chorus of New Orleans voices to tell the story of their city. This book is a clarion call to the nation and the world.” Lolis Eric Elie, story editor, HBO's Treme
"After the Katrina and BP oil-spill disasters, officials in New Orleans only made matters worse through incompetence and self-dealing. It took the unelected citizenry to rise up and put things right. It's a hell of a story, painstakingly reported and recounted here in stirring detail." John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
What happens when one of the United States's urban treasures is damaged, seemingly beyond repair? How does the nation respondand what does the response tell us of the state of the union? We’re Still Here Ya Bastards brings to life the immediacy of the struggles to rebuild New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. If you have wondered what has happened in the decade since television cameras recorded the drowning of a great American cityfrom the Ninth Ward to Lakeview, from the French Quarter and Treme through Uptown and Mid-CityRoberta Gratz’s page-turning account is for you. As a native New Orleanian, I am grateful to her for uncovering these critical histories.” Leslie Harris, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, Emory University
A great American story: how people who love New Orleans keep saving it, and big money and bad government keep screwing it over.” Roy Blount Jr., author of Feet on the Street: Rambles Around New Orleans
New Orleanians don’t often light out for the territories. So there was no question of their returning from mandatory exile to this semi-ruined city and rebuilding from the ground up. As Roberta Gratz shows in this brilliant book, it was their grassroots activism, reinforced by cadres of voluntourists who came for a week then decided to stay put, that has been bringing this storied town back from disaster.” Lawrence N. Powell, author of The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans
Roberta Gratz is America's most innovative urban chronicler of our time. If you really want to know the true story of New Orleans after Katrina, you must read her thorough account of one of America's devastating natural disasters.” Laurie Beckelman, cultural consultant and former Chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
Disaster, even terrible disaster, can also be an opportunity. A decade after Hurricane Katrina, Roberta Gratz offers a sharp take on what a recovering New Orleans got right and wrong. Her assessment is sure to provoke debate. But no one who cares about The City that Care Forgot’ can ignore this detailed and deeply humane report.” Jed Horne, author of Desire Street and Breach of Faith
Roberta Gratz’ collage of post-Katrina New Orleans sparkles with stunning and sometimes controversial insights. Written with grace and deep feeling, she takes Jane Jacobs' heritage into new territory and confirms the author's status as our leading urbanist." S. Frederick Starr, Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
We’re Still Here Ya Bastards is a colorful, authoritative account of how the unsung people of New Orleans instead of inept Federal agencies, crooked local leaders’ and soulless developers refused to let a great American city die.” Curtis Carter Wilkie, co-author of City Adrift: New Orleans Before and After Katrina
In this powerful book, Roberta Brandes Gratz turns her deep understanding of the work of Jane Jacobs into an astonishing account of how imaginative community activists like Jacobs emerge and grow in the wake of a disaster like Katrina. In virtually every domain of urban lifein housing, health care, education, economic development, and environmental protectionshe discovers New Orleanians whose diagnosis of the problems and alternatives to the solutions are vastly more creative and effective than all the politicians, bureaucrats, and professionals who have dominated our television screens. That we have heard little or nothing about these people says much about our distrust of democracy. A masterpiece of reportage and analysis!” Richard Rabinowitz, Phd, President, American History Workshop
Ten years after the flooding of New Orleans, the city is still recovering. A street-level portrait of the people who came back to rebuild their homes, We’re Still Here Ya Bastards illustrates how the tight-knit communities of the Crescent City are reclaiming their city in spite of the so-called experts, predatory free-marketeers, and government bureaucrats.” Josh Neufeld, author of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
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Top Customer Reviews
By turns Gratz presents us with individuals whose valiant efforts inspire all who love this most wonderful city and those who would use the disaster to remake the city to their own benefit.
This is a testament to the will of the people who work to maintain New Orleans as a special place. It is a cautionary tale as well. A warning that many who enjoy the benefits of such a place are not willing to share under any circumstances.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very disappointing book. The author's impressive credentials led me to expect an insightful report on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Read morePublished 9 months ago by RJB
The name of this book says it all! This is a very well written and researched book. I learned many things about my city that I didn't know although I did know most of it just not... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Wendy D.
This is a well researched and thorough telling of the back stories on the "rebuilding" of New Orleans. Read morePublished 9 months ago by E. Andes
A fascinating story of the ongoing reconstruction of New Orleans. I read this book while I was visiting the city for the first time, and it was the best possible introduction:... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Reader
Roberta Brandes Gratz brings a journalist's skepticism and an urbanist's understanding of city complexity to the city she now calls her second home, New Orleans. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mary Newsom
Un-put-downable. This is the most searing, concise, rip-your-heart out account of the battle to save the great city of New Orleans. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jill McGaughey
As a history teacher and lifelong New Orleanian, I wasn't far into this book before I started questioning the content. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Liz S.