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Customer Review

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and moving book by a great writer/musician, September 3, 2009
This review is from: The Year Before the Flood: A Story of New Orleans (Hardcover)
Ned Sublette went to Tulane in 2004 to do research for his history of the city: THE WORLD THAT MADE NEW ORLEANS. But the gritty, exciting and dangerous year he spent exploring the city's music, neighborhoods and traditions was the last before the devastation that was Hurricane Katrina. The damage caused by the levee breaks and the unconscionable--no, criminal--abandonment of the city's survivors changed this great and vibrant city--perhaps forever. Sublette's book is fierce and angry and very, very personal. I've been a fan of Sublette the musician for decades, but this book was a look into the life and the scholarship of a remarkable writer and person. For Sublette, New Orleans is fascinating on every level--and the levels all coexist. He describes the historical origins of a neighborhood, the musicians, slave owners and slaves who lived there, the current watering holes, the rappers who memorialized it (and their fates) and which second lines that snaked through it, playing jazz. He explores the divided Mardi Gras traditions from the segregationist Comus and Rex to the African-celebrating Zulus and the mysterious and wonderful Indians (who were inspired by Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show!). This is strong and wonderful--a book that takes history, politics and art seriously and personally. I really enjoyed every page and recommend it highly. (Actually this was written by Amy Heller, Dennis's wife and partner in Milestone Films)
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 17, 2009 10:02:27 AM PST
Agreed, though I believe this view could be tempered by a re-read of "A Confederacy of Dunces."
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