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The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race, and Respectability in New Orleans 1865-1920

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807129326
ISBN-10: 0807129321
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A welcome addition to Louisiana, southern, and women's historiography, Highly recommended." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Alecia P. Long is a historian for the Louisiana State Museum. She lives in New Orleans.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807129321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807129326
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,939,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Fontenot VINE VOICE on May 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Storyville has long captured the imagination of Americans. A vision of a wide open sex district in the heart of turn of the century New Orleans has inspired a great deal of fictional writing (some donning the mask of history) and the movie Pretty Baby. Alecia Long peels back the layers of this fascinating vice district and reveals a world far more interesting than Hollywood could ever imagine. Love across racial lines, upright citizens trying to control vice, and business minded women carving a role for themselves are all discussed. Long's texts moves smoothly and maintains the reader's interest--all the while grounded solidly in scholarship. An entertaining, informative, and enjoyable read!
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Format: Hardcover
In 1903, a guidebook promoting New Orleans’s Storyville red-light district provided a directory of elite prostitutes. Entitled the Storyville 400, the guide offered practical information for those in search of such services. Many of the guidebook’s readers may have also chuckled at the sly parody of the “First Four Hundred”--the famous roster of New Yorkers prominent enough to be invited to parties thrown by socialite Lina Astor. Astor’s ballroom, it was said, could only accommodate 400 people. A list of prostitutes that lampooned Fifth Avenue snobbery must have been a matter of some hilarity for the “sporting men” and tourists who frequented New Orleans bordellos. But while the guidebooks spoofed Americans’ turn of the century obsession with respectability, the men who frequented Storyville also willingly paid a premium to visit brothels that affected Victorian refinement.

In The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race, and Respectablity in New Orleans, 1865-1920, Alecia Long vividly recreates the tempestuous Storyville-era when increasingly conservative national values collided with New Orleans’s decadent culture. For Long, colorful and conflicted women like Mary Anne Deubler epitomized this period. A former prostitute, Deubler went on to become one of Storyville’s most successful madams. Her success was, in part, due to her ability to combine the trappings of high society with the lascivious entertainment of bordello culture. Her Basin Street brothel--the Chateau Lobrano d’Arlington—mimicked the elegance that typified Victorian domesticity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not enlightening nor entertaining but rather boring.
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