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Why New Orleans Matters Hardcover – November 22, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
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“An enjoyable meander through what used to be called ‘the city that care forgot.’” (Houston Chronicle)
“Powerful, rich with anger, longing, and barely expressible loss.” (Providence Phoenix)
“Hot and real and from the heart… An emotionally wrenching experience—at times hilarious, at times heartbreaking.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
“Pensive and elegiac… sharp [and] steely. …A mournful dirge and a vivacious ode to the city.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
“A minor miracle unto itself… a heartfelt, 180-page manifesto… There’s a little something for everyone.” (Gambit Weekly)
Humanities Book of the Year Award, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (No Source)
Best Book Award, New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association (No Source)
PRAISE FOR MY COLD WAR:“Tom Piazza’s writing pulsates with nervous electrical tension--reveals the emotions that we can’t define.” (Bob Dylan)
From the Back Cover
Tom Piazza's award-winning portrait of a city in crisis, with a new preface from the author, ten years after.
Ten years ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the disaster that followed, promises were made, forgotten, and renewed. What would become of New Orleans in the years ahead? How would this city and its people recover—and what meaning would its story have, for America and the world?
In Why New Orleans Matters, first published only months after the disaster, award-winning author and longtime New Orleans resident Tom Piazza illuminates the storied culture and still-evolving future of this great and vital American metropolis. Piazza evokes the sensuous textures of the city that gave us jazz music, Creole cooking, and a unique style of living; he examines the city's undercurrents of corruption and racism, and explains how its people endure and transcend them. And, perhaps most important, he bears witness to the city's spirit: its grace and beauty, resilience and soul.
In the preface to this new edition, Piazza considers how far the city has come in the decade since Katrina, as well as the challenges it still faces—and reminds us that people in threatened communities across America have much to learn from New Orleans' disaster and astonishing recovery.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
And so, I stayed and along with my parents that I took in to my Uptown Apartment, we weathered the storm. It was a tough night but we made it through and on Monday morning felt we were victorious. Even after the levee failed, we remained in the city until Wednesday, August 31, 2005.
The rest is history. I visited the City in September and early October and made my final return in the middle of October to do my part in the rebuilding. This past Saturday (November 19, 2005), I was at the Garden District Book Store to purchase a number of novels by Poppy Z. Brite as gifts to people who assisted me in my travels after Katrina.
I was introduced to Tom Piazza and decided to purchase his novel WHY NEW ORLEANS MATTERS. I am so happy I did. Mr. Piazza is an outsider (a person not born in New Orleans) but this guy sure has it right for his adopted City. He writes about and fully understands New Orleans and the people of New Orleans. And, he does so as if he was born here and spent his whole life walking the streets and enjoying the great experience of living here and at the same time noting the negatives.
Mr. Piazza takes you on a tour of the places the locals hang out. He does it in such a way as to enliven your senses. Whether it is about the architecture, the culinary wizardry of our chefs and cooks, the music, the people, he gets it right.Read more ›
This book is more the former than the latter, and it stands on its own as such. It has been my experience that visitors either love or really dislike New Orleans, to be charitable about it. It's the glass-half-full thing. Either you love our slow, beautiful, messy, fun-loving, on-the-surface, play-before-work, family-is-everything city...or you don't. People who value family and culture and a slower, more stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of life, will be enchanted with the city through this book if they've never had the occasion to visit.
People who are all about efficiency, good government, growing economies, antiseptic cleanliness and timeliness won't. That's the bottom line. Either you are a New Orleans kind of person or you aren't.
If there is a point that Piazza manages to drive home, it is how unique our city is, particularly with respect to culture and way of life, and he argues that it merits preservation on those grounds. If you are looking for a balanced treatise examining the pros and cons of the city topographically and scientifically, how the city contributes to the American economy, the reasons for the flooding disaster (and for the record, most New Orleanians feel it was a man-made disaster brought on by Federal engineering errors) -- this book is not it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The title says it all. New Orleans matters. The city, its people, and history are so very precious. I recommend this book for everyone! Read morePublished 13 months ago by Franny
I rarely give a book 5 stars. 4, often, but 5 is for those life changing/affirming pieces that are rare. I wish I could give this book 6. Read morePublished 17 months ago by John A. Brissette
An entertaining read that communicates the atmosphere of New Orleans and the justifiable outrage about post-Katrina events. Wonderful book, that I finished in two sittings.Published 20 months ago by Matthew L Perkins
A well paced journal about this country's most important (in my opinion) city. Though it never gets too deep on any subject, it scratches the important surfaces.Published 20 months ago by philip fox
I often find it difficult to explain why I love New Orleans so much... I have a hard time talking about its subtleties, when all most people think about is Bourbon Street or Mardi... Read morePublished on March 29, 2014 by Terry Cox
Tom Piazza wrote a very touching book about being away from New Orleans after Katrina. It is a heart felt written book. Read morePublished on November 11, 2013 by Lesa Barnes
Not a "must read", but still a book I will keep in my library. I like that Piazza emphasizes how you can't really understand the rich culture and deep roots of New Orleans... Read morePublished on June 18, 2013 by Molly W.
This book is a brilliant reminder of why preserving New Orleans and it's rich heritage is important to our nation.Published on May 30, 2013 by stephanie