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The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square

The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square

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  • Ned Sublette
  • Chicago Review Press
  • Paperback
  • 9781556529580
  • 8.9 X 6 X 1 inches
  • 1.3 pounds
  • History > United States - State & Local - South (AL,AR,FL,GA,KY,LA,MS,NC,SC,TN,VA,WV)
  • English
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Book Description

Named one of the Top 10 Books of 2008 by The Times-Picayune. Winner of the 2009 Humanities Book of the Year award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.Awarded the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for 2008. New Orleans is the most elusive of American cities. The product of the centuries-long struggle among three mighty empires--France, Spain, and England--and among their respective American colonies and enslaved African peoples, it has always seemed like a foreign port to most Americans, baffled as they are by its complex cultural inheritance.

The World That Made New Orleans offers a new perspective on this insufficiently understood city by telling the remarkable story of New Orleans's first century--a tale of imperial war, religious conflict, the search for treasure, the spread of slavery, the Cuban connection, the cruel aristocracy of sugar, and the very different revolutions that created the United States and Haiti. It demonstrates that New Orleans already had its own distinct personality at the time of Louisiana's statehood in 1812. By then, important roots of American music were firmly planted in its urban swamp--especially in the dances at Congo Square, where enslaved Africans and African Americans appeared en masse on Sundays to, as an 1819 visitor to the city put it, rock the city.

This book is a logical continuation of Ned Sublette's previous volume, Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo, which was highly praised for its synthesis of musical, cultural, and political history. Just as that book has become a standard resource on Cuba, so too will The World That Made New Orleans long remain essential for understanding the beautiful and tragic story of this most American of cities.

The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square

Author Bio

Ned Sublette, author of the widely read Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo (Chicago Review Press, 2004), first traveled to Cuba in January 1990. He co-founded the record label Qbadisc, which in 1992 pioneered the marketing of the contemporary Cuban discography in the United States, and beginning in 1991, he collaborated with the labels Luaka Bop and World Pacific/Blue Note on key US releases of Cuban music.

Over the last 25 years, he has produced more than 150 episodes of the Peabody Award-winning public radio program Afropop Worldwide, and is a co-founder of Afropop Worldwide Hip Deep, which brings the work of scholars to a radio audience. He has reported for Afropop Worldwide from Cuba (including a multi-year 17-part “Cuban Connection” series), as well as from Angola, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Detroit, Miami, Lisbon, Salvador da Bahia, Caracas, and Barranquilla, among other places.

He is the co-author with Constance Sublette of The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry (Lawrence Hill Books, 2015). He is also the author of The Year Before the Flood (Lawrence Hill Books, 2009); and The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square (Lawrence Hill Books 2008).  

He has been a Patrick Henry Writing Fellow at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland; a Guggenheim Fellow; a Tulane Rockefeller Humanities Fellow in New Orleans; a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library; a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in non-fiction literature; and is currently a research fellow at the Committee on Globalization and Social Change at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Throughout the 1980s, he led a band in New York City, performing semi-regularly at CBGB, the Lone Star Café, Tramps, the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge, Danceteria, and the Mudd Club, among many others. His song “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly,” composed in 1981, was recorded by Willie Nelson and released as a single in 2006. As a singer-songwriter, his albums include Kiss You Down South, Cowboy Rumba, Monsters from the Deep (with Lawrence Weiner) and Ships at Sea, Sailors and Shoes (with Lawrence Weiner and the Persuasions).

 

Source: New York University 

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