[Kindle] ♗ The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square ♷ Catalizadores.co

This was very good It made a lot of interesting connections between New Orleans and Havana that many other writers ignore It also a good bit of the evolution of the city s music and dance The book largely deals with the period from the founding of the Louisiana Colony through the early 19th Century, but also hits some points up through post Katrina, including and interesting section on the Indians Mardi Gras Indians, not Native Americans The author is maybe a bit heavy on the breast beating about slavery I find it annoying when an author is writing about slavery and has to stop every few lines to state that it is bad Seriously, if someone isn t horrified by the unvarnished details of the slave trade, telling them that slavery is immoral isn t going to help But overall, an excellent book. This was a pretty cool book Very eclectic Basically, it s a history of New Orleans from its earliest days as a Spanish possesion up through the Louisiana Purchase, ending in 1819.The basic thesis of the book is that the three distinct colonial powers that held New Orleans brought different slave cultures to the city different both in the origins of the slaves, and in the few freedoms that slaves were allowed The author is both a musician and a musicologist, so a huge focus is on the different musical contributions of different groups I read a review of the book that compared reading it to having a conversation with a very erudite guy in a bar Sublette is all over the place, but he really seems to know his stuff with some exceptions It s a real good free ranging conversation on New Orleans. [Kindle] ☦ The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square ☸ Named One Of The Top Books Of By The Times Picayune Winner Of The 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 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 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 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 2008 The World That Made New Orleans is a fascinating book that traces the history of New Orleans, Louisiana, from around 1492 to the nineteenth century from the city s humble beginnings on swamp soils to the French Spanish, British American colonisations, and finally the city s growth and ultimate urbanisation in the nineteenth century This is not one s ordinary history non fiction book, however Ned Sublette, the author, pays due attention to the music tradition of the area, its unique and changing slavery regimes, and spends time explaining why New Orleans became the diverse, jazz pioneering and carnival hosting city it is known today Ambitious and well researched, this insightful book provides an eye opening journey into historical and cultural peculiarities of New Orleans This is definitely the story of New Orleans like you have never read before Sublette starts his story way back in the past, portraying a swampy and undesirable place to live What redeemed this area near Lake Pontchartrain was that it had a strategic position near the opening of the bay, with a great river flowing through it, giving access to water and navigation Thus, he terms the place a bowl set in water In 1492, Lord of La Salle arrives to the region of Mississippi and claims it for French King Louis XIV, hence the name of the state and the town Another curious fact is that, in 1699, there was apparently the first celebration of Mardi Gras held in the area when Canadian explorer Iberville arrived and held some festivities with a local Indian population on Fat Tuesday The French solution to populate the area was forced migration since no one saw the region as El Dorado, and that means convicts and undesirables of France arriving to the region, spurring the culture of criminality and poverty Slaves from Africa and other French colonies were also arriving, later forming the Afro Louisianan culture through the growing Creole population In fact, until the 1830s, people of colour comprised the majority in the city The author notes that dance as leisure grew rapidly in popularity among upper classes the 1740s , and that it was Duc d Orleans Philippe II who gave the name to the city It was in the 1820s that the New Orleans became a powerful city, but not before changing authority hands this time the Spanish gained power in 1764 Sublette writes that, with the Spanish regime, there were an urbanisation boost and freedom given to black people since they now had certain rights Acadians then arrived from the north, forming the Cajuns, another layer in the New Orleans s multiculturalism When Louisiana was annexed in 1804 by the US, the author notes that, at that time, the city was already an urban crossroads of languages, both spoken and musical, with a complex Afro Louisianan culture already in existence Sublette, 2008 3 This is only a brief summary of what this book has in store.There are two things the author is not indifferent to and feels passionate about the issue of slavery and music In that vein, he spends quite some time on both, and sometimes the book reads like a treatise on the development of musical traditions in the area, while at other times, it feels like a treatise on the development of slavery New Orleans had three changes of slavery regimes with French, Spanish and then British Americans came different outlooks on slavery and ways to organise it All three nations then made their impact on New Orleans, shaping it Sublette provides both a broader and intimate picture of slavery prevailing at that time in New Orleans, sometimes making rather bold and shocking statements about the treatment of slaves and struggles for freedom He also writes in New Orleans, you can easily see, and feel, that slavery wasn t so long ago Sublette, 2008 7.After finishing this book, music and New Orleans seem like two sides of the same coin When the Spanish took control in 1764, they had a relaxed slavery regime, with black people freely moving and being allowed to promote their traditions That also meant dancing to African beats According to the author, dancing was the way to communicate with other people, and, notoriously, nocturnal dances happened at the infamous Congo Square This was also the way for slaves to communicate their personalities, passions and longing for freedom Sublette writes notwithstanding other places of importance, the musical concepts of Africa were freely and widely expressed in the dynamic, creative, violent city of New Oreland than anywhere else in the United States 2008 120 and the multiple subterranean line of connection the legacy of Congo Square, voodoo, the musical funeral procession, the Mardi Gras Indians, the spiritual churches, and other cultural phenomena come together still in the contemporary music of New Orleans 2008 299.The book may look a bit chaotic the way it focuses on some cultural elements and not on others, but the feeling is still that it is cohesive Perhaps some digressions and personal opinions of the author were not necessary to tell the story for example, his references to the personality of Thomas Jefferson , but even these passages are intriguing The book also takes a dark turn in its slave breeding industry chapter if some readers are interested in a unsettling side to the story.The World That Made New Orleans maybe a historical non fiction, but it is written in an entertaining and accessible manner It shows one peculiar rapid power struggle French Spanish British American dominions for the originally rockless area benefiting from a good river location, while not forgetting Acadian and Indian influences Most importantly, there was a unique African influence on the development of the city The great thing about this illustrated book is that it highlights some of the historical and cultural elements which go overlooked when talking about the development of New Orleans These include Spanish coins, British banking system, different slave regimes and African musical rhythms New Orleans is not mishmash it is a fusion a layering of cultures, languages and traditions which gives the place a unique aura not found anywhere else in the world. I was both frustrated and inspired by The World That Made New Orleans I am convinced that amidst all of Sublette s unqualified conjectures and bitter diatribes, there is a truly valuable historical contribution here Unfortunately, it is perpetually undermined by an informal tone and leaps of faith that seem to ask too much of a critical reader Who was this book for Digressions on the etymology of the word funk, an entire chapter dedicated to anti Jefferson apologetics, and various unsubstantiated claims of musical congruity from the Caribbean islands to New Orleans seriously damage an otherwise thought provoking account of the historical milieu that existed during the creation of the influential American port city If viewed as a strict history, the book is poorly executed and largely unsuccessful in constructing a coherent and well supported argument, but I believe this book is better read as something else Sublette s book might qualify as a treatise a lengthy speculative and interpretive essay on New Orleans and its various strands Many sections of the book devolve into polemics and diatribe While never directly stated, his argument seems to be that many factors in the world amalgamated to create the singular city of New Orleans, ranging from multinational colonialism, Caribbean revolutions, and a unique relationship to the social rights of African American slaves Many primary sources, some quoted in surfeit, are presented to support this hypothesis, though many of his main arguments about the details of New Orleans culture are unsubstantiated by these primary sources More often than not, the cultural details of places like Santo Domingo and Cuba are given and the reader is asked to assume that the details must have been similar in New Orleans based on the inevitability of cultural exchange due to close proximity and constant trading between the islands and the city In addition, attempts at interdisciplinary scholarship simply become distracting and convoluted In fact, I m not even sure if some of his material is interdisciplinary or just plain off topic All of this criticism is valid only if one views his work as historical scholarship As a speculative examination of the various networks that had an effect, however oblique, on the culture of New Orleans, it is quite expressive and certainly interesting However, I would argue that historical conjecture should only occur when overwhelming historical evidence is present In Sublette s case, a simple introductory chapter explaining his intention of exploring the various reticular networks that came up when studying the roots of New Orleans s culture and interpreting them within the larger global context of the city would have eased some of the frustration I felt when reading this book as a history The World That Made New Orleans is a passionate albeit discombobulated attempt to create a synecdoche where the world surrounding New Orleans is used to represent a specific rendering of that city Sublette doesn t so much prove New Orleans to be a globalized city as much as assume it to be so When the record is silent regarding New Orleans s contact with the outside world, he assumes that the contact most likely continued undocumented Sublette oversteps the role of the scholar in interpreting a lack of primary source information, seeming to simply insert what he assumes to be true, because it can neither be substantiated nor disconfirmed.For example, he claims that that the Kongos were the strongest single influence on African culture in the New World and that their legacy permeates the popular music the world listens to today No footnote, no proof He may be right, I don t know What s certainly true is that claims like this have to be backed up One statement this broad with no supporting evidence can completely undermine an entire piece of scholarship as far as I am concerned Later, he claims that in order to know what the Kongo culture in New Orleans was like, all we have to do today is visit Cuba The island still lives and breathes explicitly African culture, and perhaps the most influential of those traditions is the Kongo religion Again, no footnote Herein lies the problem we are to believe this culture exercised an inordinate amount of influence, not only in New Orleans, but throughout the African Diaspora yet to prove it, we are told to simply visit Cuba, where perhaps this culture exerts the most influence I m open to the theory, but I m obliged to require some sort of substantial evidence The burden of proof is with the author, not the reader. Abandoned for now because quite honestly, it bored me It was hard to stay focused when the author s thoughts were scattered all over the place A detailed description about the birth of New Orleans could have been awesome in theory, but in practice Sublette didn t make it work I ve been dreaming about going there and expect it to be very vibrant and filled with interesting people and stories, but in this the confusing minute details about irrelevant things annoyed me Especially when it felt like pointless rambling compared to other non fiction I ve been reading lately. I wish I was in NY Maybe some of you New Yorkers can check this out Ned is having a book party and forum in the city Thursday night I ll type the info I wish I could firgure out how to send an attachment BOOK PARTY hip, erudite and provocative story telling Roger Han, Songlines an energetic and fascinating read Tristram Lozaw, Boston Globe NED SUBLETTE speaking singing, signing books MAY 8 7 30 pm BRECHT FORUM NYC 451 West Street Bank Bethune previously posted got this on line review Feb 2010Timing was right for me and this book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and a trip west are fresh in my memoryHaiti suffered a dramatic disasterI just watched some flics on the War of 1812 and have been listening to the Who Dat Nation playlist, and, for the first time in 46 years, the Saints won the Super Bowl You ll be amazed at the huge importance little ol Haiti and Cuba had in our nation s history Mr Sublette thoroughly lays out the complex development of the slave trade and conflagration of Spanish, French and British enterprise in America His research is impeccable and colorful his scholarship erudite yet very accessible, punctuated with humor and some diffucult observations of our not so perfect country I won t spoil the historical explaination of Aaron Neville s vocal styling, tri color dances, voudou ceremonies, the derivation of mardi gras, the large population of free women of color, why black men dress up and march as Indians, the origin of Dr John s moniker or who taught Notorious B.I.G.you ll enjoy learning this, and so many other things, yourself.What a fabulous book I wanted to come back to it at every free moment I come away knowing so much than I did when I first cracked it open He makes his work look so easy I am forever grateful.As Cuba and It s Music is about much than Cuban music, The World That Made New Orleans is about MUCH than New Orleans I recommend it to every American, of every ethnicity, to truly learn about their country. This book is packed with information And I liked it, but think I or any reader would have benefitted if I had read the author s previous book, Cuba and Its Music From the First Drums to the Mambo in advance Much of New Orleans character stems of course from its musical history which is derived from the confluences of the slave trade, the history of the various Caribbean colonies and which state nation had control over New Orleans and when New Orleans history is tied much with the history of Saint Dominique now Haiti the DR , as well as Cuba and is further tied to the interstate slave trade between Upper South and Deep South that occurred in the US after the Louisiana Purchase Therefore, the info was a Lot to take in, and difficult to retain, having not been schooled in such before I would like to read the previous book and then reread this one, perhaps in conjunction with listening to sound recordings to see if the connections are easily understood as a result. I actually was crying when I finished this book My daughter and I went to New Orleans recently to visit Tulane, where she d been accepted to college, in order to see if a San Franciscan could be comfortable in the south We were fortunate enough to have a week to drive around a bit saw Lafayette, Houma, Grand Isle and the spaces in between She might not have been comfortable there, but New Orleans I stopped by the Faulkner book store the first day and bought Zeitoun, which I read in a few days while in New Orleans and this book, which I opened back home The book is exquisitely, passionately written the chapters on the economics of slavery are the best I have read on the subject The final chapter that provoked the tears was on the Mardi Gras Indians, whom I had never heard of, but who embody the resistance and cultural richness of their African slave ancestors My daughter decided that the weather in Santa Barbara suited her better and it s closer to Mom , so I will have to make excuses to return to New Orleans, but that won t be difficult. Ok, don t get me wrong In many places this book is very dry Mainly it focuses on the colonial history of New Orleans, which is to say he spends a lot of time detailing movements by the French and Spanish royalty Still New Orleans has a pretty crazy history and it makes for pretty entertaining reading It started really dry and then it really picked up, certain parts of this are engaging than others Especially noteworthy are the frank passages on slavery Sublette talks frankly about aspects of slavery that are routinely downplayed in American historical discussions Moreover, his discussion of the reluctance of historians to acknowledge the probability of the Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings relationsNew Orleans was a dissolute town from the beginning The crooks and whores were unsuited by experience and temperament for artisanship or agriculture, but were well prepared to establish a culture of criminality and poverty.The Indians after Katrina As they tried to rebuild their lives and their community, they sewed their suits in the dark, empty city You don t go to those lengths for folklore This was a sacramental act These were men who had fought all their lives against the amnesia that is slavery s legacyThey played tambourines and sang as they moved through the empty, twisted ghost town of the Lower Ninth Ward, where six months after the disaster the people were still gone and houses sat on top of upside down cars They refused to cooperate in their own erasure They were still men, and these were still their streets They wouldn t bow down They rocked the city with their Congo dances This book is good, very good Highly recommend it to anyone planning a trip to New Orleans Here s the order you should do it in Read this book Watch the first season of Treme, go to New Orleans.