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So great Party because it s infused with British humor and partly because New Orleans politics is a dark comedy in itself, this book is a historical account written like a fiction novel It starts and ends with the early 90 s saga of NOLA City Councilwoman Dorothy Mae Taylor leading the crusade to finally and completely desegregate Mardi Gras In between is the background that makes the current situation make sense Gill is honest about feelings of the old line krewes being a bastion of close minded, elitist moderately bigoted businessmen He is also very quick to defend their right to social homogeneity Overall, it was a great read for someone who grew up knowing what was what, but not knowing why. This was a challenging book to read, and not because of a level of difficulty.It s easy to look at New Orleans, with its primarily Black population, and assume that desegregation is complete and all is well Yet, in the 1990s, Dorothy Mae Taylor, a Black city councilwoman, put forth a bill to require that the old line parade krewes be required to desegregate.The krewes had their origins in white supremacy, led by the Americans on the uptown side of town as a way to show their superiority to the Creoles, free people of color, etc., in the French Quarter They focused on obscure mythologies, and promoted that membership should only be among whites Krewe members were instrumental in the white supremacist uprising in the 1870s referred to as the Battle of Liberty Place, and some of their parades referred to that theme.This book chronicles the history of the old line krewes, as well as Taylor s attempts to force integration in the krewes and social clubs that spawned them As such, it is an outstanding text on civil rights and the history of suppression in the South That Taylor was even remotely successful the adopted bill was amended and water down so many times as to be essentially toothless was an affront to the white populace, such that three of the old line krewes Comus, Momus, and Proteus cancelled their parades in perpetuity and now only meet for private balls.This is an important book for those studying the civil rights movement, as many seem to resume that ours is a post racial society for having elected a Black president Those paying attention to the bigotry he faces know better, and this book is an interesting look at one aspect of the problem. Anyone that is interested in learning how New Orleans politics and Mardi Gras intermingle in the city should read this book Great read James Gill does not like to reference most of his facts Sometimes he describes something real wild with no indication if he made it up or not James Gill has clearly never taken an African American history class, nor even done much reading on race and politics at the time of the printing of the book So you kind of have to take everything with a grain of salt, and also know that this is a very on the surface look into the politics of race in New Orleans.That being said, the history of the founding krewes of New Orleans is fascinating, and for lack of a better option, I give this 3 stars. I was mostly underwhelmed by the structure and pacing of the book and then I gotTo the last couple pages of summary and realized that I was was just disappointed entirely The author s assertions about the takeaways of race and the victims of racism feel disrespectful of the history he chronicles as well as fully missing a true understanding of the essence of racism Sadly, not worth reading to its end Some of the historical anecdotes were interesting on their own, but not enough to save the book. This book tells an interesting story but does an underwhelming job doing it, and veers off the rails at the end with some commentary that really undermines the message of the book The history of racism in Mardi Gras krewes is laid out in a relatively accessible way here Members of the old line krewes were intimately involved in the systemic oppression of African Americans since the 1840s in New Orleans, and this book pulls no punches about that But this book leaves many stones unturned, and simultaneously chooses to dive deep into some stories that seem tangentially related to the main narrative arc The odd selection for emphasis creates a bit of an ephemeral feel to the book it floats along the history of New Orleans and occasionally goes somewhere interesting That would be fine, but for the epilogue For most of the book, Gill is pretty steady in his criticism of the racist nature of the krewes However, in the epilogue, he turns his aim on the African American councilwoman and activists who sought to desegregate the krewes, accusing them of racism akin to that of their opponents This, obviously, is bullshit The racism of the krewes has deep, impactful and lasting impacts on the city of New Orleans and has been organized to systemically deny African Americans any power or access to opportunity in the city In as much as you believe that the krewes opponents are guilty of bigotry, it cannot be said that it had an impact on the city beyond making some rich racists uncomfortable I m giving the book 3 stars because I believe that understanding the history of the krewes is important, but I hope someone can come along and tell this story in a effective manner. |DOWNLOAD E-PUB ⚖ Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans ⚖ Mardi Gras Remains One Of The Most Distinctive Features Of New Orleans Although The City Has Celebrated Carnival Since Its Days As A French And Spanish Colonial Outpost, The Rituals Familiar Today Were Largely Established In The Civil War Era By A White Male Elite In Fact, The Men Behind The Masks On The Parade Floats And At The Mardi Gras Balls Have Kept The Spirit Of The Confederacy Alive They Have Put Artistry And Erudition Into Their Carnival Displays While Harboring A Virulent Racism That Has Led To Violence And Massacre Because The Mardi Gras Organizations Have Remained Secret Societies, Their Role In The White Supremacist Cause Has Not Been Fully Recorded, Until Now Lords Of Misrule Is The First Book To Explore The Effects Of Mardi Gras On The Social And Political Development Of New Orleans, The First To Analyze Recent Attempts To End Racial Segregation Within The Organizations That Stage The Annual FestivitiesThe History Of Carnival Is So Intertwined With The Not an easy read for me but i stuck with it I learned so much about the political racial aspects of Mardi Gras in New Orleans Was fortunate to hear Mr Gill read at a bookreading in New Orleans on September 27, 2009. A very informative read Complements New Orleans After the Promises well, especially in the later chapters covering Mardi Gras post WWII and leading up to the 1991 desegregation hearings for the Krewes. Lots of good information but Gill can barely contain his distaste for one of the public figures he wrote about.