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The French quarter; an informal history of…
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The French quarter; an informal history of the New Orleans underworld (1936 original; edició 1938)

de Herbert Asbury

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338261,102 (3.7)6
Home to the notorious "Blue Book," which listed the names and addresses of every prostitute living in the city, New Orleans's infamous red-light district gained a reputation as one of the most raucous in the world. But the New Orleans underworld consisted of much more than the local bordellos. It was also well known as the early gambling capital of the United States, and sported one of the most violent records of street crime in the country. In The French Quarter, Herbert Asbury, author of The Gangs of New York, chronicles this rather immense underbelly of "The Big Easy." From the murderous exploits of Mary Jane "Bricktop" Jackson and Bridget Fury, two prostitutes who became famous after murdering a number of their associates, to the faux-revolutionary "filibusters" who, backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars of public support--though without official governmental approval--undertook military missions to take over the bordering Spanish regions in Texas, the French Quarter had it all. Once again, Asbury takes the reader on an intriguing, photograph-filled journey through a unique version of the American underworld.… (més)
Membre:LouisArmstrong
Títol:The French quarter; an informal history of the New Orleans underworld
Autors:Herbert Asbury
Informació:New York, Garden City Pub. [1938]
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Informació de l'obra

The French Quarter: An Informal History of the New Orleans Underworld de Herbert Asbury (1936)

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This is a breezy, well-written, non-academic history of the French Quarter and New Orleans generally -- literary equivalent perhaps to the best of the city's tourist tours. It is full of charming and outrageous anecdotes of all kinds and colorful characters from madames to politicians to thugs. Due to its age, there are a few politically incorrect musings, but overall the text comes across as relatively modern--particularly in the treatment of the wily and thuggish women/madames.

Needless perhaps to say, the focus is virtually entirely on the seedy side of the Quarter. Far less time (none?) is given to positive portrayals or to music or the influences of French and Spanish culture or to any serious investigation of voodoo and its Catholic influences. Hence, you get what you paid for -- a little titillation, a few laughs, some outrage--and a desire to check out the tour and have a cocktail. ( )
  Bostonseanachie | Dec 14, 2016 |
If contemplating whether to read "The French Quarter: An Informal History of the New Orleans Underworld," consider first this fact about the book's author, Herbert Asbury: Asbury's initial fame came in 1926 when H.L. Mencken published in Mencken's magazine, "The American Mercury," an article by Asbury about a small-town Missouri prostitute who serviced her Protestant customers in a Catholic cemetery, and vice-versa. The article achieved sufficient notoriety to get Mencken's magazine promptly banned in Boston. Adroitly sensing a promotional opportunity too golden to miss, Mencken quickly ventured to Boston, openly sold his magazine on the Boston Common, and was arrested with all deliberate haste. Mencken's magazine sales subsequently skyrocketed across the country, and Asbury's renown was assured.

Asbury brings the same (in)sensibilities required to write for national publication an article about a strumpet plying her trade in pastoral cemeteries to "The French Quarter." Reading other reviews will amply inform prospective readers regarding this wonderful book's stories about New Orleans, and how Asbury spins them so well for his audience. On a cautionary note, as may be expected in a book written many decades ago about racially charged times in a capital of the South, "The French Quarter" is far from politically correct by any modern measure. Proceed accordingly, but do proceed -- it's a fun, fantastic, and essential journey through the long, twisted history of one of America's great cities. ( )
1 vota RGazala | Apr 29, 2013 |
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The development of the New Orleans of legend and tradition began during the administration of the French Governor the Marquis de Vaudreuil (1743 - 53), with its gaudy social functions, widespread governmental corruption, and the tolerance with which lapses from the strict moral code were regarded.
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Home to the notorious "Blue Book," which listed the names and addresses of every prostitute living in the city, New Orleans's infamous red-light district gained a reputation as one of the most raucous in the world. But the New Orleans underworld consisted of much more than the local bordellos. It was also well known as the early gambling capital of the United States, and sported one of the most violent records of street crime in the country. In The French Quarter, Herbert Asbury, author of The Gangs of New York, chronicles this rather immense underbelly of "The Big Easy." From the murderous exploits of Mary Jane "Bricktop" Jackson and Bridget Fury, two prostitutes who became famous after murdering a number of their associates, to the faux-revolutionary "filibusters" who, backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars of public support--though without official governmental approval--undertook military missions to take over the bordering Spanish regions in Texas, the French Quarter had it all. Once again, Asbury takes the reader on an intriguing, photograph-filled journey through a unique version of the American underworld.

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