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Publisher's Summary

On the eve of the Civil War, New Orleans was far more cosmopolitan than Southern, with its sizable population of immigrants, Northern-born businessmen, and white and Black Creoles. However, by 1880 New Orleans rivaled Richmond as a bastion of the Lost Cause. After Appomattox, a significant number of Confederate veterans moved into the city giving elites the backing to form a Confederate civic culture.

While it's fair to say that the three Confederate monuments and the white supremacist Liberty Monument all came out of this dangerous nostalgia, the authors argue that each monument embodies its own story and mirrors the city and the times. The Lee monument expressed the bereavement of veterans and a desire to reconcile with the North, though strictly on their own terms. The Davis monument articulated the will of the Ladies Confederate Memorial Association to solidify the Lost Cause and Southern patriotism. The Beauregard Monument honored a local hero, but symbolized the waning of French New Orleans and rising Americanization. The Liberty Monument represented white supremacy and the cruel hypocrisy of celebrating a past that never existed.

Gill and Hunter contextualize these statues rather than polarize, interviewing people who are on both sides, including citizens, academics, public intellectuals, and former mayor Mitch Landrieu.

©2021 James Gill and Howard Hunter (P)2022 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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