Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Material Culture

My review essay, "Before the Deluge: Reading, Writing and Rebuilding New Orleans", has been published in the Fall 2009 edition of Material Culture: The Journal of the Pioneer American Society. You can take a look at the contents page here. And here's the abstract:

Before the Deluge: Reading, Writing and Rebuilding New Orleans — A special comparative review of several books focusing on the city of New Orleans

By Thomas Ruys Smith, School of American Studies, University of East Anglia, UK

This review essay examines four recent books concerned with the history of New Orleans. Though their approaches and focuses vary – from nineteenth century memoir to historical geography to tourism studies – all four volumes offer a variety of insights into the development of the city. In particular, they offer readings of the city’s evolution that help to interpret the devastations of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and give a timely sense of perspective to the ongoing attempts to rebuild New Orleans.

Update: full article now available here.

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