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Creating the Big Easy

New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945

Anthony J. Stanonis (author)

ISBN: 9780820328171

Publication Date: Nov 2006

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

Between the World Wars, New Orleans transformed its image from a corrupt and sullied port of call into a national tourist destination. The author tells how boosters and politicians reinvented the city to build a modern mass tourism industry and, along the way, fundamentally changed the city's cultural, economic, racial, and gender structure.
£59.95

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Between the World Wars, New Orleans transformed its image from a corrupt and sullied port of call into a national tourist destination. Anthony J. Stanonis tells how boosters and politicians reinvented the city to build a modern mass tourism industry and, along the way, fundamentally changed the city's cultural, economic, racial, and gender structure. Stanonis looks at the importance of urban development, historic preservation, taxation strategies, and convention marketing to New Orleans' makeover and chronicles the city's efforts to domesticate its jazz scene, "democratize" Mardi Gras, and stereotype local blacks into docile, servile roles. He also looks at depictions of the city in literature and film and gauges the impact on New Orleans of white middle-class America's growing prosperity, mobility, leisure time, and tolerance of women in public spaces once considered off-limits. Visitors go to New Orleans with expectations rooted in the city's "past": to revel with Mardi Gras maskers, soak up the romance of the French Quarter, and indulge in rich cuisine and hot music. Such a past has a basis in history, says Stanonis, but it has been carefully excised from its gritty context and scrubbed clean for mass consumption.

Reviews

Anthony Stanonis gives us a New Orleans that is literal and layered. Creating the Big Easy moves New Orleans into the category of cities with definitive, tourism-based histories. Such cities, progenitors of the future, tell us much about the nature of economic, cultural, and social development. - Hal Rothman, author of Neon Metropolis
Illustrations 10 b&w photos
Pages 328
Date Published 30 Nov 2006
Publisher University of Georgia Press
Subject/s Social & cultural history   Tourism industry   Urban & municipal planning  
Anthony J. Stanonis, a native of New Orleans, is a visiting assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University.

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