• The World That Made New Orleans

  • From Spanish Silver to Congo Square
  • By: Ned Sublette
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (149 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Offering a new perspective on the unique cultural influences of New Orleans, this entertaining history captures the soul of the city and reveals its impact on the rest of the nation. Focused on New Orleans' first century of existence, a comprehensive, chronological narrative of the political, cultural, and musical development of Louisiana's early years is presented. This innovative history tracks the important roots of American music back to the swamp town, making clear the effects of centuries-long struggles among France, Spain, and England on the city's unique culture, and the role of the Senegambia, Congo, and Haiti on the making of Afro-Louisiana. The origins of jazz and the city's eclectic musical influences, including the role of the slave trade, are also revealed.

Featuring little known facts about the cultural development of New Orleans - such as the real significance of gumbo, the origins of the tango, and the first appearance of the words vaudeville and voodoo - this rich historical narrative explains how New Orleans' colonial influences shape the city still today.

©2008 Ned Sublette (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about The World That Made New Orleans

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great book; terrible "performance"

Would you try another book from Ned Sublette and/or Sean Crisden?

Would never listen to Sean Crisden again.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Sean Crisden?

The narrator's strained pronunciations and cadences are extremely distracting, almost to the point of being unlistenable; not to mention the inconsistencies in his pronunciations. It's a non-fiction history book, and a straightforward read would be much better.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to follow. Didn't finish it.

I purchased this for my mother and me. Our plan was to listen to it as we road tripped to New Orleans so we'd arrive knowing know a lot more about the history of the city by the time we got there. Unfortunately, the book was so hard to follow that we gave up on it and picked a different one to listen to after three or four hours of driving and listening.

There were two issues. The guy reading the book swallowed the end of a lot of words, so we often flatly couldn't understand what he was saying. On top of that, the author of the book jumps around from topic to topic and era to era with almost no organization or linear train of thought. Without any logical flow to the information AND missing key percentage of what was said, we just were not learning anything worthwhile or enjoying the experience.

It's a shame because the author clearly knew a lot of interesting information and had done his research, and the speaker had a pleasant voice and a very fitting Southern accent. There's was lot of good there completely negated by lack of coherent editing and enunciation.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good book, poor narration

This book is very interesting and informative, but the narrator is difficult to listen to, alternately difficult to follow (he does not read in a natural rhythm) and boring. I had a hard time staying awake. I ultimately bought the book to read myself, and this was a much better experience.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Say Cuba one more time and I’m going to scream

The story itself could be amazing, but if I wanted a lesson on musical history I’d of bought a book specifically for that purpose. If this author mentions Cuba one more time, I’m going to scream.
The narrator is perfect, and he gets 5 stars, but bro...the story is all over the place.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Must Read/Listen Book

A book every Louisianian & New Orleanian should read. insightful and provocative knowledge is powerful

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Strong theme of slavery /slave experience

Not really the comprehensive history I was hoping for. Early history was best. Quite a bit of time spent on Haiti me other islands that contributed culture in NOLA. After the start of chapter 18 it became a slavery and music book.

Not really very interesting to prepare for my planned travel to the area. I'll look for another book to prepare me for the visit.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Essential.

Highly recommended. A detailed and thoroughly engaging account of the early history of the city, its people, America’s history of human trafficking, and art.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wonderfully told story....

This will make one rethink history and American culture. Sublette's knowledge and understanding run very deep.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a solid listen

it lost my attention a few times but I think that had to do with the details getting dense and wpuldve been slightly better read rather than listened to.

I have a better understanding of the colonial Caribbean than ever before. I had no idea of new Orleans ties with the Caribbean being so tight and interconnected.

I want to temper my slight criticism with that fact that I believe it to be a good book, a book well researched and well sourced. I believe that I would have little to no criticism had the book been titled "the history of black new orleans" it may well be that the real overall history of the town really is the history of its black residents and after listening to this book I do believe it's a large large portion of it at the very least. But, this book is largely an explanation of the slave trade in the western hemisphere and how the slave trade influenced the culture from start to finish. I dont think there were any inaccuracies that stood out so its not dishonest in its execution but don't look for very many words spent in a positive light on very many white or European new Orleans residents, you will be disappointed. in fact I would say if there is something positive said about a European it will be shortly thereafter tempered by some sort of tie back into how they benefited from the slave trade in some way form or fashion. that being said it wasn't an unfair book I believe it was accurate but its probably not what you're expecting if you believe it to be a straight forward history of new Orleans.

I do recommend it to any history buffs. even if the authors editorial comments do veer out of a typical historical narrative

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting history, a bit biased but good nonetheless

The performance of the reader was outstanding. The reader was well understood and I had an a substantial amount of flair to the dialogue. The The author did make his comments about current political or recent history which were definitely one-sided in from time to time misconstrued. I’m not sure Republicans planned hurricane Katrina I think mother nature did that on her own. There was a good amount of back history of other countries that was explained very thoroughly. And it was interesting to see how the rest of the world did impact the growth of New Orleans. New Orleans is a very unique city and the author gave great examples of how the city was fashioned by world events During the centuries of colonization, slavery and early growth of the United States. It was very enjoyable