The World That Made New Orleans

From Spanish Silver to Congo Square
Narrated by: Sean Crisden
Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.4 out of 5 stars (113 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
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    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.

7 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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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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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We will not bow down!

This is a most amazing story of how New Orleans — NOLA — came to be. The detail. The history. The the stories are absolutely amazing! You cant move forward unless you know where you come from.

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Engaging, detailed history of unique New Orleans

The multi-talented Ned Sublette's deep and wide-ranging research is always extremely enlightening and engaging but his very special, life-long interest in all that has made New Orleans so very unique sets this book apart. It wouldn't be right to describe this book as "enjoyable," as along with extensive insights into the music, dance and "other" joys of this remarkable city, it also details some of the worst depravities ever known to humans. But this complex history pulls you along with the force of a loud, colorful Mardi Gras parade so you are especially grateful to have it read to you -- over and over again when needed -- in a strong, authentic Cajun accent by the multi-lingual Sean Crisden. Outstanding!

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interesting with weird narration

I read this book with great interest and, as it is information dense, I was eager to listen to it while driving. I was surprised to find that the narrator's accent and inflection made what had seemed a serious, scholarly work sound ... well, less so. I can appreciate that a narrator with a southern accent was used -- but his was not a *New Orleans* accent and that disappoints. The pronunciation of French was distracting in its over enunciation and some of the words were pronounced inconsistently or even incorrectly (e.g., "gens" and "Jacobin"). The narrator's voice was very pleasant but the leering tone used to emphasize (over emphasize? ) the author's dry humor felt a bit smarmy.

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Everything but New Orleans

I could never tell what the purpose of this book was. Slavery? Musical History? Lots of things that were obviously really well-researched but presented in such a disjointed format that it was very difficult to follow. I had hoped to find the history of New Orleans with some cultural context but it was all cultural context, random musings about banjos and a surprising number of quotes from Marx.