Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans - Gary Krist

The eponymous Empire of Sin (Crown, $26) of Gary Krist’s compelling social history is New Orleans from roughly 1890 to the 1920s. In this gripping account of vice, sex, and spectacular unsolved crimes, Krist chronicles an urban culture that developed around races and ethnicities that marked this city as distinct from others in America; New Orleans wasn’t Protestant, and it had been a major point of entry for slaves and immigrants, especially Italians, who claimed certain sectors of town for the mob. Then there was the music. Krist’s account of working-class black Storyville is also the tale of jazz, and the book includes the only photograph of the legendary Buddy Bolden and his band, whose sounds “were like Aurora Borealis.” But the party couldn’t go on forever, and New Orleans evolved from “the Sodom of the South” into an economic powerhouse, but one whose benefits remain unevenly distributed between its white and black citizens. When Louis Armstrong, New Orleans born and bred, returned to get the key of the city in 1949, he was forced to stay in a “colored hotel.” Reform has its limits and Krist has no illusions.

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780770437060
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - October 28th, 2014

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780770437084
Availability: Backordered
Published: Crown - June 16th, 2015

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