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In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History

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In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History
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"An extraordinarily powerful journey that is both political and personal...An important book for everyone in America to read." --Walter Isaacson,#1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs

The New Orleans mayor who removed the Confederate statues confronts the racism that shapes us and argues for white America to reckon with its past. A passionate, personal, urgent book from the man who sparked a national debate.


"There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence for it." When Mitch Landrieu addressed the people of New Orleans in May 2017 about his decision to take down four Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee, he struck a nerve nationally, and his speech has now been heard or seen by millions across the country. In his first book, Mayor Landrieu discusses his personal journey on race as well as the path he took to making the decision to remove the monuments, tackles the broader history of slavery, race and institutional inequities that still bedevil America, and traces his personal relationship to this history. His father, as state legislator and mayor, was a huge force in the integration of New Orleans in the 1960s and 19070s. Landrieu grew up with a progressive education in one of the nation's most racially divided cities, but even he had to relearn Southern history as it really happened.

Equal parts unblinking memoir, history, and prescription for finally confronting America's most painful legacy, In the Shadow of Statues will contribute strongly to the national conversation about race in the age of Donald Trump, at a time when racism is resurgent with seemingly tacit approval from the highest levels of government and when too many Americans have a misplaced nostalgia for a time and place that never existed.
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Product Details
Sales Rank:
27,820
Pages:
240
Publication Date:
03/20/2018
ISBN13:
9780525559443
Product Dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x1.10(d)
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
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About the Author
Mitch Landrieu was the mayor of New Orleans from 2010 to 2018. A Democrat, Landrieu served as lieutenant governor of Louisiana from 2004 to 2010. His father, Moon Landrieu, was mayor of New Orleans from 1970 to 1978 and a leading civil rights pioneer. Landrieu is the founder of the E Pluribus Unum Fund, which works to bring people together across the American South around the issues of race, equity, economic opportunity and violence, proving the American motto that "out of many, one," and we are better for it.
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Chapter 1
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "In the Shadow of Statues"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Mitch Landrieu.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Prologue Can Someone Get Me a Crane? 1

Chapter 1 Broadmoor 7

Chapter 2 Learning to See What's in Front of Me 35

Chapter 3 David Duke and Donald Trump, a Nightmare Loop 57

Chapter 4 Politics in Disaster Time 91

Chapter 5 Rebuilding and Mourning in NOLA 125

Chapter 6 The Shadow of Robert E. Lee 161

Epilogue 201

Acknowledgments 209

Further Reading 215

Truth: Remarks an the Removal of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans 217

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Editorial Reviews
2018-02-05
"Has the white South truly reckoned with the Civil War?" The mayor of New Orleans, scion of an old progressive family, writes of the controversy surrounding his city's removal of monuments to the Confederacy.Landrieu acquired national renown during the fraught post-Charlottesville spring of 2017 when he delivered a reasoned if quietly defiant speech about the reasons that New Orleans decided to remove four Confederate monuments, a decision that "wasn't sitting well with some of the powerful business interests in the state." In fact, some of the contractors who bid to do the removal work came under the threat of death, even as inflamed neo-Confederates and their allies protested what Landrieu defended as the prerogative of a democratically elected city government. That opposition, the author unhesitatingly declares, represents institutionalized racism: "You may have the law on your side, but if someone else controls the money, the machines or the hardware you need to make your new law work, you are screwed." African-Americans, he adds, know all about this perversion of justice, but it's an eye-opener for others who have not experienced that update of the peculiar institution. The statues—of Robert E. Lee, Pierre Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, and the "Reconstruction-era organization of racial militants" called the White League—may disappear, but the attitudes of those defending them will take longer to erase, particularly given the intransigent leadership of people like David Duke. Landrieu charts his family's long history of racial fairness; his father, as he recalls, "voted against twenty-nine Jim Crow laws at the [Louisiana] legislature in 1960," falling afoul of the segregationist leadership. The author concludes by noting that while the tide seems to be turning, the conflict endures, with "domestic terrorism" afoot as "part of the ho-hum racism that eats through our country every day."A powerful, welcome manifesto in the cause of a new and better South—and a "better America."One of Time magazine's “Best Memoirs of 2018” 
Featured in Newsweek's "50 Coolest Books to Read This Summer"
Included in Esquire's "Best Nonfiction Books of 2018"


“[Mitch Landrieu] has done something, in his speech and his book, that other politicians should emulate. He’s tried to reckon with America’s sins while offering an optimistic, big-hearted and deeply patriotic defense of cosmopolitanism as the source of American greatness.”—The New York Times

“[A] thought-provoking piece of political writing...Uncomfortable as it might be to think of our country’s history...we have to do so, if we want to live within the truth. Landrieu has shown the way.”—The Washington Post

"Landrieu is an example of a politician who acknowledges that America’s past isn’t pretty, but he’s also working to shift a damaged culture that he feels has been ignored for too long. This is an inspiring tale that is both political and personal — urging readers to understand the country’s past and the work that is needed to change the present."—Time

"[A] compelling reconsideration of what it means to be a Southerner in contemporary America."—Esquire.com

"A powerful manifesto."—Newsweek

"A powerful, welcome manifesto in the cause of a new and better South—and a 'better America.'"—Kirkus Reviews

"[A] timely message of racial reconciliation."—National Journal

"Mitch Landrieu takes us on an extraordinarily powerful journey that is both political and personal. With a balance of humility and conviction, he recounts his path to a more profound understanding of racial justice and explains how this journey led him to remove the Confederate monuments in New Orleans. It’s an important book for everyone in America to read, because it shows how intellectual honesty can lead to moral clarity." —Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs
 

Praise for Mitch Landrieu and his May 2017 speech:

“The masterpiece we needed at the moment we needed it” —The New York Times

“A remarkably compelling speech about race in America...stunningly eloquent” —CNN

“Evocative” —POLITICO Magazine

“Courageous, controversial and frankly long overdue” —US News & World Report

“Eloquence, power and humility” —Chicago Tribune03/15/2018
Landrieu, in his final year as mayor of New Orleans, has written a personal and political memoir focusing largely on his developing awareness of racial issues that eventually led to his involvement in removing four controversial public statues. Landrieu recognized the city's racial and social tensions during his childhood in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, while his father was active in state and national politics, the author became aware of larger national issues and witnessed the rise of the David Duke. As a Louisiana legislator and lieutenant governor in the 1990s, Landrieu followed his father and his sister into politics. Finally, serving as mayor has forced him to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and to confront racial tensions that were manifest in the fight over Confederate statues. Unfortunately, partly because of its episodic structure, this volume fails to reveal Landrieu's motivation for choosing his career path beyond the influence of various role models, particularly his father, in shaping his values. Beyond that, the text is marred by sloppy syntax and overall careless editing, making for a sometimes poorly written account. VERDICT Primarily recommended for those interested in Landrieu's career and New Orleans politics.—Charles K. Piehl, Minnesota State Univ., Mankato
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July
- Anonymous
August 10, 2018
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In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History
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In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History
Pub. Date: 03/20/2018
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
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Pub. Date: 03/19/2019
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