Cover: The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans, from Harvard University PressCover: The Accidental City in PAPERBACK

The Accidental City

Improvising New Orleans

  • 1. An Impossible River
  • 2. A Landjobbing Scheme
  • 3. Utopian by Design
  • 4. Improvising a City
  • 5. Changing of the Guard
  • 6. In Contraband We Trust
  • 7. A Creole City
  • 8. Slavery and the Struggle for Mastery
  • 9. The Slaves Remake Themselves
  • 10. A New People, a New Racial Order
  • 11. The American Gateway
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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Who We Might Have Been, and Who We Will Become

Who among us hasn’t considered what our lives would be like if we had taken alternate paths, made different decisions? Storytellers of every stripe write of the lives we didn’t have, says Andrew H. Miller, author of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives. As we live through a worldwide pandemic, the ideas of what might have been are even more appealing. Much like the adolescents on the verge of adulthood in Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, Miller tells us, we wait to see what comes next.