Working in the Big Easy: The History and Politics of Labor in New Orleans

TitleWorking in the Big Easy: The History and Politics of Labor in New Orleans
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAdams, Thomas J., and Striffler, Steve
PublisherUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette Press
CityLafayette, LA
Keywordslow-wage workers, New Orleans, slave labor, slave markets

Following the labors of slaves and service workers, voodoo practitioners and dockworkers, new immigrants and streetcar drivers, independent African-American businesswomen and unionized musicians this book uncovers the forgotten stories of those who made New Orleans the city it was and is. The diverse contributions to this book illuminate the lives of those whose everyday work contributed to the city's distinct history, culture, and politics. The slave markets of the 18th and 19th Centuries famous across the Atlantic, the waterfront that brought the world's people and goods to the mouth of the Mississippi, the dishes central to the city's world famous cuisine, the daily practices of its indigenous religion, the music that has made the city a global icon, and the reconstruction following the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina are all, as Working in the Big Easy shows, processes and practices of work and labor. By placing the history and politics of both slave and wage labor at the heart of our understanding of the city, Working in the Big Easy will fascinate all those interested in New Orleans as well as change the way scholars across disciplines understand the city.