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In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner…

In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History

by Mitch Landrieu

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1044182,011 (3.42)13
The New Orleans mayor who removed Confederate statues from the city confronts the racism that shapes many Americans and argues for white America to reckon with its past.



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As a northern who went to college and lived in New Orleans I found this book to be a courageous documentation of what it means to be a Southerner in this society. I applaud Mayor Landrieu's courage to tell this story. ( )
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  PRAPublishing | Oct 14, 2018 |
Mitch Landrieu served as the mayor of New Orleans from 2010 until 2018. "In 2015, Landrieu called for the removal from prominent public display of four monuments, three honoring Confederate leaders and one honoring a short-lived, violent coup of the state government by the Crescent City White League." Source: www.wikipedia.com "Landrieu recounts his own relationship to this history with insight. He grew up with a progressive education in a racially divided city, but even he had to relearn Southern history as it really happened. . . Early in his. . .career [he] took on David Duke in the state legislature. He became a catalyst in the historic recovery of his hometown after Hurricane Katrina. . ." Source: The book's dust jacket.
  uufnn | Sep 17, 2018 |
In the ongoing news cycle about removing statues that commemorate Confederate Civil War figures, we get a memoir from Mitch Landrieu, the now former mayor of New Orleans to how he got to this point and his role in getting them removed. We begin and end the book with book ends about the process of the statue removal and in between we get his biography and political career.

I was disappointed. Don't quite remember how this caught my eye but like others I watched his speech about the statues and thought this book would be a great read. This book falls into the trap many similar memoirs have fallen into: the book begins with the topic that probably brought the reader to the text but then we got off into the author's life story and/or whatever else they choose to write about.

Landrieu's not that interesting, at least not from this book. I understand that this is likely something that introduces people to him when he eyes higher office (again) and I do appreciate his discussions of race, racism and other highly topical issues. But I had been under the impression this was about the statues and I would have liked a little more about that and less about the author.

I do think it's an important read, and it was important to see the removals from the POV of someone who is in the position to get it done plus the administrative (and otherwise) hurdles they encountered. This is not to diminish the work of activists and protesters who supported this and were likely the key but it's genuinely maddening to read about how even the Mayor's office was essentially blacklisted after people threatened the companies contacted regarding the removal.

It does make me interested in reading a perspective/memoir from on the ground for their POV of Landreiu's take and what happened. I'd borrow this from the library unless you need it for reference for a paper or opposition research or something. ( )
  acciolibros | May 9, 2018 |
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