New Orleans Was and Will Be: “Disorganized, Impoverished, Violent, Screwed Up, Corrupt”

Dan Baum’s book has received some positive reviews, and sounds appealing. He admits to being a “partisan” of New Orleans, but note that even he knows that New Orleans’ problems are primarily due to the people and institutions of New Orleans, and not primarily due to the weather or to George W. Bush.

Widely celebrated as one of those outsiders who gets New Orleans, the writer Dan Baum appeared at Octavia Books Tuesday night and found himself having to account for disparaging remarks he’d made about the city days before.

The crowd was at the bookstore to celebrate Baum’s book, “Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans,” a book drawing lots of attention for its compassionate portrayal of New Orleans through the lives of nine residents chosen by the author.
But before much could be said about the book, Baum was asked about an interview that had been broadcast on NPR Marketplace. He had said so many good things about the city that host Kai Ryssdal asked him, “Do you worry that maybe you’ve been too captivated by New Orleans to see the destruction?”
Baum answered, “I’m a partisan. I’ll admit it. I love the city. People ask me, ‘What’s going to happen to New Orleans?’ And I say, look, you know I think that in 10 or 15 years New Orleans will be the disorganized, impoverished, violent, screwed up, corrupt city it was before the storm and that’s really the way they want it.”

Source is online version of:
“Author’s gaffe hurts the ones he loves.” Posted by Jarvis DeBerry, Columnist, The Times-Picayune February 22, 2009 1:00AM

2 thoughts on “New Orleans Was and Will Be: “Disorganized, Impoverished, Violent, Screwed Up, Corrupt””

  1. Thank you for mentioning my book, “Nine Lives.” Your readers who’d like to know more about it can visit my website,
    I’m not sure exactly what you’re doing here with a poorly worded comment I made, for which I’ve apologized. If you’re implying that I somehow believe the people of New Orleans are more responsible for what happened in August and September of 2005 than is either the Army Corps of Engineers or the administration of George W. Bush, you are wildly misreading me, and in a rather noxious manner. There aren’t enough bad things to say about either the Corps or Bush and his minions; what they did to New Orleans is criminal. Does this make me clearer?

  2. Thank you Dan for responding to this spin. They will never listen to the truth. The spin is all that is important. Is THIS all America has become?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *