In 1795, New Orleans was a sleepy outpost at the edge of Spain’s American empire.
By the 1820s, it was teeming with life, its levees packed with cotton and sugar.
New Orleans had become the unquestioned urban capital of the antebellum South.
Looking at this remarkable period filled with ideological struggle, class politics, and powerful personalities, Building the Land of Dreams is the narrative biography of a fascinating city at the most crucial turning point in its history, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Eberhard Faber tells the vivid story of how American rule forced New Orleans through a vast transition — from the ordered colonial world of hierarchy and subordination to the fluid, unpredictable chaos of democratic capitalism.
The change in authority, from imperial Spain to Jeffersonian America, transformed everything.
As the city’s diverse people struggled over the terms of the transition, they built the foundations of a dynamic, contentious hybrid metropolis.