Louisiana

Can the disasters that befell other cities help save this one?

Wynton Marsalis believes America is in danger of losing the truest mirror of our national identity. If that’s the case, we are at least fortunate that today jazz’s foremost performer is also its most eloquent advocate.

When Wynton Marsalis burst into the public eye in the early 1980s, it was as a virtuoso trumpet player. From the start he was an articulate talker too, but his bracing opinions were off-thecuff and intuitive; his ideas, like his playing, needed seasoning. Read more >>

The foremost student of a belief held by nearly half of all Americans traces its history from Darwin’s bombshell through the storms of the Scopes trial to today’s “scientific creationists”—who find William Jennings Bryan too liberal

The year 1963 brought the death of George McCready Price, whom the science writer Martin Gardner described as “the last and greatest of the anti-evolutionists.” The greatest perhaps, but certainly not the last. That year also witnessed the birth of the Creation Research Society and—more generally—the age of scientific creationism. By the end of the decade battles were being waged over including creationism in public school curricula; the fight culminated in the 1981 court challenge to the Arkansas creationist law. If the proceedings lacked the carnival atmosphere of the 1925 Scopes trial, they compensated by attracting an impressive list of expert witnesses from the ranks of scientists, philosophers, and theologians. Unfavorable court decisions have settled for the moment the issue of equal-time state laws, but creation science as a movement has hardly slowed. Several creation research institutes continue seeking evidence to confute evolution, and the theory’s proponents have evolved new tactics for including special creation in public school curricula. The phenomenon of scientific creationism has evoked a cottage industry of analysts: journalists, sociologists, philosophers of science, theologians, and particularly scientists, who believe they have the most to lose from a theory that denies Darwin. The call to arms that went out among various scientific groups characterized creationists almost uniformly as dangerous quacks who were gulling the public with a specious science. Read more >>

New Orleans cuisine—with its French roux, African okra, Indian filé, and Spanish peppers—is literally a gastronomic melting pot. Here’s how it all came together.

Across most of America nowadays the term Creole when applied to food variably conjures up images of charred, blackened fish and meat, overbearing, fiery seasonings, and a ubiquitous red sauce not unlike the kind you buy in a ca Read more >>

A brilliant demagogue named Huey Long was scrambling for the Presidency when an assassin’s bullets cut him down just fifty years ago

In May 1932 Louisiana’s flamboyant senator, Huey Pierce Long, told a throng of newspapermen to prepare for a headline-making announcement. Read more >>

The Forgotten Revolutionary Conquistador Who Saved Louisiana

Imagine, for a moment, an alternate ending to the American Revolution. The thirteen rebel colonies sign a peace of exhaustion with Great Britain in 1783. Read more >>

With astonishing tenacity, the people of the rich river-mouth region of the Mississippi have remained what and where they are through two and a half centuries

Just a few decades more, or so we are told, and the process of the homogenization of America will have been completed. Read more >>

A TALE OF RECONSTRUCTION
Of the turbulent career of Pinckney B. S. Pinchback, adventurer, operator, and first black governor of Louisiana. He reminds one powerfully, says the author, of the late Adam Clay ton Powell, Jr.

His name seems pure invention —Pinckney B. S. Pinchback. It sounds so much like pinchbeck , dictionary-defined as “counterfeit or spurious,” that one suspects a joke by political enemies. Read more >>
There are places on this earth, in Europe particularly, where conservation is taken to mean the preservation of the notable works of man as well as nature. Read more >>

Along the Mississippi the spirit of vanished culture lingers in the ruined columns of the great plantations

The old house, many-hued in ruin, stands rotting, some thirty miles above New Orleans, farther from the changing river bed than in its youth, deserted, its records mostly forgotten; but it speaks of the land of the Acadians, of the Bayous Teche, Vermillion and LaFourche and of a distinctive people. Acadians lived here for many years. They did not build the old mansion, to be sure, for that was the work of the Creoles, the aristocrats. Read more >>