"There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence for it." When Mitch Landrieu addressed the people of New Orleans in May 2017 about his decision to take down four Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee, he struck a nerve nationally, and his speech has now been heard or seen by millions across the country. In his first book, Mayor Landrieu discusses his personal journey on race as well as the path he took to making the decision to remove the monuments, tackles the broader history of slavery, race, and institutional inequities that still bedevil America, and traces his personal relationship to this history. His father, as state senator and mayor, was a huge force in the integration of New Orleans in the 1960s and 19070s. Landrieu grew up with a progressive education in one of the nation's most racially divided cities, but even he had to relearn Southern history as it really happened.
Equal parts unblinking memoir, history, and prescription for finally confronting America's most painful legacy, In the Shadow of Statues will contribute strongly to the national conversation about race, at a time when too many Americans have a misplaced nostalgia for a time and place that never existed.
Mitch Landrieu is the mayor of New Orleans. He was elected in 2010 and is now completing his second four-year term. A Democrat, Landrieu served as lieutenant governor of Louisiana from 2004 to 2010. He is also president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. His father, Moon Landrieu, was mayor of New Orleans from 1970 to 1978 and a leading civil rights pioneer.
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