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The read is interesting for what it includes and what it excludes. TKW knew and met every major citizen of the time; from Polk to Beauregard to Dr. Barton. You get a very detailed picture of what it was like for a man of the times; his everyday travels and travails. What it excludes is equally interesting - very little on the women he lived with, slavery, Mardi Gras and occupation.
The accent is definitely architecture and I found myself scanning - rather than reading - page after page of discussions on bricks and beams. Also, novice that I am, I found two errors (in the footnotes).
Still when I reached the end, it was a shock to the system. It felt as though TKW could not deal with occupation - of New Orleans and of his beloved Custom House - and just decided to die. It left me wanting more.
A very luxurious book, richly printed with tons of illustrations.
Favorite passage: "Some are Americans, but the French predominate, and the difference between them appears to be that the former have a little to say about everything, the latter a great deal to say about nothing at all."
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