We're Still Here Ya Bastards presents an extraordinary panoramic look at New Orleans's revival in the years following the hurricane. Award-winning journalist Roberta Brandes Gratz shares the stories of people who returned to their homes and have taken the rebuilding of their city into their own hands. She shows how the city--from the Lower Ninth Ward to the storied French Quarter to Bayou Bienvenue--is recovering despite flawed governmental policies that promote disaster capitalism rather than the public good. While tracing positive trends, Gratz also investigates the most fiercely debated issues and challenges facing the city: a violent and corrupt prison system, the tragic closing of Charity Hospital, the future of public education, and the rise of gentrification.
By telling stories that are often ignored by the mainstream media, We're Still Here Ya Bastards shows the strength and resilience of a community that continues to work to rebuild New Orleans, and reveals what Katrina couldn't destroy: the vibrant culture, epic history, and unwavering pride of one of the greatest cities in America.
- ISBN-13: 9781568587448
- ISBN-10: 1568587449
- Publisher: Nation Books
- Publish Date: June 2015
- Page Count: 432
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Gratz’s love for New Orleans, her home since 2007, is evident in the pages of this challenging but rewarding exploration of the city, 10 years post-Katrina. Gratz (The Battle for Gotham) clearly did her homework, judging by the book’s seven-page bibliography. Early on, a quote from a resident perfectly sets the tone for the book, for New Orleans in the days following the levees’ collapse, and for the 10 years of rebuilding: “There is no other cavalry coming... We are the cavalry.” Gratz covers a wide range of topics: the city’s still ongoing recovery; the new, sustainable “Brad Pitt Houses”; and gentrification, “the biggest fear in some New Orleans neighborhoods.” She also strives to give context to the city’s current struggles by explaining historical elements such as the role often played by women in urban renewal projects. Readers will wish she had expanded and deepened the stories from residents that she uses to make transitions to new topics. Though Gratz is at pains to characterize New Orleans as “resilient” and “irrepressible,” the book’s mood—like the success of the city’s rebuilding efforts—comes across as mixed at best, leaving readers with the impression that a “lost generation” continues to struggle. (June)