Today, as in the past, New Orleans enjoys its reputation as a colorful, zestful, unique, and slightly racy tourist destination. “The city that care forgot,” despite its laissez-faire repute, antique buildings, musical traditions, and wonderful cuisine, has endured a series of blows that has left it staggering to regain its foothold as the onetime Queen City of the south. Before the Civil War, it was the site of great ethnic and political upheaval: Rival Irish and Anglo-French gangs warred, and some groups reached the status of private political ...

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