|JOHN SHELTON REED||
Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s
“Subtly sociological [and] delivered with such wit and enthusiasm that one can forget this work is scholarship written by a former professor and published by a university press. . . . Fans of Reed have come to expect certain things: the informal idioms and plain speech he uses while dissecting, with surgeon-like precision, complex people and institutions; the surprising clarity he brings to understudied topics; and the delightful, conversational prose. . . . As always, he delivers—and in so doing provides telling insights into a minor renaissance in American literary history.”
(Allen Porter Mendenhall, Southern Literary Review)
"This book is an informed and delightful addition for anyone who has ever lived in the French Quarter of New Orleans, or has felt the thrill of brushing against bohemia in any of its other hatcheries. . . . No one has, until now, given us a more concise and comprehensive picture of the mix of demimonde and haute culture of the 1920s circle that included William Faulkner and Sherwood Anderson. Dixie Bohemia is a superbly researched survey that resurrects the principal figures of the time and their far-flung connections and long-lasting influence."
"John Shelton Reed is a renowned cultural essayist who writes as if he shared a balcony with the creative personalities who created a 1920s bohemian culture in the French Quarter. . . . When I finished this book I felt as if a band was playing dirges for old friends passed away.”
“A treasure trove of oddness. Seriously, this book is a delight.”
(Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio)
“Lively history.” (Times-Picayune)
“Sheds new light on how the Vieux Carré evolved in the 1920s as a cultural treasure.”
(Preservation in Print)
“Solidly researched. . . a discerning assessment.” (Gambit [New Orleans])
“An engaging, fluent, and informative illustration of an interesting period in the history of New Orleans, and a window into the world of people with whom the reader is happy to have become better acquainted.”
(Charles Jeanfreau, University Bookman)
"John Shelton Reed is incapable of writing dull books, and Dixie Bohemia . . . is no exception. A sociologist with a historian’s instinct for evidence and irony, . . . Reed is a talented writer. A wonderful book."
(Lawrence N. Powell, Journal of Southern History)
"Reed is a sparkling writer, and Dixie Bohemia is brimming with insights that both scholars and general readers will appreciate."
(Peter A. Coclanis, Charlotte Observer)
“[Reed] possesses the elusive but essential characteristics of a great observer of history and of the South. A sociologist by training but a historian at heart, Reed rewards both his historical subjects and readers with intriguing stories and subtle analysis. . . . With Dixie Bohemia, Reed, yet again, reaches across the wide spectrum of both academics and lay readers and provides a fine model for other historians." (Caroline Peyton, H-South)
“A rich window on New Orleans and life in its French Quarter in the 1920s. . . . A reliable, wonderfully written, and sometimes laugh-out-loud assessment of life and culture in a surprisingly understudied era in the city’s rich history.”
(Alecia P. Long, Journal of American History)
“An enticing glimpse of the Quarter as it existed in the 1920s [and] a fine piece of network analysis, albeit without the mathematics.”
(James D. Wright, Society)
"In fact, crossing Canal Street into the French Quarter was like leaving America entirely. On its narrow streets, grocers touted their wares in Sicilian dialect. Laundry was strung from 19th century iron balconies. Dock workers unloaded tropical cargoes. Banana trees drooped over crumbling walls. Alcohol and artists were everywhere. . . . That's the world conjured by author John Shelton Reed."
(Chris Waddington, Times-Picayune)
"What more could you ask for? — tales of the French Quarter in the 1920s as told with wit and insight by John Shelton Reed. . . . He has brought to life a colorful and overlooked time and place in our country's cultural history."
(Louise C. Hoffman)
"Reed’s academic prose bubbles like freshly uncorked champagne and leaves no hangover."
(Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star)
"Richly decorated with historical detail and meticulously researched, the work transports its readers into the Bohemian world of the roaring twenties."
(Barry Hudek, H-Southern-Lit)
"Belongs on the bookshelves of fans of New Orleans and its history."
(Erin Z. Bass, Deep South)
"A charming and insightful glimpse into an era, Dixie Bohemia describes the writers, artists, poseurs, and hangers-on in the New Orleans art scene of the 1920s and illuminates how this dazzling world faded as quickly as it began."
(The Book Source [Norway])