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Bayou Dilemma - Louisiana in Crisis and Change

Bayou Dilemma

Louisiana in Crisis and Change

Edited by Samuel C. Hyde Jr.
Series: America's Third Coast Series

Hardcover : 9781496853776, 240 pages, 10 b&w illustrations, November 2024
Paperback : 9781496853783, 240 pages, 10 b&w illustrations, November 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-11-15
Expected to ship: 2024-11-15

Table of contents

Foreword: Defining Louisiana through the Lens of Challenge
Samuel C. Hyde Jr.
Section One: Inequality
Chapter One: 1896–2022: The Pardon of Homer Plessy and Its Impact on Racial Justice
Governor John Bel Edwards
Chapter Two: Defenders of Tradition, Champions of Reform: Louisiana’s Faith Communities Confront Civil Rights Change
Keith M. Finley
Chapter Three: A Soldier’s Story: The Fight for Equal Rights and Social Justice in Post–World War II Louisiana
Marcus S. Cox
Section Two: Corruption, Violence, and the Limits of Reform
Chapter Four: Public Corruption in Louisiana: Then and Now
Adam Fairclough
Chapter Five: As Louisiana as Crawfish Pie: Endemic Violence and the Nonunanimous Jury Verdict
Samuel C. Hyde Jr.
Chapter Six: Equality for Women in Louisiana: An Unfinished Revolution
Janet Allured
Section Three: Water and Weather
Chapter Seven: Louisiana’s Coastal Crisis, Management, and Prognosis considering Tipping Points of Change
John A. Lopez
Chapter Eight: Small Watersheds, Big Conflicts: Managing Floods in the Florida Parishes
Craig E. Colten
Section Four: Determining Who We Are
Chapter Nine: The Politics of Opportunity: Education Reform in the Jindal Administration
Pearson Cross
Chapter Ten: Should I Stay or Go? The Social, Political, and Environmental Causes of Louisiana’s “Brain Drain”
Robert Mann
About the Contributors

Powerful perspectives on the historical and present-day challenges facing the state of Louisiana


Contributions by Janet Allured, Craig E. Colten, Marcus Cox, Pearson Cross, John Bel Edwards, Adam Fairclough, Keith Finley, Samuel C. Hyde Jr., John Lopez, and Robert Mann

In the fall of 2022, a diverse group of scholars including scientists, historians, political scientists, geographers, and journalists, along with Governor John Bel Edwards, gathered to present views on the challenges that define life in Louisiana. Born out of the symposium, Bayou Dilemma: Louisiana in Crisis and Change is an unprecedented compilation that examines the social, political, environmental, and economic hurdles pervasive to the Gulf South and especially the Bayou State.

The essays collected in the volume illuminate pressing problems confronting Louisiana and its surrounding environs, as well as some of the least known and most frequently misunderstood issues that have affected the state in the past. Topics include the problems of flood control, unequal treatment for African Americans and women, political corruption, endemic violence, and partisan applications of justice, as well as the crisis of coastal erosion, the dilemma of special interests shaping legislation, and the corresponding drain of talent from the state to regions offering improved opportunities. The anthology is a provocative and essential guide that reveals how such trials emerged, how they were overcome or managed, and how they continue to shape the Gulf South’s regional identity. Concentrating on the future well-being of the state and its occupants, the volume suggests fresh pathways for addressing these lingering concerns.


"A thoughtful, highly readable analysis of contemporary Louisiana. The powerful essay by Governor John Bel Edwards begins a series of chapters from well-known experts that inform, analyze, and in some cases provoke any reader who cares about Louisiana."

- T. Wayne Parent, professor emeritus of political science at Louisiana State University