A love of New Orleans which combines a pride in her patriotic, many-hued, gay past and a paternal tolerance for her failings gives this book a particular charm which is not dispelled by serious moments in studying her history. The marriage of Marianne and Uncle Sam, though announced abruptly after years of Spanish and French rule, was not truly consummated until the Civil War had battered North and South into unity. Mr. Tinker's account of the pre-Civil War years when the fabulous Bernard Marigny spoke for the proud Creoles, and of what the Civil War meant to the South, and how radical legislators defied Lincoln and Johnson to bring about the terrible aftermath, is fine historical reading. Characters emerge, and give a lightness to the history which is further evident in his chapters on nineteenth century doctors, the men of culture and freak cures; the newspapers and their dueling editors; the Mardi Gras...There are comments on the free men and women of mixed blood, and on the expressive Creole language with the songs, amorous and taunting, which are part of the life of the town, on cuisine and a cod liver oil religion. A savory Southern dish.