The French Quarter: An Informal History of the New Orleans Underworld - Herbert Asbury

This is a lengthy, but interesting and often entertaining book about the history of New Orleans' underworld. The author takes us from the 17th Century up to what was, for him, the present day of the 1930s with anecdotes, data, and even newspaper reproductions to show us what life was like during the area's colorful past.

Asbury's research is impeccable, and he most certainly takes the reader with him on a journey. I found myself remembering that the 1930s were not present times and giving leeway for some of his attitudes (when dealing with history and historical documents, it's imperative to leave out the presentism).

I bought this book on a recent trip to New Orleans to serve as research for my own work, and it was a very good choice indeed.