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New Orleans has a longstanding relationship with tragedy and government-sanctioned devastation. Almost 200 years before Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Big Easy and governmental inaction exacerbated the destruction, New Orleans was the epicenter of another catastrophe. In 1811, over 500 slaves rose up against their masters in an effort to take over the city, but the plot failed and over 100 insurgents were slaughtered. Grievously, the event was largely written out of the history books, perhaps because Anderson Cooper wasn’t alive to cry on camera and Kanye wasn’t around to rant about Dubya hating black people. Now, author Daniel Rasmussen is shining a light on this covered-up calamity with his book, American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt. Perhaps with this reminder in hand, New Orleans can finally extract itself from its longstanding relationship with misfortune.

DANIEL RASMUSSEN SPEAKS AT 6 P.M. AT POLITICS AND PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919.