Photo - New Orleans's post-Katrina residents are the heart of Dan Baum's book. (Dina rudick/globe staff/file)
The richness of Baum's research is everywhere on display. After hundreds of interviews and countless hours of on-site observation, he comes to understand New Orleans and love it. It is the contradictions of the city that are the most striking: "In New Orleans, no matter how much money you had in the bank, you looked on poverty every day."