Mississippi River Books

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If you want to truly get your arms around the history and lore of the Mississippi River and its charm and mystique then you may want to tap into a few of the following books that cover the river running backwards to the ecological changes witnessed over time. Enjoy!Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild (Lee Sandlin) is considered a “grand epic” that portrays a forgotten society on the edge of revolutionary change by taking a look at one of the most colorful, dangerous, and peculiar places in America’s historical landscape: the strange, wonderful, and mysterious Mississippi River of the nineteenth century.Immortal River: The Upper Mississippi in Ancient and Modern Times (Calvin R. Fremling) is a well-illustrated primer to the Upper Mississippi River and presents the basic natural and human history of this magnificent waterway. It’s written for the educated lay-person who would like to know more about the river’s history and the forces that shape as well as threaten it today. It melds complex information from the fields of geology, ecology, geography, anthropology, and history into a readable, chronological story that spans some 500 million years of the earth’s history.When the Mississippi Ran Backwards: Empire, Intrigue, Murder, and the New Madrid Earthquakes (Jay Feldman) sheds light on the now-obscure yet pivotal period between the Revolutionary and Civil wars, uncovering the era’s dramatic geophysical, political, and military upheavals. The author paints a vivid picture of how powerful earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 made an impact on every aspect of frontier life including the river running backwards — and why similar catastrophic quakes are guaranteed to recur. The Mississippi: A Visual Biography (Quinta Scott) documents the progression of the Mississippi River from its source at Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico, with hundreds of stopping points along the way. Scott explains how we have changed each site depicted, how we try to manage it, and the wildlife that occupies it. This majestic book is nothing less than a natural biography of the Mississippi, showing that, to understand the river and its floodplain today, we must understand the natural processes we have disrupted.