Synopses & Reviews
From northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River runs its course along the borders of ten states and cleanly bisects the nation. But the Mississippi is more than an imposing natural landmark; it is embedded in every facet of America' s national identity.
Stephen E. Ambrose, renowned author of Undaunted Courage, historian Douglas G. Brinkley, author of The Unfinished Presidency, and award-winning National Geographic photographer Sam Abell traveled the entire length of the Mississippi--from its mouth at Delacroix Island, Louisiana, to its source at Itasca, Minnesota--to bring readers the full, rich history of AmericaIs great river. In 11 chapters, each covering a length of the river, readers will witness the early explorations of DeSoto and the momentous signing of the Louisiana Purchase; they will meet Jim Bowie, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert Johnson; they will relive the Civil War and the Great Flood, the Underground Railroad and the Trail of Tears; and they will discover the immense impact of the Mississippi on American arts, from the birth of the Blues to the literature of Mark Twain and T.S. Eliot. To expand the book' s visual dimension, each chapter of The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation is illustrated with period paintings, lithographs, artifacts, and maps, and features unique photographic essays by Sam Abell.
The result is a lively, comprehensive, and beautiful work that panoramically explores and celebrates the American icon that is the Mighty Mississippi as it celebrates America itself.
On a map, the Mississippi River cuts America neatly in half coursing from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico and separating East from West. But the Mississippi is in fact the “spine of our nation,” says Stephen Ambrose. It knits the nation together and connects the heartland to the world. It is our great natural wonder, a priceless treasure bought for a fledgling America by the visionary Thomas Jefferson just 200 years ago.
Distinguished historians Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley, with acclaimed National Geographic photographer Sam Abell, explore the length of the Mississippi—from its mouth at Delacroix Island, Louisiana, to its source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. The result is this lavish, entertaining, engrossing chronicle of the “father of the waters,” which has shaped the history, the culture, and the very landscape of America.
Highlighted by Sam Abell’s evocative contemporary photographs and wonderful period illustrations, artwork, documents, and maps, this extraordinary panorama of America’s heartland offers a lively, informative journey through the history and the landscape carved by the mighty Mississippi.