Along the River Road: Past and Present on Louisiana's Historic Byway

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Louisiana State University Press, Nov 1, 2001 - History - 355 pages
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Few thoroughfares - indeed, few places - in America are as rich in history as Louisiana's River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Yet for many travelers, traces of that rich past, veiled by time and change, are frustratingly difficult to discern. No more: in Along the River Road, Mary Ann Sternberg has written the definitive guide to this fabled route, revealing the history that lies hidden all up and down it. The River Road - actually two roads, one on each side of the Mississippi River - dates to the early decades of French colonization. Among the first Europeans to settle the area were hopeful Germans lured in the 1720s by the sheen of John Law's "Mississippi Bubble". Later, the Acadians found a home here after their long diaspora. In the antebellum era, great plantations lined the riverbanks and sugar barons vied in building opulent mansions. Battles were fought here - French against Indian, Spaniard against Briton, American in blue against American in gray. Here too, in 1811, erupted the largest slave uprising in North American history. Catastrophes of other kinds were all too frequent: floods, hurricanes, epidemics of yellow fever and cholera, navigational disasters on the river. In more recent times, a line of giant petro-chemical and other industrial plants has produced the greatest change since settlement, refiguring the landscape and many of the old ways of life.

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Along the river road: past and present on Louisiana's historic byway

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The River Road, about 100 miles of rural routes on the east and west sides of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, is rich in history, culture, and legends of the people who ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Sternberg is a writer and public relations consultant with a deep love of south Louisiana's history and culture and an abiding delight in exploring the world.

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