Down the Mississippi: A Modern-Day Huck on America's River Road

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Mark Twain Museum Press, 2012 - Canoes and canoeing - 348 pages
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When CNN citizen journalist Neal Moore slid his canoe into the headwaters of the Mississippi River to begin a five-month quest for positive American stories, he was acutely aware of another American who filled his tales with what he saw and heard along the river: Mark Twain. In Down the Mississippi: A Modern-day Huck on America's River Road, Moore introduces us to a cast of ordinary Americans who share steadfast determination in a time of economic uncertainty. As he collects their stories, they begin to claim his. Arriving in Mark Twain's Hannibal, Moore is hailed as a "modern-day Huck," which is when he realizes that his story is theirs. From that point on, Moore must accept on board as stowaways the spirits of Mark Twain and Huck Finn as he continues to St. Louis and eventually on to New Orleans, Twain's regular run as a steamboat pilot. Whether interviewing a Delta musician singing the economic blues, an Ojibwe dancer sharing a secret tradition, or an inmate doing 25 to life at "The Farm," Moore's stories are imbued with the most common of all American traits: optimism.

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About the author (2012)

Neal Moore is a world traveler, creative activist and international citizen journalist whose reporting has taken him from night-market meetings with Chinese cyber-dissidents to mountaintop encounters with approaching super typhoons. His dispatches from North America and the Far East have appeared on Headline News, Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN International. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Cindy Lovell is a Huck Finn-inspired high school dropout with a Ph.D. A Twainiac since age 10, she has serendipitously found herself serving as executive director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Mo. She also serves as an associate professor of education at Quincy University in Quincy, Ill. When it comes to talking Twain, her ex-husband said it best: Don't get her started!

Kathy Eldon, the mother of Dan, is a film producer, media consultant, and journalist. While living in Kenya, she published several books of cookery and travel. She is the editor of "The Journey Is the Destination" and, with her daughter Amy, author of several journals. She lives in Los Angeles.

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