Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011 - History - 368 pages
77 Reviews

A riveting narrative 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 19th century.
 
Beginning in the early 1800s and climaxing with the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, Wicked River brings to life a place where river pirates brushed elbows with future presidents and religious visionaries shared passage with thieves. Here is a minute-by-minute account of Natchez being flattened by a tornado; the St. Louis harbor being crushed by a massive ice floe; hidden, nefarious celebrations of Mardi Gras; and the sinking of the Sultana, the worst naval disaster in American history. Here, too, is the Mississippi itself: gorgeous, perilous, and unpredictable. Masterfully told, Wicked River is an exuberant work of Americana that portrays a forgotten society on the edge of revolutionary change.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
24
4 stars
34
3 stars
15
2 stars
3
1 star
1

An excellent introduction to Mississippi River history. - Goodreads
Research feels slight, somehow. - Goodreads
It was easy to read without being simple. - Goodreads
Great stories and research using - Goodreads
Thanks to Lee for writing the book. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sullywriter - LibraryThing

A colorful, fascinating mix of history, culture, folklore, and geography. Read full review

Review: Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild

User Review  - Joshua - Goodreads

Part history, part folklore, "Wicked River" reminds me of "Gangs of New York" - but transplanted to that long chocolate brown line of water that cuts America in half. The book is a unending series of ... Read full review

Contents

Gone on the River
3
Old Devil River
27
The Comets Tail
36
Like Bubbles on a Sea
46
The Desire ofian Ignorant Xesterner 65
79
The Roar of Niagara
99
The Cosmopolitan Tide
114
A Pile of Shavings
126
The Mound Builders
159
A Young Man of Splendid Abilities
171
The Qracles
202
I4 The Sky Parlor 219
217
I5 The Alligator
252
Epilogue 289
288
A Note on Sources 795
295
Index
316

The Coasts of Dark Destruction
143

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Lee Sandlin is the author of Wicked RiverStorm Kings, and The Distancers. He was also an award-winning journalist, essayist, and book reviewer for The Wall Street Journal. Born in Wildwood, Illinois, he grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He died in 2014.

Bibliographic information