Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011 - History - 320 pages
7 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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dchaikin - LibraryThing

6. Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild (Audio CD) by Lee Sandlin, read by Jeff McCarthy (2010, 368 pages in paper format, listened Jan 17-29) A history of the Mississippi river that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Katong - LibraryThing

Lively! Brings out personalities and character of the river people. Loved Sandlin's use of the painted panorama as a central motif, and his focus on the American dialect of the day. 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

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About the author (2011)

Lee Sandlin is the author of Wicked River, Storm 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.

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