Rivers, Memory, and Nation-building: A History of the Volga and Mississippi Rivers

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Berghahn Books, 2014 - History - 189 pages
"Rivers figure prominently in a nation's historical memory, and the Volga and Mississippi have special importance in Russian and American cultures. Beginning in the pre-modern world, both rivers served as critical trade routes connecting cultures in an extensive exchange network, while also sustaining populations through their surrounding wetlands and bottomlands. In modern times, 'Mother Volga' and the 'Father of Waters' became integral parts of national identity, contributing to a sense of Russian and American exceptionalism. Furthermore, both rivers were drafted into service as the means to modernize the nation-state through hydropower and navigation. Despite being forced into submission for modern-day hydrological regimes, the Volga and Mississippi Rivers persist in the collective memory and continue to offer solace, recreation, and sustenance. Through their histories we derive a more nuanced view of human interaction with the environment, which adds another lens to our understanding of the past"- -Provided by publisher.

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About the author (2014)

Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted is Professor of Government and International Affairs at Eastern Washington University. Her research in rivers and water resources has been published by UNESCO, Environment and History, as several book chapters, and in numerous regional journals. Prior to her academic research, she worked in the public sector in water rights and researched and consulted for water rights litigation.

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