Must Read Book

Barry, John, Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America (1997).

One of the best books I've read in the last several years is John Barry's Rising Tide. Aside from its original and substantive contributions to our knowledge of the ecological and social history of the Mississippi River valley, it is a superb model of history-writing, in which the analytical and narrative modes are not only combined but integrated. It is also a model of interdisciplinary historiography, which integrates the methods and research-product of several disciplines. It is also compelling reading.

Recommended by Richard Slotkin, Professor, Wesleyan University

Olin Professor of English and American Studies Richard Slotkin has established a reputation as one of the preeminent cultural critics of our times. His award-winning trilogy on the myth of the frontier in America, which includes Regeneration Through Violence, The Fatal Environment, and Gunfighter Nation offers an original and highly provocative interpretation of our national experience. He has also published three historical novels: The Crater: A Novel of the Civil War; The Return of Henry Starr; and Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln. In his more than 25 years at Wesleyan, he has helped to establish both the American Studies and the Film Studies Programs. He offers interdisciplinary courses in American literature, history and film. In 1995 he received the Mary C Turpie Award of the American Studies Association for his contributions to teaching and program-building.