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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Autumn on the Mississippi

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Click on Essential Reading for the featured set of Lower Mississippi River books and a map. We offer free shipping on anything else you order with the travel books package.

Essential Reading

Item EXUSS139. Buy these 4 items as a set for $54 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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Life on the Mississippi

Life on the Mississippi

by Mark Twain

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 388 PAGES

Twain returns to the days of his youth spent on the Mississippi in this classic. (USS05, $9.95)

Wicked River, The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild

Wicked River, The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild

by Lee Sandlin

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Organized around a rich gallery of gamblers, thieves, presidents and pirates, Sandlin's rollicking account of New Orleans and the Mississippi during the steamboat era draws on firsthand accounts from the period. (USS475, $15.95)

The Majesty of Natchez

The Majesty of Natchez

by Steven Brooke

  • HISTORY
  • 1999
  • HARD COVER
  • 96 PAGES

This lively introduction to Natchez's well-preserved antebellum architecture includes a useful map, anecdotal histories and a number of excellent color photographs. (USS133, $17.95)

Deep South, Mississippi Valley, Gulf of Mexico Map

Deep South, Mississippi Valley, Gulf of Mexico Map

by Hallwag

  • 2010
  • MAP

A map of the southern Mississippi Valley region, including Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. (USS47, $11.95)

 
Eyewitness Guide New Orleans

Eyewitness Guide New Orleans


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

This thorough, gorgeously illustrated guidebook provides a terrific introduction to the city and its many highlights. (USS305, $20.00)

Mississippi Current Cookbook, A Culinary Journey Down America's Greatest River

Mississippi Current Cookbook, A Culinary Journey Down America's Greatest River


by Regina Charboneau

  • FOOD
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

Southerner, chef, editor at Newsweek and Natchez B&B owner Charboneau takes the reader on a culinary journey down America's greatest river, with a particular emphasis on the South. (USM223, $39.95)

Coming Back, New Orleans Resurgent

Coming Back, New Orleans Resurgent


by Mario Tama

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 128 PAGES

Tama documents the city's struggle to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina in striking color photographs. With a forward by news anchor Anderson Cooper, who has devoted much time and energy to the Gulf Coast region. (USS496, $45.00)

Fabulous New Orleans

Fabulous New Orleans


by Lyle Saxon

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

First published in the 1920s, this charming book by local journalist and literary personality Lyle Saxon is a lovely, impressionistic chronicle of the city, its people and its culture. (USS01, $16.99)

Lost Plantations of the South


by Marc R. Matrana

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

Matrana weaves together photographs, diaries and letters to bring to life 60 great estates and the people who once called them home. (USS461, $40.00)

Old Man River, The Mississippi River in North American History

Old Man River, The Mississippi River in North American History


by Paul Schneider

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • COMING IN OCTOBER

Schneider's magnificent portrait takes in ancient geology, mound builders, the Iroquois, explorers, trappers, the Civil War and the steamboat era all the way to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (USM203, $20.00)

Rising Tide, The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America

Rising Tide, The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America


by John M. Barry

  • HISTORY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 524 PAGES

A sweeping history of the devastating Mississippi flood of 1927, delving deeply into the race relations, agriculture and politics of the time. (USS48, $18.00)

Starving the South, How the North Won the Civil War

Starving the South, How the North Won the Civil War


by Andrew F. Smith

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 304 PAGES

Smith chronicles the role food -- and the relative lack thereof by the confederates -- in determining the outcome of the Civil War. (WAR158, $27.99)

The Beleaguered City, The Vicksburg Campaign

The Beleaguered City, The Vicksburg Campaign


by Shelby Foote

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • HARD COVER
  • 347 PAGES

Shelby Foote, a noted Civil War scholar, tells the engrossing narrative of the taking of Vicksburg in 1863 by Ulysses S. Grant and his Union troops. It was one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War and distinguished Grant as a military genius. (USS51, $23.00)

The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast

The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast


by Douglas Brinkley

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 718 PAGES

In his New York Time Bestseller, Brinkley allows the survivors of Hurricane Katrina to tell their story in compelling detail. He documents the tragedy and its aftermath for the city and surrounding 150 miles of coastline, government mismanagement and the heroes who emerged. (USS469, $17.95)

The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation

The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation


by Stephen Ambrose | Douglas Brinkley

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2005
  • HARD COVER
  • 272 PAGES

This illustrated popular history -- and travelogue -- tells the story of the great river from the time of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. (USM110, $40.00)

The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs, Natchez to New Orleans, 1870-1920

The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs, Natchez to New Orleans, 1870-1920


by Joan Gandy | Thomas Gandy

  • HISTORY
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

An excellent collection of early steamboat photos. Images include steamboat exteriors, interiors, passengers, crew and river scenes. (USS184, $19.95)

The New Mind of the South, An Unconventional Portrait for the Twenty-first Century

The New Mind of the South, An Unconventional Portrait for the Twenty-first Century


by Tracy Thompson

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

A Georgia native, Thompson paints a heartening, often surprising picture of a region filled with promise and paradoxes in this report from the new South. (USM192, $26.00)

The World That Made New Orleans

The World That Made New Orleans


by Ned Sublette

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 360 PAGES

Sublette charts the remarkable story of New Orleans's first century from European colonization through the Haitian revolution (crucial to French and American negotiations over Louisiana). (USS498, $16.95)

Voices on the River

Voices on the River


by Walter Havighurst

  • HISTORY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Havinghurst relates the colorful tale of famous steamboats and men who piloted them in this classic collection of tales of the Mississippi. (USM160, $16.95)

Delta Blues, The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music

Delta Blues, The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music


by Ted Gioia

  • MUSIC
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 449 PAGES

From the field hollers of 19th-century plantations to Muddy Waters and B.B. King, Delta Blues delves into the uneasy mix of race and money at the point where traditional music became commercial and bluesmen found new audiences of thousands. (USS460, $18.95)

Elvis Presley, Memphis

Elvis Presley, Memphis


by Mark Bernardo

  • MUSIC
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 130 PAGES

Weaving the story of the King's personal and public life with detailed descriptions of the locations in Memphis that served as the setting for his musical education and evolution, this pop culture guide offers a refreshingly even-handed account of Elvis Presley's life. (USS492, $14.95)

It Came from Memphis

It Came from Memphis


by Robert Gordon

  • MUSIC
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

This journalistic classic explores the burgeoning musical life of Memphis in the days before Elvis. A thrilling, colorful read. (USS501, $22.95)

Around the Bend, A Mississippi River Adventure

Around the Bend, A Mississippi River Adventure


by C.C. Lockwood

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1998
  • HARD COVER
  • 169 PAGES

A photographic tour of the Mississippi River as seen through the lens of naturalist and wildlife photographer Lockwood. (USS45, $39.95)

Bayou, Farewell

Bayou, Farewell


by Mike Tidwell

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Tidwell introduces us to the food and the language, the shrimp fisherman, the Houma Indians, and the rich cultural history that make Louisiana's Cajun Coast unlike any other place. (USS491, $16.00)

Louisiana Rambles

Louisiana Rambles


by Ian McNulty

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 297 PAGES

The New Orleans journalist explores Cajun and Creole communities of south Louisiana in this engaging guide to the music, culture and pleasures of the region. (USS493, $22.00)

Mississippi Solo: A River Quest

Mississippi Solo: A River Quest


by Eddy L. Harris

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 250 PAGES

From Minnesota to New Orleans, Harris travels the length of the Mississippi in a canoe, facing shotgun-wielding bigots, wild dogs and tumultuous waves, ultimately emerging with an unforgettable and engaging American memoir. (USS384, $18.99)

River of Dark Dreams

River of Dark Dreams


by Walter Johnson

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 560 PAGES

Using slave narratives, popular literature, legal records, and personal correspondence, Walter Johnson recreates the culture, commerce and history of the Mississippi Valley before the Civil War. (USM202, $35.00)

Delta Wedding

Delta Wedding


by Eudora Welty

  • LITERATURE
  • 1979
  • PAPER
  • 326 PAGES

An expertly written comedy about white southerners on the brink of marriage. (USS251, $14.00)

Mark Twain's America, A Celebration in Words and Images

Mark Twain's America, A Celebration in Words and Images


by Harry L. Katz

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

An impressive collection of Twain memorabilia and period Americana featuring rare illustrations, vintage photographs, fine prints, caricatures, cartoons, maps and Twain's writing. (STH14, $40.00)

Shiloh

Shiloh


by Shelby Foote

  • LITERATURE
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 226 PAGES

Told through the perspectives of a diverse cast of soldiers, Foote's brilliant novel transports the reader to Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee. (USS71, $15.95)

The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty


by Eudora Welty

  • LITERATURE
  • 1982
  • PAPER
  • 622 PAGES

All the stories written by Welty, the pride of Jackson, Mississippi, in a single volume. (USS250, $16.95)

The Moviegoer

The Moviegoer


by Walker Percy

  • LITERATURE
  • 1961
  • PAPER
  • 241 PAGES

Walker Percy won the 1961 National Book Award for this novel, his masterpiece, which unfolds in New Orleans during a momentous Carnival week. It's a great book that we can recommend as much for its sheer readability as for its palpable sense of place. (USS249, $15.00)

The Quiet Game

The Quiet Game


by Greg Iles

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 576 PAGES

This murder mystery set in Natchez, Mississippi is the story of a former prosecutor who uncovers the multi-layered stories behind the unsolved murder of a black man in 1967. (USS141, $9.99)

Yonder Stands Your Orphan

Yonder Stands Your Orphan


by Barry Hannah

  • LITERATURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 333 PAGES

A dazzling Gothic novel of the Deep South, bursting with eccentric, deeply confused characters, humor and pain. Set near Vicksburg, Mississippi. (USS232, $14.95)

The Big Muddy

The Big Muddy


by Christopher Morris

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2012
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

Morris traces the environmental history of the Mississippi below the mouth of the Ohio River, once one of the wettest places in North America (USS502, $35.00)

The Control of Nature

The Control of Nature


by John McPhee

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

In the classic McPhee tradition, these sparkling essays explore our generally feeble attempts to combat all-powerful nature, including valiant efforts by Icelanders to control the flow of a volcano across the harbor at Heimaey in the Westman Islands. (NAT01, $16.00)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States

National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States


by Peter Alden

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1999
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 446 PAGES

A compact photographic guide to the nature of the Southeast states from Mississippi and Georgia to North Carolina, featuring 1,500 photographs, concise descriptions and an overview of the natural history of the area. (USS31, $22.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.