Top positive review
Great travelogue and slice of social history
on 17 December 2017
I visited New Orleans a while back and took a trip on a paddle steamer. Once you leave the central city area with the high rise buildings dominating the skyline and riverbank, the landscape changes dramatically. Life on the Mississippi really helped me to envisage what the area was like around the time of the American Civil War and is a compelling and informed read.
There's a potted, but detailed history of the river area when first discovered by European settlers along with anecdotes about Twains apprenticeship as a steamboat pilot and the difficulties of navigating a wide and fast flowing river. The latter part of the book is an account of a steamboat journey he took from St Louis to New Orleans and how railroad, new buildings and other industrial developments were influencing and altering life. It's a fabulous travelogue and a great slice of social history.