Huck Finn's one-eyed gamblers and blue-cussing steamboat captains are as vividly imprinted on the American psyche as the gun-toting cowboys of the wild west. Offering a fresh perspective on the river’s environment, industry, and recreation, Dreaming the Mississippi challenges old stereotypes through the experiences of modern Americans who work the barges, rope-swing into muddy bottoms, struggle against hurricane floodwaters, and otherwise find new meaning on this great watery corridor. In an engaging voice, earnest and energetic, Katherine Fischer describes how the river’s natural and human histories overlap and interweave as she tells of her own gradual immersion in its life—which led her to buy a house so close to its banks that each spring she must open her basement doors to accept its inevitable floods.
Through compelling words and photographs, Dreaming the Mississippi invites readers to taste life on today’s Mississippi, as sweet, tangy, and wildly cantankerous as it gets. In conveying her understanding of contemporary life along the river’s length, Katherine Fischer has much to teach us not only about reverence for this glorious American waterway but also about our eternal connections to the natural world.