The Mississippi River in Maps & Views: From Lake Itasca to The Gulf of Mexico

In The Mississippi River in Maps & Views more than eighty glorious full-color maps dating from as early as 1544 celebrate “Ol’ Man River,” this profound artery at the heart of America, and the extraordinary cities that grew up o…

In The Mississippi River in Maps & Views more than eighty glorious full-color maps dating from as early as 1544 celebrate “Ol’ Man River,” this profound artery at the heart of America, and the extraordinary cities that grew up on its shores, including New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis, and Minneapolis–St. Paul. Beautifully drawn maps document Fernando de Soto’s explorations and “discovery” of the river, as well as those of the Marquett and Joliet Expeditions. Other maps present key moments along the Mississippi in times of war (The French and Indian War, The War of 1812, The Civil War). More recent though equally artful maps and charts seek a scientific understanding of the river toward an end of controlling it, and gorgeous bird’s-eye views ultimately extol the river’s beauty and its environs above all else. A consideration of the Mississippi and its history as a major highway toward America’s discovery of itself, through a comprehensive selection of the most beautiful maps dealing with it, will give new insight to the complex—sometimes nostalgic, sometimes practical—relationship of this country to its most storied river.

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