Author: Paul Schneider
Every once in a while, you come across a history novel that reads like fine fiction.
Schneider’s epilogue of the history of the lands and peoples, artifacts and history of the communities bordering the mighty Mississippi borders on brilliant. I had never thought of the Mississippi River as such; except for Mark Twain’s Huck Finn, it really escaped my notice and place in American history. But Schneider relays so many facets of our great river and in such a way, that Old Man River runs us into its currents and mesmerizes us down its banks.
From the giant mastodons, the huge bison, and all manner of early hunters and tribes, Schneider’s descriptions of the rituals of early peoples to the bayou of Louisiana with sweeping imagery and taut writing. The beauty of the cliff mounds that are barely surviving our need to destroy relics in order to procure land for development comes to life, as Schneider travels with his son on a kayak along the great river and stops at monuments and ancient sites that are never written about except in travelogues. I felt astounded at his findings, amazed at his passion, and compelled to read to the end as Schneider places us with him in our long travels down the most majestic river in our land. Even more astounding than the stories of the Nile, Old Man River proves a gem of history written with such vivacity and expression, we feel like we are there at every battle, every ancient people that have disappeared along with our past.
Magnificently done, Schneider accomplishes the near impossible: a book that not only informs, but compels. Excellent!
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History is available on Amazon.com and booksellers nationwide