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Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American…
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Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure (udgave 2022)

af Rinker Buck (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1587170,436 (3.79)9
History. Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "Audacious...Life on the Mississippi sparkles." ??The Wall Street Journal * "A rich mix of history, reporting, and personal introspection." ??St. Louis Post-Dispatch * "Both a travelogue and an engaging history lesson about America's westward expansion." ??The Christian Science Monitor

The eagerly awaited return of master American storyteller Rinker Buck, Life on the Mississippi is an epic, enchanting blend of history and adventure in which Buck builds a wooden flatboat from the grand "flatboat era" of the 1800s and sails it down the Mississippi River, illuminating the forgotten past of America's first western frontier.

Seven years ago, readers around the country fell in love with a singular American voice: Rinker Buck, whose infectious curiosity about history launched him across the West in a covered wagon pulled by mules and propelled his book about the trip, The Oregon Trail, to ten weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, Buck returns to chronicle his latest incredible adventure: building a wooden flatboat from the bygone era of the early 1800s and journeying down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.

A modern-day Huck Finn, Buck casts off down the river on the flatboat Patience accompanied by an eccentric crew of daring shipmates. Over the course of his voyage, Buck steers his fragile wooden craft through narrow channels dominated by massive cargo barges, rescues his first mate gone overboard, sails blindly through fog, breaks his ribs not once but twice, and camps every night on sandbars, remote islands, and steep levees. As he charts his own journey, he also delivers a richly satisfying work of history that brings to life a lost era.

The role of the flatboat in our country's evolution is far more significant than most Americans realize. Between 1800 and 1840, millions of farmers, merchants, and teenage adventurers embarked from states like Pennsylvania and Virginia on flatboats headed beyond the Appalachians to Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Settler families repurposed the wood from their boats to build their first cabins in the wilderness; cargo boats were broken apart and sold to build the boomtowns along the water route. Joining the river traffic were floating brothels, called "gun boats"; "smithy boats" for blacksmiths; even "whiskey boats" for alcohol. In the present day, America's inland rivers are a superhighway dominated by leviathan barges??carrying $80 billion of cargo annually??all descended from flatboats like the ramshackle Patience.

As a historian, Buck resurrects the era's adventurous spirit, but he also challenges familiar myths about American expansion, confronting the bloody truth behind settlers' push for land and wealth. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced more than 125,000 members of the Cherokee, Choctaw, and several other tribes to travel the Mississippi on a brutal journey en route to the barrens of Oklahoma. Simultaneously, almost a million enslaved African Americans were carried in flatboats and marched by foot 1,000 miles over the Appalachians to the cotton and cane fields of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, birthing the term "sold down the river." Buck portrays this watershed era of American expansion as it was really lived.

With a rare narrative power that blends stirring adventure with absorbing untold history, Life on the Mississippi is a mus­cular and majestic feat of storytelling from a writer who may be the closest that we have tod
… (mere)
Medlem:dmtrader
Titel:Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure
Forfattere:Rinker Buck (Forfatter)
Info:Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster (2022), 416 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure af Rinker Buck

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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
2.5 stars ... the history was interesting, but I am not the target audience for all the technical details about piloting a boat on the Mississippi. Also, it takes a certain personality (and money) to undertake the adventure he took. While his writing was informative on the history and geography of the area, I wasn't as keen on the rest of the book. ( )
  ellink | Jan 22, 2024 |
I bought this book after attending a reading by the author. Buck is a fascinating man and a compelling writer. I loved the blend of the now: creation of the boat, the characters who crewed it, the natural world and the commercial river traffic along with history: flatboats and their impact on commerce and western expansion, life along the river in the past two centuries and the little known aspects of more brutality towards slaves and indigenous people. ( )
  ccayne | Nov 3, 2023 |
I greatly enjoyed Rinker Buck's The Oregon Trail and quickly started Life on the Mississippi. At first I was confused and disappointed because the tone of the book was so different from the first. But as I read on, I liked Life more and more, in part because it is different from the Trail book. Mr. Buck seems to have a good time writing the story, and it gave him the opportunity to use the word "bumptious" which is a great joy.
The many family members of the Buck family are seldom mentioned. Nick, Rinker's companion on the trail, is not a visible part of this adventure. In Trail, Mr. Buck recalls his father and the many ways that irritating and impossible man helped teach self-sufficiency to his children. In Life, Rinker's mother is the family focus. Rinker had been her companion in the year or so before her death. He exaults in the way she redefined herself as an independent adult woman after her many children left the nest.
I am curious why Nick doesn't come along on the boat ride. Is he unhappy at the way Rinker portrayed him in Trail? I don't think Nick was treated badly in Trail, but it's always hard to guess how family members will respond to anything. Sibling history plays a big role.
This book is much less about technology than Trail because a flatboat has fewer moving pieces than a mule-drawn wagon. Old Man River, though, has a longer and more complex history than the Oregon Trail and Rinker, a compulsive historian, introduces us to it all. Westward expansion, cultural mixing, river industries, riverboat communities, the Indian clearances, slavery, and the Army Corps of engineers. There are a lot of tugboats in this book.

My only complaint about the text is that catfish don't jump, as anyone who follows the controversy about damming the Mekong can tell you.

I think you will like this book and, if you intend to read both books, I recommend that you read The Oregon Trail first. ( )
  Dokfintong | Jun 16, 2023 |
Travel log of shanty boat trip from Ohio River in Pennsylvania to Mississippi to New Orleans. Within travel log a history of US expansion to the "West" from the original colonies west to the Mississippi. Excellent adventure book full of river dangers and beauty as well as characters on the boat. Only one instance where author talks about meeting a person of color during the trip. A lot to learn about the beauty of US as well as its sad history of race relations. I learned about Kanawha salt mines that needed industrial labor and thus used slave labor. ( )
  rduben | Mar 28, 2023 |
Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure by Rinker Buck is a travelogue drenched with history as we follow along with the author as he navigates the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. His boat was a classic, an authentic wooden American flat boat, of the type that was originally used to move goods, pilot these rivers, and open the American frontier.

As well as being an avid traveler, Buck obviously has a strong interest in history and was well able to pass along and reflect upon a number of fascinating tales of previous river adventures. I didn’t find this book quite as joyful as when he travelled west in a covered wagon but I believe he used this voyage to help process the recent death of his mother. This wasn’t an easy trip by any means as he and his crew had to constantly be vigilant for both natural and man-made obstacles as well as having to master navigating the river currents and moving around huge numbers of commercial barges, tugs and ships.

Overall I enjoyed Life on the Mississippi finding the trip fascinating. The author manages to convey some of the beauty that still exists along the banks of these rivers and weaves a fine tale that should appeal to both armchair travelers and anyone who is interested in American history. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 5, 2023 |
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History. Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "Audacious...Life on the Mississippi sparkles." ??The Wall Street Journal * "A rich mix of history, reporting, and personal introspection." ??St. Louis Post-Dispatch * "Both a travelogue and an engaging history lesson about America's westward expansion." ??The Christian Science Monitor

The eagerly awaited return of master American storyteller Rinker Buck, Life on the Mississippi is an epic, enchanting blend of history and adventure in which Buck builds a wooden flatboat from the grand "flatboat era" of the 1800s and sails it down the Mississippi River, illuminating the forgotten past of America's first western frontier.

Seven years ago, readers around the country fell in love with a singular American voice: Rinker Buck, whose infectious curiosity about history launched him across the West in a covered wagon pulled by mules and propelled his book about the trip, The Oregon Trail, to ten weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, Buck returns to chronicle his latest incredible adventure: building a wooden flatboat from the bygone era of the early 1800s and journeying down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.

A modern-day Huck Finn, Buck casts off down the river on the flatboat Patience accompanied by an eccentric crew of daring shipmates. Over the course of his voyage, Buck steers his fragile wooden craft through narrow channels dominated by massive cargo barges, rescues his first mate gone overboard, sails blindly through fog, breaks his ribs not once but twice, and camps every night on sandbars, remote islands, and steep levees. As he charts his own journey, he also delivers a richly satisfying work of history that brings to life a lost era.

The role of the flatboat in our country's evolution is far more significant than most Americans realize. Between 1800 and 1840, millions of farmers, merchants, and teenage adventurers embarked from states like Pennsylvania and Virginia on flatboats headed beyond the Appalachians to Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Settler families repurposed the wood from their boats to build their first cabins in the wilderness; cargo boats were broken apart and sold to build the boomtowns along the water route. Joining the river traffic were floating brothels, called "gun boats"; "smithy boats" for blacksmiths; even "whiskey boats" for alcohol. In the present day, America's inland rivers are a superhighway dominated by leviathan barges??carrying $80 billion of cargo annually??all descended from flatboats like the ramshackle Patience.

As a historian, Buck resurrects the era's adventurous spirit, but he also challenges familiar myths about American expansion, confronting the bloody truth behind settlers' push for land and wealth. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced more than 125,000 members of the Cherokee, Choctaw, and several other tribes to travel the Mississippi on a brutal journey en route to the barrens of Oklahoma. Simultaneously, almost a million enslaved African Americans were carried in flatboats and marched by foot 1,000 miles over the Appalachians to the cotton and cane fields of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, birthing the term "sold down the river." Buck portrays this watershed era of American expansion as it was really lived.

With a rare narrative power that blends stirring adventure with absorbing untold history, Life on the Mississippi is a mus­cular and majestic feat of storytelling from a writer who may be the closest that we have tod

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