Customer Reviews for

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Rising Tide - Book Review - Eric DeLong

This was an excellent book. I gave it five stars. The book was interesting from start to finish. The information about the engineers who first sought to control the river, the mistakes made at a later date to control the river, the 1927 Missippippi flood, the stories...
This was an excellent book. I gave it five stars. The book was interesting from start to finish. The information about the engineers who first sought to control the river, the mistakes made at a later date to control the river, the 1927 Missippippi flood, the stories of the local politicians, and the political ramifications at the national level after the flood all make this a great read. I do not come across more than a few books a year that I would consider to be of the high quality of this book.

posted by EJDeLong on March 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Tributaries

This meandering mess contains more tributaries than the river it describes. Clearly, Barry likes research. Unfortunately, he includes each and every interesting tidbit he encounters along the way. I suspect that if Barry wants to travel from St. Louis to Memphis, he ...
This meandering mess contains more tributaries than the river it describes. Clearly, Barry likes research. Unfortunately, he includes each and every interesting tidbit he encounters along the way. I suspect that if Barry wants to travel from St. Louis to Memphis, he will go via Missoula, Montana, Paducah, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C.

posted by Anonymous on January 27, 2006

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Rising Tide - Book Review - Eric DeLong

    This was an excellent book. I gave it five stars. The book was interesting from start to finish. The information about the engineers who first sought to control the river, the mistakes made at a later date to control the river, the 1927 Missippippi flood, the stories of the local politicians, and the political ramifications at the national level after the flood all make this a great read. I do not come across more than a few books a year that I would consider to be of the high quality of this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2006

    Excellent

    After reading Rising Tide, I will never think about the Mississippi River in the same manner. The book is an eye opener about the power of the river, levees, politics, and racism. I really enjoyed reading the book and recommend it as a preliminary insight into the 2005 Katrina flooding.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    Tributaries

    This meandering mess contains more tributaries than the river it describes. Clearly, Barry likes research. Unfortunately, he includes each and every interesting tidbit he encounters along the way. I suspect that if Barry wants to travel from St. Louis to Memphis, he will go via Missoula, Montana, Paducah, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2011

    a long, but great book

    If you want to understand the history of the Mississippi River delta, this is the book for you. Some of it is hard to wade through (pun intended), but when I finished I felt like I'd studied a semester with one of the most gifted history teachers.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Wow

    Wow

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    A real "page-turner".

    The Mississippi is currently flooding at or above the levels of 1927. So, after hearing John Barry on NPR, I decided to read the book, hoping it wouldn't be too boring. What a surprise! I could not put it down!! His amazing descriptions of the complexity of the River; the engineers; the politicians; the tragedy of the flood. The history is amazing, but so is the insight into the never ending story of the mighty Mississippi River. Thanks to the book I have an understanding of what is currently taking place along the River.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    Well Researched and Very Compelling

    It's hard to say that this book is simply about one of the greatest tragedies in our nation's history. In our time, Katrina stands as one of the worst tragedies-- and it certainly is (I do not want to tak away from that). However, the great flood of 1927 killed thousands and destroyed the homes of tens of thousands. Can you imagine standing on your front porch 75 miles from the Mississippi River and seeing a wall of water 10 to 15 feet high coming across the field? But the book certainly reaches much farther than just the story of the flood. The author weaves well-researched accounts of history, personalities, cultures, and politics into a story that covers decades of events from before the civil war to years after the great flood. And many of the decisions made back then still affect those of us who live in the Mississippi basin today.

    I was particularly amazed and angered at the corruption that was in our political system even way back then. The author did not hide any of the scurilous dealings of our government officials. I also was taken aback at the ineptness of many in leadership at the time. But there were a few amazing individuals who rose above the others and stand out as heros.

    Lastly, I was greatly saddened at the treatment of our black American brothers by some (certainly not all) of the white "leaders" in a couple of areas along the river.

    This is a great book, in my opinion.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    What I didn't know - and then some

    Absorbing, very well written and researched... and so much information about an important historical event combined with a saga of wealth, greed, power, and corruption. Most importantly is the exposure of just how horribly black people in the South were treated. Even the Italians came in for a bit of moral turpitude. A real eye-opener!

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    A story about how we who live around the Mississippi got where we are.

    From my Iowa perspective, it is very interesting to read here the development of Herbert Hoover's campaign. I also like the centering on certain individuals to illustate the time and situations that occur. However, the moving back and forth can get confusing and slighly tedious.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2005

    An astounding historical account

    I am from the Mississippi Delta, and have lived here most of my life. I decided to read this book to educate myself further about the area in which I live, and after reading this book, which I could not put down, I must say even I learned something about my heritage and about the people, culture and socioeconomics of the Mississippi Delta. It is truly a fascinating read, even for those of us who thought we already knew everything about where we live.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2004

    A Great Book For The Engineer

    One of the most interesting books I've read in a long while. From the descriptions of the technologies used for flood control to the political intrigue in New Orleans make Rising Tide one of those you can't put down. Barry's stirring descriptions of living conditions along the levees paints a gripping tale of squalor and hopelessness. It gives reason to the almost wholesale movement of a people from their ancestral home to Detroit, Michigan to make cars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2000

    A Flood is Much More Than a Lot of Water

    After reading this book, I can see why the back cover of my edition is filled with glowing reviews and lists of honors and awards. This is an epic, scholarly story recounting the economic, political, and social history of the lands and peoples of a Lower Mississippi Valley region called 'The 'Delta', a vast strip of the Mississippi River floodplain east side of the river with Greenville, Mississippi as its commercial and cultural hub. The history of the region is told through the lives of its most powerful and influential people and framed by observations of the river and region from the days of the first Spanish explorers to the election of Huey Long and the dark days of the Great Depression. These latter events effectively marked the end of the insular, rich, white, power structure that had dominated the region since before the Civil War. Skillfully woven into this saga are the natural history of the river, accounts of earlier flood events, and analyses of competing hydrologic and hydraulic theories that shaped levee construction, flood control projects, and navigational improvements prior to the 1927 flood. With each new levee or flood control project, land prices surged and once-'useless wetlands and swampy forests were opened to settlement and agricultural development. Power was exercised, speculators thrived, and fortunes were made. The great flood of 1927 exposed a fickle sense of security and well-being nestled behind a flood control infrastructure riddled with shortcomings and an inability of local to national, private and governmental organizations to deal effectively with the flood and its chaotic aftermath. The 'final taming' of the Lower Mississippi took shape as a massive public works project, portending fundamental changes in the federal government's prerogatives and scope of responsibilities to emerge later during the Great Depression. Many readers will 1) retool their ideas about the post-Civil War history of land ownership and race relations in this part of the South; 2) visualize the flood event as basin-wide in nature and six months in the making; and 3) recognize that the flood played a pivotal role in how we, as a society, now respond to disasters, provide for post-disaster reconstruction, and enact land-use policies designed to reduce loss of life and property damages. I enjoyed the book and would strongly recommend it. However the reader is forewarned. Have a U. S. atlas handy; the only map in the book depicts the entire Mississippi drainage basin.

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    Posted January 6, 2009

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