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The Best of the Mississippi River: Voyage Into Southern Heritage

Program Number: 20994RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/8/2015 - 11/18/2015; 12/10/2015 - 12/20/2015; 3/6/2016 - 3/17/2016; 3/11/2016 - 3/21/2016; 3/25/2016 - 4/4/2016; 4/3/2016 - 4/14/2016; 5/1/2016 - 5/12/2016; 5/13/2016 - 5/23/2016; 5/27/2016 - 6/6/2016; 11/4/2016 - 11/14/2016; 11/18/2016 - 11/28/2016; 12/2/2016 - 12/12/2016;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Louisiana/Mississippi/Tennessee/Arkansas
Price starting at: $4,530.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats
Meals: 26; 8 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Board a magnificent steam-powered paddlewheel riverboat for a classic Mississippi River voyage. Experience the music, food, natural beauty and architectural grandeur of Dixie in lively Memphis, historic Natchez and Vicksburg and small river towns. Plus spend three days exploring incomparable New Orleans in depth.

Activity Particulars

Please note that this program may require embarking and disembarking from the boat up and down steep embankments. Assistance is available if needed in each port. The ability to stand for up to an hour during field trips may be required.

The 12/6/2015 and 12/10/2015 dates of this program will be in celebration of the Road Scholar 40th anniversary.

The 11/27/2015 date of this program will spend 2 nights in New Orleans instead of 3.

Please note: In 2016, the March 6-17, April 3-14, and May 1-12 departures of this program operate in reverse order, from Memphis to New Orleans, and spend one extra night in Memphis.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Memphis, Tenn, 1 night; aboard American Queen, 7 nights; New Orleans, La., 3 nights.

Day 1-2: Arrival Memphis, Tenn. / embark American Queen:

Arrive in Memphis, meet your fellow participants, followed by dinner at the hotel. Then begin the week with a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum and the Rock and Soul Museum. Board the Boat and begin a week of savoring gourmet Southern-style cooking and showboat-style entertainment.

Day 3: Greenville, Miss.:

Explore Greenvillle, the "Heart and Soul of the Mississippi Delta." Located right along the Mississippi River, Greenville is a historic city with a vibrant community and rich cultural heritage.

Day 4: Vicksburg, Miss.:

Discover a unique blend of old and new in this historic city. Learn about the Siege of Vicksburg at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Day 5: Natchez:

Step into the antebellum South at plantations including Longwood, with its unique octagonal mansion, and grand Stanton Hall. Meet members of the Natchez Gospel Choir and hear them perform.

Day 6: St. Francisville, La.:

Walk the historic streets of St. Francisville and visit Rosedown Plantation

Day 7: Baton Rouge:

Learn the fascinating story of Gov. Huey Long, view the Louisiana State Capitol Building and visit the Rural Life Museum.

Day 8: Nottoway Plantation, White Castle, LA

Explore the enchanting Nottoway Plantation and Gardens. Lecture on Mardi Gras.

Days 9-12: New Orleans / disembark / departure:

Experience the music, food and architecture of New Orleans with a local expert. Enjoy live jazz performances, including one at Fritzel's Jazz Club, and learn about the history and architecture of the city. Lodging: Comfortable downtown hotel.

American Queen

The American Queen is the world’s largest river steamboat, a modern vessel with hardwood details, grand furnishings, comfortable amenities and luxurious staterooms. Public areas include the Mark Twain Gallery library, the Grand Saloon and a lounge. Wine and beer are complimentary with dinner.

Meals and Lodgings
   American Queen
  Memphis, Tenn
Greenville MS
St. Francisville
Baton Rouge
Cruising to New Orleans
7 nights
   Holiday Inn
  New Orleans, Louisiana 3 nights
 American Queen
Type: Riverboat
  Description: The American Queen Featuring six decks and measuring 418 feet in length, the American Queen is the world’s largest river steamboat. Modern amenities meet classic river ambiance aboard the American Queen. The 222 staterooms and suites are filled with modern appointments and carefully selected furnishings. Finely crafted hardwood fixtures, grand furnishings and gleaming brass detail the ship’s interior. The gazebo-style pilothouse and towering “feathered” stacks are both designed to be lowered to allow passage under bridges. Each stateroom has private facilities, ample storage and hair dryers. Cabins differ in size, amenity and cost. All cabins have grab bars in the shower or bath tub. Limited singles are available.
  Ship Information: See above description
  Contact info: Docked at River in Memphis
Memphis, TN 38103 USA
phone: 888-749-5280
  Room amenities: Varies with category purchased
  Facility amenities: Laundry on board. Complimentary internet on board most of the time. We are in areas where frequently, the internet is very weak.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Holiday Inn
Type: Hotel
  Ship Information: see AQ info
  Contact info: 330 Loyola Road
New Orleans, LA 70112 USA
phone: 504-581-1600
  Room amenities: Bathtub/Shower Hairdryer Iron/Ironing Board Coffee and Tea Maker Hairdryer Refrigerator Microwave oven Cable / Satellite TV In Room Movies - Pay Per View In Room Movies - Premium Cable Stereo Work Desk w/ Lamp Phone / Fax Speaker Phone Free Local Phone Calls
  Facility amenities: Outdoor Pool Health/Fitness Center On-Site ATM/Cash Machine Business Center (staffed between 8am-5pm) Concierge Services Dry Cleaning Pickup On-site Guest Self Laundry Facilities Ice Machine Newsstand Porter/Bellman Room Service Safes in each room
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $139 plus tax -varies by dates see pre/post info below

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
After arriving at Memphis airport, take taxi to AQ you will be reimbursed. Boat departs at 7:30 pm. Meet your leader in the theater (level 3) onboard between 3-4:30pm You will be staying at American Queen that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends in New Orleans on 11/18 after breakfast at 8:30 amYou will be returned to the airport by 10:30 am You will be staying at Holiday Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. GUEST INFORMATION SHEET (yellow) MUST BE FILLED OUT AND MAILED, E MAILED OR FAXED TO THE AMERICAN QUEEN 45 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE (This can be found in the Program Materials sent to you in advance.) This form is required by Homeland Security and without it your ticket will not be issued.
  Parking availability:
Parking available at Holiday Inn for $15 inc. per night.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Memphis, Tenn
  From End of Program
  Location:  Departure
Travel Details

Memphis Airport


From Airport




multiple taxis


Per Person/One Way:


$35 for one or two passengers-$14 for passenger for 3 or more
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 minutes 




15 Miles


You will be reimbursed please keep your receipt

Driving Directions
  Memphis airport If you drive you will not be returned to Memphis. Program begins in Memphis and ends in New Orleans. Airfare provided by Road Scholar.
Elevation Note: Totally flat terrain

Equipment Requirements: No equipment required
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Embark on American Queen. Boarding not prior to 3:00pm.
(Sunday, November 8)

Note: Meet in Boat Theater (level 3) between 3-4:30pm. to pick up your schedule and packet with important information.

 Afternoon: Meet in boat theater (level 3) between 3-4:30pm to pick up your informational packet.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the American Queen at early seating, 5:15pm. Special tables reserved for Road Scholars so that you may mingle with your fellow travelers each evening.
 Evening: Every evening is a special performance in showboat style after dinner. Varied venues for music.
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Greenville MS
(Monday, November 9)

Note: You will be riding on the AQ motor coaches and we will visit the town of Greenville, MS. It was founded in 1824, named after Nathanael Greene. The town was destroyed during the siege of Vicksburg. Wonderful history in this little town.

 Breakfast: American Queen offers several opportunities for breakfast from full sit down served meal to beignets on the Front Porch.
 Morning: Prior to your lecture there will be an orintation and introduction of your fellow participants. "The Mississippi River and the Making of a Nation"
 Lunch: Lunch onboard AQ
 Afternoon: Lecture: "American Civil War:Names and Casualties" Enjoy the free time in Greenville MS. American Queen bus with experienced guide will take you through Greenville MS with optional stops in the town.
 Dinner: Dinner on board AQ- early Seating 5:15pm
 Evening: Every evening includes a special performance after dinner along with piano music in various locations on boat.
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Vicksburg Battlefield, Downtown Vicksburg
(Tuesday, November 10)

Note: There are golf carts that can take you up the levee to where the bus is. Some walking and standing We will drive to the park and make 3 stops during our drive with instructor in the park. Very little walking. Short stroll in Vicksburg if you wish.

 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the American Queen.
 Morning: Billed as the “Red Carpet City of the South,Southern hospitality is alive and well and awaiting your arrival. Discover a unique blend of old and new in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Lecture: "Flowing Unvexed to the Sea" Visit downtown Vicksburg.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the American Queen
 Afternoon: Discover a unique blend of old and new in Vicksburg, Mississippi.Visit the Vicksburg National Military Park and Battlefield. We will make 3 stops, the visitors center, one of the larger monuments and the U.S.S. Cairo ironclad gunboat and museum.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the American Queen
 Evening: Entertainment nightly.
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Visit plantations, gospel choir
(Wednesday, November 11)

Note: There are golf carts to take you to the bus if needed. We have a native from Natchez as our instructor. Longwood and Stanton Hall plantations are short walks from the bus. There is standing in the plantations. We are dropped off right in front of the church and listen to the choir in the afternoon.

 Breakfast: Breakfast onbard the American Queen
 Morning: Start the day with a lecture on Plantation Architecture. While in Natchez step into the plantation lifestyle of the antebellum south in Natchez, site of numerous restored mansions. Longwood Plantation began construction in 1860 and is very unique looking. Octagonal, multistory, Oriental Revival style.As the house was near completion, the Civil War broke out and construction was halted. The house has 32 rooms and only 9 were finished. Stanton Hall, 1858, located on an entire city block. Carrera Marble, mahogany doors 2 1/2 inches thick, huge Corinthian columns, and granite steps adorn the facade.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the American Queen
 Afternoon: We will drive to a small church in Natchez and listen to a local choir sing some of their favorite songs for us. Get ready to join them in their love of music.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the American Queen
 Evening: As always, more entertainment
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Visit Rosedown Plantation. Downtown of St. Francisville.
(Thursday, November 12)

Note: There are golf carts to take you to the bus up on the levee if needed. Rosedown Plantations is a 2 story building. The grounds have grass and paths where you are allowed to explore after your experience in the house, before we return to the boat. Also, you will have time to explore the quaint little town of St. Francisville if you care to.

 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard American Queen
 Morning: Lecture:"Four 20th Century Views of Slavery" This quaint town of St. Francilville located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River is your window to the past. With over 140 buildings on the National Register, beautiful plantation homes nestled in the rolling countryside, and bustling Main Street shops, you'll find plenty to keep you on the go in St. Francisville.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the American Queen.
 Afternoon: Visit Rosedown Plantation and Gardens built in 1835. This was a cotton plantation and consisted of 3,500 acres and at its height, 450 slaves worked at this and three other plantations.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the American Queen
 Evening: Evening show and music each night in the lounge.
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lecture on Huey Long,Rural Life Museum, downtown Baton Rouge
(Friday, November 13)

Note: The walk to the bus is 2 blocks or limited amount of wheel chairs if needed. In the morning you can choose the attraction you would like to visit, and in the afternoon we will go to the Rural Life Museum where there is standing and walking inside and outside.

 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the American Queen.
 Morning: Lecture: Learn about "Huey Long: Messiah to the Rednecks"--your instructor is well versed on the subject. The capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge is the center of all the great things the state has to offer—visitors delight in the seamless blend of past and present experiencing authentic Louisiana at every turn. With its semi-tropical climate, the outdoors is tempting and the attractions abound. No wonder this is one of the south's fastest growing cities.You can visit the U.S.S. Kidd, Old Governor's Mansion, the current State Capitol or Louisiana's Old State Capitol.
 Lunch: Lunch onbard the American Queen
 Afternoon: L.S.U. Rural Life Museum is located on the 450 acre Burden Center.The museum is home to an extensive collection of tools, farming implements to preserve an important part of the state's and nation's rural heritage. The museum includes many buildings and the main museum. The Louisiana State Museum features state of the art exhibits exploring Louisiana's fascinating culture and history.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the American Queen.
 Evening: Entertainment in Grand Saloon
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: White Castle, LA
(Saturday, November 14)

Note: We will be docked at the plantation and there will be golf carts to bring anyone who needs help across. There is some walking to the plantation through the gardens and standing during the tour. This is a 3 story plantation.

 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the AQ.
 Morning: The Nottoway Plantation House, one of the largest antebellum plantation houses in the south, is composed of 64 rooms, 7 staircases, and 5 galleries. This 53,000-square foot plantation home, constructed by John Hampden Randolph in 1858, is a fine example of an antebellum home. Nottoway sits about 200 feet behind the Mississippi River Levee surrounded by oaks, magnolias, pecan trees, and sweet olives. Nottoway House is distinctive for being an essentially Italianate Style plantation house built in an era dominated by Greek Revival architecture. Nottoway contains an elegant, half-round portico as the side gallery follows the curve of the large ballroom bay window. Nottoway's thin Italianate pillars stretch vertically to touch all of its three levels, extending from the house's one-story brick base to the paramount height of the third-story made of wooden frame. From the front gallery the Mississippi River is in view. The interior of Nottoway is white in color, including Corinthian columns, lace curtains, carved marble mantels and even the floor, creating an elegant environment.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard American Queen
 Afternoon: Lecture:"Carnival in New Orleans" Hear the other side of the story. Learn the history of this centuries-old celebration. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.
 Dinner: Dinner onbard the American Queen
 Evening: Entertainment tonight
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: City overview, Longue Vue House
(Sunday, November 15)

Note: We will have an overview of New Orleans including the 9th ward (Katrina Devastation) City Park and Lake Pontchartrain on the bus.A short walk in the cemetery. In the afternoon, we visit Longue Vue House and Gardens.

 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard AQ
 Morning: Depart boat at 9am. Overview of City with instructor. We will see the French Quarter, Jackson Square, the 9th Ward, above ground cemetery, beautiful City Park and Lake Pontchartrain and the 17th street Canal breach.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Longue Vue House is located on the western edge of the city, just past the Cemeteries and hidden among the trees off Metairie Road. This magnificent city estate with a Classical Revival-style mansion is surrounded by eight acres of breathtakingly landscaped gardens designed by some of the finest outdoor architects of the early 20th century. The home was built by the late philanthropists Edgar Bloom Stern, a New Orleans businessman and cotton broker, and his wife Edith Rosenwald Stern, an heiress of the Sears department store family. It was designed by renowned architects William and Geoffrey Platt and Ellen Biddle Shipman, “Dean of American Women Landscape Architects.” Check into hotel at 3:30pm
 Dinner: Dinner at Hotel this evening.
 Evening: New Orleans Jazz played just for you at hotel with local musicians.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Brunch Court of two Sisters, WWII Museum Board
(Monday, November 16)

Note: Ride down the famous St. Charles Avenue and walk in the Garden District . The walk will be approximately 8 blocks in the garden district (walking and standing) The bus will be available if you decided not to walk.Jazz Brunch at the Court of 2 Sisters, a 3 block walk from the bus to the restaurant. We will walk back to the bus and continue to the WWII Museum for a self guided experience.

 Morning: Ride down the famous St. Charles Ave. under the magnificent old oak trees along the street car line. We will walk about 8 blocks in the Garden District to get the feel of what this neighborhood is like. Quiet and gracious, smell the jasmine and gardenias and drift back in time, followed by a Jazz Brunch at famous Court of Two Sisters in historic French Quarter enjoy a wonderful buffet with everything from turtle soup to Bananas Foster and everything in between. While you relax and visit with your fellow participants, listen to the jazz that will be playing while we eat.
 Brunch: Court of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch
 Afternoon: Visit the WWII Museum, formerly known as the D Day Museum, focuses on the contribution made by the United States to victory by the Allies in World War II and the Battle of Normandy in particular. The museum maintains an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening so that you might enjoy a restaurant of your own choosing
 Evening: Jazz performance at Fritzel's with voucher provided attend at your leisure on your own.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn
Meals Included: Brunch

Day 10: Sculpture Gardens, Mardi Gras Indians & Cooking school
(Tuesday, November 17)

Note: Visit the Sculpture Garden and NOMA These are self guided and you may stroll at your leisure and view the spectacular art. .After your class, at Golden Feather and lunch in the afternoon, you can walk to the museums approximately 6 blocks, in the heart of the French Quarter in Jackson Square, or take a cab. Dinner is at the New Orleans School of Cooking

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Visit the Bestoff Sculpture Gardens and view magnificent sculpture in a garden filled with Spanish moss and oak trees. Henry Moore and Robert Indiana are among the artist. Followed by a visit to the New Orleans Museum of Art. A special Jewel in our City Park.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Golden Feather Restaurant and museum of Mardi Gras Indians.
 Afternoon: Have the unique experience of learning about the Mardi Gras Indians from an "Indian"(see his incredible costumes)--a cultural phenomenon in New Orleans. You will hear about the connections to the Black Culture in New Orleans and to the famous early faubourg of New Orleans called Treme. Enjoy Cafe au Lait and Beignets during this afternoon. Use your vouchers to visit the Louisiana State Museum of your choice in the heart of the French Quarter in Jackson Square. You can listen to the music there or enjoy some of our local art.
 Dinner: New Orleans School of Cooking-Demonstration and Dinner, Recipes are included.
 Evening: Packing for home
Accommodations: Holiday Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Depart New Orleans
(Wednesday, November 18)
 Depart From: After breakfast at hotel, depart at approximately 9:00am. Arrive at airport by 10:30 am-- transportation provided.

Free Time Opportunities
  New Orleans, Louisiana Attractions & Excursions
Aquarium of the Americas Audubon Zoo Cafe du Monde Pedestrian Ferry Flea Market French Market Glassworks School IMAX Theater Mardi Gras World Natchez Steamboat St. Charles Streetcar
Beauregard-Keyes House Faulkner House Gallier House Ursuline Convent, Hermann-GrimaHouse
Fritzels Gazebo Spotted Cat Palm Court Jazz Café Pat O' Briens' Preservation Hall Tipitina's Snug Harbor House of Blues Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Maison Bourbon Market Café Mid City Lanes Rock n Bowl Mulate's Cajun Dancing
Contemporary Arts Center Le Petit Theatre Mahalia Jackson Performing Arts Center Saenger Theater
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Streetcar Named Desire

Author: Tennessee Williams

Description: Widely considered a landmark play, A Streetcar Named Desire deals with a culture clash between two characters, Blanche DuBois, a relic of the Old South, and Stanley Kowalski, a rising member of the industrial, urban working class. American playwright Tennessee Williams received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948.

A Summer of Birds: John James Audubon at Oakley House (The Hill Collection: Holdings of the Lsu Libraries)

Author: Danny Heitman

Description: As the summer of 1821 began, John James Audubon's ambition to create a comprehensive pictorial record of American birds was still largely a dream. Then, out of economic necessity, Audubon came to Oakley Plantation, a sprawling estate in Louisiana's West Feliciana Parish. Teeming with an abundance of birds, the woods of Oakley galvanized Audubon's sense of possibility for one of the most audacious undertakings in the annals of art. In A Summer of Birds, journalist and essayist Danny Heitman sorts through the facts and romance of Audubon's summer at Oakley, a season that clearly shaped the destiny of the world's most famous bird artist. Heitman draws from a rich variety of sources--including Audubon's own extensive journals, more recent Audubon scholarship, and Robert Penn Warren's poetry--to create a stimulating excursion across time, linking the historical man Audubon to the present-day civic and cultural icon. He considers the financial straits that led to Audubon's employment at Oakley as a private tutor to fifteen-year-old Eliza Pirrie, Audubon's family history, his flamboyance as a master of self-invention, his naturalist and artistic techniques, and the possible reasons for his dismissal. Illustrations include photographs of Oakley House--now a state historic site--Audubon's paintings from his Oakley period, and portraits of the Pirrie family members.

Beyond the Bridges - Rediscovering America´s Waterways

Author: Jerry M. Hay

Description: Are you planning to go on your first river cruise on a steamboat? This is the book you have to read! You´re an experienced river cruiser? Read it! Author Jerry M. Hay has spent more than 40 years on the rivers. He travelled the whole Mississippi river in a canoe. He explored the Wabash and White rivers for publishing river guide books. Jerry tried out nearly every kind of watercraft. And he spent a couple of years as a river historian abord the paddlewheel steamboats Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen. In this book Jerry does not only share his funny river stories we have listened to on the steamboats over and over always longing for more. Learn more about Gilligan Goose who became famous in a children´s book. Did you ever see a Boeing 727 in a river? What kind of important delivery did the John Deere tractor make during high water? The book also provides loads of valuable information about the history of travelling on the rivers from flatboats to modern towboats, about reading the rivers, about river navigation, about the anatomy of a river or about the language of the rivers. Jerry M. Hay´s favorite quote is, "I don´t make the same mistake twice. I´m too busy making new ones." This book is definitely not one of his mistakes but a wonderful resource of information combined with some of the most funniest river stories.

Confederacy of Dunces

Author: John Kennedy Toole

Description: A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel written by American novelist John Kennedy Toole, published by Louisiana State University Press in 1980, eleven years after the author's suicide. The book, published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy (who also contributed a revealing foreword) and Toole's mother Thelma Toole, quickly became a cult classic, and later a mainstream success. Toole posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981. It is now considered a canonical work of modern Southern literature, in the USA. The title derives from the epigraph by Jonathan Swift: "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." The story is set in New Orleans in the early 1960s. The central character is Ignatius J. Reilly, an educated but slothful 30-year-old man still living with his mother in the city's Uptown neighborhood, who, due to an incident early in the book, must set out to get a job. In his quest for employment he has various adventures with colorful French Quarter characters.

Creole New Orleans Race and Americanization

Author: Arthur Hirsch and John Logsdon

Description: This collection of six original essays explores the peculiar ethnic composition and history of New Orleans, which the authors persuasively argue is unique among American cities. The focus of Creole New Orleans is on the development of a colonial Franco-African culture in the city, the ways that culture was influenced by the arrival of later immigrants, and the processes that led to the eventual dominance of the Anglo-American community.

John James Audubon: The Making of an American

Author: Richard Rhodes

Description: John James Audubon came to America as a dapper eighteen-year-old eager to make his fortune. He had a talent for drawing and an interest in birds, and he would spend the next thirty-five years traveling to the remotest regions of his new country–often alone and on foot–to render his avian subjects on paper. The works of art he created gave the world its idea of America. They gave America its idea of itself. Here Richard Rhodes vividly depicts Audubon’s life and career: his epic wanderings; his quest to portray birds in a lifelike way; his long, anguished separations from his adored wife; his ambivalent witness to the vanishing of the wilderness. John James Audubon: The Making of an American is a magnificent achievement.

John James Audubon: Writings and Drawings (Library of America)

Author: John James Audubon

Description: A landmark volume collects the writings and drawings of America's greatest artist-naturalist The breathtaking art of John James Audubon's Birds of America has been celebrated throughout the world since it first appeared over 150 years ago. Less well known is Audubon's literary legacy -- the magnificent volumes of natural history he published during his lifetime, as well as the remarkable journals, memoirs, and letters left behind at his death. Now, with The Library of America's unprecedented John James Audubon: Writings and Drawings, Audubon the great nature writer takes his rightful place alongside Audubon the artist.

Life On The Mississippi

Author: Mark Twain

Description: An invaluable companion to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi is Mark Twain's inimitable portrait of 'the great Father of Waters'. Part memoir, part travelogue, it expresses the full range of Twain's literary personality, and remains the most vivid, boisterous and provocative account of the cultural and societal history of the Mississippi Valley, from 'the golden age' of steamboating to the violence wrought by the Civil War.

Rising Tide

Author: John Barry

Description: An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known -- the Mississippi flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of nearly one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of blacks north, and transformed American society and politics forever.

Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi

Author: William J. Petersen

Description: William J. Petersons book is almost as comprehensive as the one above, but concentrating on the upper Mississippi. It is a doctoral dissertation about steamboats. The authors father was associated with the Diamond Jo Line Steamers in Dubuque, Iowa, so Peterson is familiar with steamboats business from boyhood days. Book was first published in 1937.

Tales of the Mississippi

Author: Ray Samuel, Leonard V. Huber, Warren C. Ogden

Description: This book contains a collection of tales of the Mississippi in 19 chapters and more than 300 illustrations and photographs. The authors tried to write something new about the Great River instead of a conventional history book. So you will find deeper information about the discoverer Hernando DeSoto and the legendary Mike Fink, what made the Rob´t E. Lee and the Natchez race, the river gambler George Devol known as the hardest head on the Mississippi or the answer to the question what made the Mississippi River once flew upstream and a lot more.

The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs

Author: Joan W. and Thomas H. Gandy

Description: Great if you are looking for old pictures - not only of steamboats but also from the steamboat era at all. I like this book very much because it gives you a great overview over this time history.

Upper Mississippi River History: Fact - Fiction -Legend

Author: Captain Ron A. Larson

Description: Captain Ron A.Larson´s book starts with the early French explorers. He covers the history of paddlewheel steamboats from the first one until the last remaining steamboats of today on the Mississippi River. The book provides a lot of information about the upper Mississippi River such as paddlewheel steamboats, railroad bridges, log rafts, wing dams, locks and dams of today, river navigation aids and river towns. Added are river pilot stories about names or landmarks along the upper Mississippi River. You will find more than 200 pictures and illustrations. Captain Ron A. Larson, U.S.M.M. Ret., was working on the upper Mississippi River on towboats between St. Louis and St. Paul with an occasional trip on most of the other navigable rivers. Now during retirement he still does part-time piloting on river excursion boats as the Mississippi Queen, the Delta Queen, the Valley Queen, the Mississippi Bell, the Jubilee and the Mark Twain.

Why New Orleans Matters

Author: Tom Piazza

Description: In the aftermath of Katrina and the disaster that followed, promises were made, forgotten, and renewed. Now what will become of New Orleans in the years ahead? What do this proud, battered city and its people mean to America and the world? Award-winning author and longtime New Orleans resident Tom Piazza illuminates the storied culture and uncertain future of this great and neglected American metropolis by evoking the sensuous rapture of the city that gave us jazz music and Creole cooking; examining its deep undercurrents of corruption, racism, and injustice; and explaining how its people endure and transcend those conditions. And, perhaps most important, he asks us all to consider the spirit of this place and all the things it has shared with the world: its grace and beauty, resilience and soul.

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