Deep'n as it Come

Deep'n as it Come : 1927 Mississippi River Flood

  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 172 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.68g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • photographs, drawings
  • 0195021223
  • 9780195021226

Review Text

The text for this documentary of the great flood of 1927 - which by Daniel's computations submerged 16,$70,627 acres in seven states, cost $102,562,395 in crop losses, and washed away between 250 and 500 lives - is a competent, journeyman text, if a bit on the skimpy side, Much of the story is told in the words of those who lived through it, never to forget. "I remember," says one woman, "sitting up on the upstairs steps and watching my piano floating out the front door, piece by piece, one key right after the other." But it is the photos - 190 gathered from the Library of Congress, from local archives in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, and from family scrapbooks - that convey the enormity of the disaster. When the levees gave way, the "crevasses" spilled snarling waters that drowned livestock, marooned families on rooftops, and put rowboats on Main Street. Daniel (History, Univ. of Tennessee) gets in a few digs at the hubris of engineers, "the cumulative tinkering of humans" which made the flood waters more devastating than if the restless river had been allowed its natural spillways, tributaries, and reservoirs. Instead, in 1927, the Army Corps of Engineers gambled everything on the levees - a monumental miscalculation. The rescue effort organized by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover and the Red Cross was efficient, though the "refugee camps" were plagued by dissension, VD, and claims that black tenant farmers were being held in "peonage." Daniel maps the terrain ably, and the photographs do the rest. (Kirkus Reviews)show more