Mississippi River

Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf

Simon Winchester

A major new book that shows why the Mississippi remains America's most important and iconic river.
Date Published :
June 2020
Publisher :
George F Thompson Publishing
Contributor(s) :
David Freese, Sarah Kennel
Illustration :
204 toned photographs by the author, 1 historic cyanograph, and 4 color maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781938086731
Pages : 336
Dimensions : 11.5 X 11.88 inches
Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


America’s most important and iconic river has many familiar names: The Mighty Mississippi, Old Blue, and Ole Man River. In Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf, the third book of his trilogy on North American Waters, David Freese takes us on a captivating visual journey from its source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota 2,552 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico. Freese’s photographs open our eyes to encompass a wide diversity of industry and farmland, cities and towns, landscapes and wildlife, all the while revealing the constant flow of goods, grain, and fuel, up and down the country’s major shipping artery.

The photographs illustrate the ongoing dangers posed by increased flooding and the protective measures taken by the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers to try and keep a restless river in check. There are environmental concerns, ranging from habitat loss to agricultural and pesticide runoff, and the legacy of slavery and the removal of native peoples persist. It’s a river that reveals a complicated past, present, and future as humankind attempts to control nature. American history bends and turns in its waters.

The noted author Simon Winchester has written an arresting essay that provides one of the most compelling descriptions and histories yet written about a river that is so much more than a familiar name. The foreword by Sarah Kennel, Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, places Freese’s images into the canon of landscape photography as a magnificent body of work that documents, critiques, honors, and sanctifies America’s most treasured river.

About The Author

David Freese has spent the last fifteen years photographing the West and East Coasts of North America, resulting in two books” West Coast: Bering to Baja (2012) and East Coast: Arctic to Tropic (2016).. In addition to his ongoing fine-art projects, he has worked as a freelance assignment photographer on location for more than thirty years and has taught for years at the Film and Media Arts Department at Temple University. His prints are in many collections, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Haggerty Museum of Art, and Library of Congress. Freese’s photographs have appeared in Communication Arts, Photo District News, Photo Insider, Polaroid International, Popular Photography, Smithsonian Air and Space, and View Camera magazines. His images can also be seen on the Internet at LensCulture and at the Art Photo Index.

Simon Winchester is a journalist and New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty books, including The Professor and the Madman (1999), Krakatoa (2003), and The Man Who Loved China (2008). His most recent titles include Atlantic (2010), The Men Who United the States (2013), and Pacific (2015). In 2006, Winchester was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to journalism and literature, and, on July 4, 2011, Winchester was naturalized as a U.S. citizen on board the U.S.S. Constitution.

Sarah Kennel joined the High Museum in Atlanta in 2019 as the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family Curator of Photography. She previously served as the Byrne Family Curator of Photography at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and as a curator in the Department of Photographs at National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.


"The book showcases a masterful visual journey from its source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota 2,552 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico."

- Lens Scratch

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