restricted access Mississippi Fever

This most impressive piece of history writing will be a source of inspiration and debate for many years to come. It demonstrates the national significance of regional history and the transnational scope of "slave holding agrocapitalism." It has an overarching story to tell and argument to make, but many of its meaty chapters take a vital area of research and decisively reorder it. The "dark river" of the title is the Mississippi, and the chapter on the "steamboat sublime" furnishes a compelling account of the role of steam—and slavery—in the rapid opening up of the Mississippi Valley, making it, within a few years, "the leading edge of the greatest economic boom the world had ever seen."