Beginning with the state’s earliest settlers, Ben Wynne explores the paradox that is Mississippi—its rich soil and namesake river, yet its vulnerability to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. It is one of the US’s poorest states, yet has one of the richest cultural legacies. It is the birthplace of the blues and the childhood home of such American icons as Elvis Presley, William Faulkner, Oprah Winfrey, and B.B. King. Wynne sketches Mississippi’s development from primarily native settlements and wilderness to industry-driven cities; examines the importance of slavery and agriculture and the resulting devastation that followed the Civil War; and follows the slow transition from segregation to equal rights marked by the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
"A perfect book for tucking into the back seat pocket as you lead visitors around our home state, this guide is part of the series of 'On-the-Road-Histories,' it's a user-friendly book. In fact, this slim volume will also make interesting armchair reading for anyone wishing to brush up on Mississippi history. Peppered with black and white photographs, interesting sidebars and historical maps, it offers more history than most guidebooks. This readable little volume could easily replace more scholarly tomes on a weekend getaway and would make a perfect gift for travelers interested in a dash of history mixed with their driving tour."
This deceptively small book is loaded with interesting facts and historical tidbits, while its handy size is perfect to toss in a bag or tuck into a jacket pocket... an essential reference guide.
Ben Wynne, author of a fine history of the Civil War in Mississippi, has written a brief history of the state for tourists, complete with lists of historical societies, state parks, and tourism bureaus. From Interlink's On-the-Road series, the book is designed for the traveler with an appetite for history. The book is well written, and present[s] a good summary of Mississippi's history. Bookstore managers have called for just such a book for their tourist customers, and this book will meet the needs of many travelers.
– Journal of Mississippi History
You have to hand it to Interlink Publishing. If Mississippi is any example, their series of comprehensive guide books published as a tribute to the colorful heritage of the United States will make each state in our Nation really come alive. Born bred and educated in Mississippi, author Ben Wynne, who earned his doctorate in history at the University of Mississippi and has written extensively about his home state will give readers of his soft cover 177 pages (including index) much more than a sip of 'Ole Miss.' They'll get a king sized gulp as they meander through this wonderfully detailed and illustrated reference source. They'll be absorbed as historical maps take them on the rough and ready roads the state took on its way to today. They'll take a pathos laden journey through the state's defining events all the way from pre historic times to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Profiles of outstanding relevant personages like Confederate president, Jeff Davis; authors like William Faulkner and John Grisham; entertainers and artists like Oprah, B.B. King and Elvis Presley offer a salute to the state's residents celebrity status. Wynne masterfully presents useful and interesting tidbits such as state symbols, songs, places to see cultural highlights, special events, reference sources and literary abstracts so that no question about Mississippi will remain unanswered. If TravelSmarters want to be fully versed on where to go and what to know about Mississippi this book is a must, and if they have even the remotest interest in American history they would do well to include this book in their libraries.