Bookin’ it on the Bayou

Here are some books that should interest you if you want to know more about the Atchafalaya Basin, the Mississippi River, Coastal Louisiana, or wild Louisiana, in general. 


Beyond Control: The Mississippi River’s New Channel to the Gulf of Mexico (America’s Third Coast Series); by James F. Barnett; 2017; University Press of Mississippi –  reveals the Mississippi as a waterway of change, unnaturally confined by ever-larger levees and control structures.

Bayou Pigeon, Louisiana – Spirit of the Atchafalaya; by Cliff “Chachie” LeGrange (Author), Adam J. Landry (Author), Geraldine “Cherry” Settoon (Author), James J. “Jimmy” Landry (Author), Robert Sinclair (Compiler), Patricia Landry Settoon (Editor), Stan Routh (Illustrator); 2012; Self-published – “From 1806, when the first European explorers paddled by an oak ridge, where there were thousands of pigeons feeding and roosting and gave the place its name, to approximately the 1970’s, “The Spirit of the Atchafalaya” has thrived in the community of Bayou Pigeon.”

The Atchafalaya River Basin: History and Ecology of an American Watershed;
 by Bryan Piazza; 2014; Texas A&M University Press – a scientific look at the Basin from the Nature Conservancy’s Director of Freshwater and Marine Science. – A wealth of technical information and environmental perspective…

Bayou-Diversity: Nature And People in the Louisiana Bayou Country; by Kelby Ouchley; 2011; LSU Press – a naturalist’s view of the Bayou Country, from Monroe to the Atchafalaya Basin 

Designing the Bayous: The Control of Water in the Atchafalaya Basin, 1800-1995; (Paperback) by Martin Reuss; 2004; Texas A&M Press – a history of the people, politics and economics of modifying the Atchafalaya Basin

Father Mississippi: The Story of the Great Flood of 1927; (Paperback) by Lyle Saxon; 2000; Pelican Publishing – one of Louisiana’s most important writers; directed the state WPA Writers Project; a cultural view of the Great Flood

Rising Tide: TheGreat Mississippi Flood and How It Changed America; (Paperback) by John M. Barry; 1998; Simon & Schuster – an enlightening view of the challenges of dealing with the great River

Lords of the Basin: History of the Lost Village…Atchafalaya; (Plastic Comb binding) by Kenneth Delcambre; 1987; (Self-published? – One used copy shows on Amazon for $175, but ULL Library has a copy that is available through LA interlibrary loan.) – words and pictures documenting life in the swamp before and after the levees; observations on the trials and tribulations of dealing with nature’s power

The Control of Nature; (Paperback) by John McPhee; 1990; Straus & Giroux – devotes a third of the book to describing the Corps of Engineers’ battle with the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya




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