This introductory chapter discusses the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. It argues that although historians have uncovered the details of what caused the flood to unfold the way it did, less work has been done to explain how, what was arguably the most publicly consuming environmental catastrophe of the twentieth century in the United States, assumed public meaning. The chapter then sets out the book's purpose, which is to explore how this disaster took on form and meaning as it was nationally and internationally represented across multiple media platforms, both while the flood moved inexorably southward and, subsequently, over the next two decades. The book begins by looking at the social and environmental causes of the disaster, and by briefly describing the sociological certitudes of the 1920s into which it broke. It then investigates how this disaster went public, and made publics, as it was mediated through newspapers, radio, blues songs, and theater benefits. Finally, it looks at how the flood comprises an important chapter in the history of literary modernism.
Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.