Kirkus Star


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Long-awaited, this particular addition to The Rivers of America (48th in an extraordinary series) measures up not only to the high standard of the series but to Carl Carmer's own The Hudson, one of the best. Those who live along the reaches of this river are passionately attached to it and feared no writer who did not know it through the years could capture its special quality. Perhaps they may feel that he occasionally seems to bog down in the multitudinous details of its lurid history, in the wars- local and national- in which it played a part; in the successive abortive attempts to make it a navigable highway for the riches of agriculture, mining and industry along its way; in the colorful panorama of folkways and story and biography. But recurrently he returns to the river itself, and in one long section devoted to traversing its waters and its shores, he shares the vividness of his own closeup experience. The Susquehanna was first broached by that controversial figure, John Smith; it became the focus of inter-colony warfare, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and even the tentacles of Connecticut with its greedy land claims. The Tory and Indian combined made it a battlefield again. And the Copperhead war intensified the peripheral conflicts of the Civil War. Industrial warfare played its part, with the Molly McGuire melodrama and its aftermath. The text abounds in story material, handled with Carl Carmer's zest.

Publisher: Rinehart