About this book
With 68 compellingly beautiful photographs, Turner Browne documents a fast-disappearing way of life for the people who live on the lower White River and issues a plea to save the river from irreversible damage by the Army Corps of Engineers. By demonstrating that the endless dredging and flood control projects of the ever-active Corps are destroying the river’s natural beauty and the livelihoods of those who make the river their only home – on houseboats and along its banks – he argues graphically and heroically for the preservation of a unique culture and of a great river.
The black-and-white photographs, taken between Batesville, Arkansas, and the confluence with the Mississippi River, tell a story of loss, nostalgia, and fortitude as they portray the river’s remarkable character and the exceptional lifestyles of acorn gatherers, sturgeon fishers, mussel divers, and others who extract a meager but satisfying existence from the river’s resources. The damage the Corps of Engineers has wrought, including cleared forests, piles of debris, and “containment structures,” certainly tolls a death knell for much of this natural waterway. The Last River is a journey, a journey probably never to be taken again.