Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

July 19, 2005

Author To Discuss "When the Mississippi Ran Backwards" on Aug. 4

Journalist Jay Feldman will discuss his new book, "When the Mississippi Ran Backwards: Empire, Intrigue, Murder, and the New Madrid Earthquakes," at the Library of Congress at noon on Thursday, Aug. 4, in Dining Room A on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

A book signing will follow the presentation, which is part of the Center for the Book’s Books & Beyond author series at the Library. The Geography and Map Division is cosponsoring the event. The program is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Between Dec. 16, 1811, and late April 1812, a catastrophic series of earthquakes shook the Mississippi Valley. Towns were destroyed, an 18-mile-long lake was created and even the Mississippi River temporarily ran backwards. In his book, Feldman examines the quakes’ remarkable physical power and the resulting social, political and military upheavals.

Historian Howard Zinn called the book "a fascinating work of social history, meticulously researched, elegantly written and awesomely original in its conception."

Feldman’s writings have appeared in the Smithsonian Magazine, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and Gourmet. He also has written for television, film and stage.

Established in 1977 as a public-private sector partnership, the Center for the book uses the resources of the Library of Congress to promote books and reading. For more information about its activities, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook.

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PR 05-152
07/19/05
ISSN 0731-3527

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