Bonnie Stepenoff is professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University. She is the author of three books, including From French Community to Missouri Town: Ste. Genevieve in the Nineteenth Century (2006), Thad Snow: A Life of Social Reform in the Missouri Bootheel (2003), and Their Fathers' Daughters: Silk Mill Workers in Northeastern Pennsylvania (1999).
Bonnie Stepenoff takes readers on a cruise through history, showing how workers from St. Louis to Memphis changed the river and were in turn changed by it. Each chapter of this fast-moving narrative focuses on representative workers: captains and pilots, gamblers and musicians, cooks and craftsmen. Readers will find workers who are themselves part of the country’s mythology from Mark Twain and anti-slavery crusader William Wells Brown to musicians Fate Marable and Louis Armstrong.