From Library Journal
Over 100 sepia duotone photographs of life aboard the six extant paddlewheel steamboats plying the inland waterways of the Mississippi River system comprise this art photography book. Kral has previously authored two other photographic books, Florida's Enduring Cowboys and Hotbloods: Beyond the Winner's Circle, a 2000 PMA Benjamin Franklin Award winner, and has been a staff photographer for the Miami Herald for 16 years. The monochromatic snapshots of boat crews at work and play evoke a time apart from the present century and reveal scenes that the typical passenger never glimpses. Aside from a brief introduction, no text accompanies the photographs; evoking a particular ambiance seems to subsume the need to identify people, places, or tasks at hand. For the curious, however, an index arranged by page number and accompanied by stamp-sized reproductions of pictures from the book gives concise captions. Each of the steamboats is briefly profiled in a paragraph that details dimensions, passenger and crew allowances, and builders and owners. Recommended for academic or public libraries with strong art photography collections. Kathleen M. Conley, Illinois State Univ. Lib., Normal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Photojournalist Kral, a staff photographer for the Miami Herald and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, gives readers a behind-the-scenes look aboard the last six paddlewheel steamboats operating on the 15,000 miles of the inland waterways known as the Mississippi River system. Three of the steamers carry day excursionists and the other three offer luxurious overnight lodging and fine dining. Deckhands and engineers, expected to do double duty, also serve as bartenders and entertainers. The 110 duotone photos include scenes of the ships' crews at work and--in a few instances--at rest. Among the other photographs are shots of the American Queen's luxurious dining room, its proscenium stage, and its captain presiding over cocktails; the Mississippi Queen's galley (where 1,656 meals are prepared each day); the Belle of Louisville's dance floor; and the Delta Queen's grand staircase. An introduction by Jon Ward complements these engaging photographs. George Cohen
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