The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina (Oxford University Press) by Christopher Morris is a sweeping history of man and nature in the lower Mississippi Valley. Morris examines how people from hunter-gatherers to contemporary Americans viewed this landscape and acted on their respective visions. It is an ambitious book based on sources in several languages and multiple disciplines including history, science, archaeology and economics. This wide-ranging material is incorporated into a plain-English study grounded in centuries of personal experiences. I love this book.