Every now and then, I read a book that changes the way I perceive the world. One such book was The Power Broker, by Robert Caro. Before I read that, a highway was just a highway. After, a highway in New York was an expression of one man’s megalomania, one man’s best and most honorable intentions gone haywire.
Rising Tide is even more eye-opening. I don’t want to spill the beans, but let me just share how surprised I was at this book.
I picked it up in a used book store for $7. Often I take a chance on a book specifically because I’m absolutely certain it’s not something I’ll ever find interesting. Sometimes I’m right; more often, I’m enlightened and delighted. So when I bought Rising Tide, it was in the belief that there was nothing really interesting about the Mississippi Flood of 1927 aside from what probably were going to be some cool human interest stories.
I could not have been more wrong. Yes it’s a book about the flood and the tragedy the ensued. But the change it wrought in America is indisputable and absolutely relevant to today’s politics. Barry tells this tale in a most riveting manner: you’ll not want to put this one down.