Historian to talk about book on Mobile River

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Alabamian historian and author, John S. Sledge, will be speaking at the Selma Public Library this Thursday.

Sledge will be talking about his book “The Mobile River,” a narrative history of the river.

“The Mobile River” presents the first-ever narrative history of this important American watercourse. Inspired by the venerable Rivers of America series, Sledge weaves chronological and thematic elements with personal experiences and more than 60 color and black-and-white images for a rich and rewarding read.

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“The Mobile is a result of the Alabama and the Cahaba Rivers. So the history of the Mobile River is actually the history of the Alabama and the Cahaba,” said library director Becky Nichols. “As people who have lived along the river for our whole lives, I think it will be an interesting 30 minutes.”

Each month the library hosts Lunch at the Library with a different guest author.

Lunch is from noon – 12:30 p.m. and the 30-minute lecture immediately follows.

Tickets for lunch are $7 and can be reserved by calling the library at (334) 872-1725.

“It’s always interesting to listen to an author first hand about their book,” Nichols said.

Sledge is Mobile Historic Development Commission senior architectural historian and National Book Critics Circle member.

He has his bachelor degree from Auburn University in history and Spanish as well as a masters in historic preservation from Middle Tennessee State University.

Sledge is author to several books focusing on Mobile including “Southern Bound: A Gulf Coast Journalist on Books, Writers, and Literary Pilgrimages of the Heart,” “The Pillared City: Greek Revival Mobile” and others.

He and his wife, Lynn, live in Fairhope, half a mile from Mobile Bay.

Sledge will talk about the history of the river as well as the ecology and wildlife in a PowerPoint presentation.

“This is a great prelude to Pilgrimage weekend,” Nichols said. “It’s exciting for us to have him come and narrate more about this very important river that’s been apart of our community forever.”

Nichols said Lunch at the Library is always a popular event with 30-50 people in attendance on average.

Next month the library will host Jonathan W. Jordan. He will talk about his book “American Warlords: How Roosevelt’s High Command Led America to Victory,” on Thursday, April 21.

The Selma Dallas County Public Library is located at 1103 Selma Ave. in Selma.