The Rivers of America Series is a landmark series of books on American rivers, for the most part written by literary figures rather than historians. The series spanned three publishers and thirty-seven years. Known as the “Great River” to early colonists, The Housatonic etches a 115-mile-long valley from its headwaters near Pittsfield, Mass. to its harbor in Long Island Sound between Bridgeport and New Haven. A region “apart from the common restlessness of America,” it has given life to native American tribes, colonists, tobacco farmers, and refugees from the cities seeking creative, academic, or interpretive peace. Rivers of America:The Housatonic tells the story of this famous waterway, since its emergence from the last ice age, to native settlement, colonization by Europeans, and more recent invasion by “tribes of miscellaneous writers, artists, and musicians.”
The author of over a dozen books, Chard Powers Smith held degrees from Yale, Harvard, and Columbia, and taught at Northwestern University and the University of Kansas.