Books

As author:

Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century (Continuum, 2011).

Advance praise from Anthony Stanonis, author of Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945 (University of Georgia Press, 2006):

"A sweeping history of nineteenth century New Orleans, as provided now by Thomas Ruys Smith's Southern Queen, has been sorely lacking [...] Scholars and general readers will find Smith's book a valuable and highly accessible addition to studies of this alluring city. Those new to the city's past, moreover, would do well to take Smith as a guide."

Advance praise from Thomas C. Buchanan, author of Black Life on the Mississippi: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Western Steamboat World:
"A major contribution to the history of the Queen City."
Available from Amazon here. Read reviews here.



River of Dreams: Imagining the Mississippi Before Mark Twain (Louisiana State University Press, 2007).

Advance praise from Louis J. Budd:
"River of Dreams pulled me along as irresistibly as the Mississippi itself, deep into the South's past. Mark Twain, I think, would have read it as closely as he read and enjoyed the actual river in his piloting days. Though this book deserves rapt (not raft) attention for its own insights and appreciativeness, explicators of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should absorb it before traveling further with or into Huck, on the river or on shore."
Available from Amazon here. Read reviews here.



As editor:

Must Read: Rediscovering American Bestsellers, from Charlotte Temple to The Da Vinci Code (Continuum, 2012). Coming August 2012.

Advance praise from Leon Jackson, author of the The Business of Letters: Authorial Economies in Antebellum America:
"Must Read breathes new life into the study of best-sellers, rescuing them from not only the enormous condescension of posterity but also from the flattering but often reductive readings of modern academics. With its artful blend of textual analysis, historicization, and theoretical speculation, the contributors challenge us to reread and rethink a host of works, ranging from short stories and sentimental novellas to advice manuals and modern blockbusters. For anyone with an interest in the contours of American print culture from the eighteenth century to the present, Must Read is itself a must read work."
Available from Amazon here. Read reviews here.





Blacklegs, Card Sharps and Confidence Men: Nineteenth-Century Mississippi River Gambling Stories (Louisiana State University Press, 2010).

Advance praise from Thomas C. Buchanan, author of Black Life on the Mississippi: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Western Steamboat World:
“Blacklegs, Card Sharps, and Confidence Men is the most significant collection of riverlore published in decades. Thomas Ruys Smith’s wide-ranging anthology includes selections from high and low culture, demonstrating the evolution of gambling from a widely feared part of the early river trade to a romanticized American cultural icon. This collection is essential to understanding the history of gambling in America and solidifies Smith’s reputation as the leading cultural historian of American river life.”
Available from Amazon here. Read reviews here.