High Cotton
Four Seasons in the Mississippi Delta

By Gerard Helferich

320 pages (approx.), 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, bibliography, index

9781496815712 Paper $25.00T

Paper, $25.00

A paean to the vanishing family cotton farm

--Wall Street Journal
"Perceptive and unaffected."
--Business Week
"Valuable insights into the historical and cultural significance of cotton in the United States."
--Publishers Weekly
"Fascinating and masterful . . . a unique treasure trove of information about a long-neglected and muchmisunderstood segment of American life."
--Governor William F. Winter
"Helferich [shows] understated eloquence and a lyrical feel for his legendary crop."
--Times Literary Supplement

This dirt-under-the-fingernails portrait of a small-time farmer follows Zack Killebrew over a single year as he struggles to defend his cotton against such timeless adversaries as weeds, insects, and drought, as well as such twenty-first-century threats as globalization. Over the course of the season, Helferich describes how this singular crop has stamped American history and culture like no other. Then, as Killebrew prepares to harvest his cotton, two hurricanes named Katrina and Rita devastate the Gulf Coast and barrel inland. Killebrew's tale is at once a glimpse into our nation's past, a rich commentary on our present, and a plain-sighted vision of the future of farming in the Mississippi Delta.

On first publication, High Cotton won the Authors Award from the Mississippi Library Association. This updated edition includes a new afterword, which resumes the story of Zack Killebrew and his family, discusses how cotton farming has continued to change, and shows how the Delta has retained its elemental character.

Gerard Helferich, Jackson, Mississippi, is author of four best-selling, award-winning books, including Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin: Madness, Vengeance, and the Campaign of 1912; Stone of Kings: In Search of the Lost Jade of the Maya; and Humboldt's Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Latin American Journey That Changed the Way We See the World. Before turning to writing in 2002, he worked as an editor and publisher for twenty-five years in various publishing houses in New York. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he publishes book reviews in the Wall Street Journal.

320 pages (approx.), 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, bibliography, index