Here -- in haunting words and pictures -- is the story of the river and of the people and places along its shores. From its birth at Pittsburgh in the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, the Ohio flows nearly a thousand miles, gathering the waters of its tributaries, carving a pathway through the land, giving rise to cities, forming the boundaries of five states, and finally emptying into the Mississippi to complete its journey to the sea. This powerful river shaped the history, the culture, and the character of those who followed the river's lure in the eighteenth century and those who make their homes beside it today. It was the first great pathway to the West, the trail of danger, the highway of hope.
The Ohio today flows through the industrial heartland of the United States. Drawn by the power of this great river, writer John Ed Pearce and photographer Richard Nugent have traveled the Ohio from Pittsburgh to Cairo and back, seeking out the scenes, the echoes of history, the rhythms of life for those who call the Ohio home. This book is the record of their discoveries -- on the river itself and in the villages and cities and farmlands that form it shores.