Mark Twain begins this book with a brief history of the Mississippi which is not completely accurate (for example, he states that the Delaware River is part of the Mississippi watershed.) Then he tells about his life on the Mississippi River in the next section of the book. He shares his many experiences while working on a steamboat. The last portion of the book talks about his trip on the Mississippi in the early 1880's. I found this was the most satisfying portion of the book. He visits during the terrible flood of 1882. He examines how the river has changed, why the steamboat era has ended, and why different towns have grown, changed or disappeared. The book is unevenly written. Some sections are easy to read, while others are laborious. Twain interjects his prejudices along the way, especially against Sir Walter Scott, whom he blames for the South's knuckled-headed ideas. I enjoyed many of the stories along the way, some of which had little or nothing to do with the Mississippi River or its tributaries.