Review of Mississippi Gulf Coast, by Timothy Isbell

9 May

Anyone who has ever visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast knows it is a unique and attractive place. Consisting of pristine beaches and a series of small towns nestled between New Orleans and Mobile, it has an identity all its own. Its primary cities—Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport, Biloxi, D’Iberville, Ocean Springs, Gautier, Pascagoula, and Moss Point—share a special bond that gives this circa sixty-mile long stretch of waterfront an unusual sense of community. In Mississippi Gulf Coast, a coffee-table style book loaded with compelling photographs, author Timothy Isbell attempts to capture the essence of this scenic section of the Magnolia State in words and images.

Isbell is a freelance photojournalist whose previous publications include Gettysburg: Sentinels of StoneShiloh and Corinth: Sentinels of Stone; and Vicksburg: Sentinels of Stone. His interest in the past and ability as a professional photographer are both on display in Mississippi Gulf Coast. The book features brief overviews of the various eras and key stories in the region’s history, including the adventures of the colonial era, the drama of the Civil War, the centrality of the fishing industry and tourism to the local economy, and a range of other topics from World War II ship production to contemporary Mardi Gras celebrations.

The book is essentially a fast-moving introduction to the area, with a rather cursory narrative that, while not comprehensive, is nonetheless informative. The key features of the book are the more than 200 professional photographs thoughtfully composed and artfully arranged so as to present a visual depiction of the place. These range from sunsets and beach scenes to imagery of iconic structures and community festivals. Even if it is not an in-depth history, this visually captivating book is sure to be a keepsake for anyone interested in this iconic region.



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