[Book Review] A Brief History of Memphis

*Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all book reviews on Alternative Muses are for volumes I’ve read as part of my J biography research. I hesitated to use the word review, as this series heavily focuses on WHY I chose to read a book and what I got out of it research-wise. As a compromise, I’ll end each post in this series with a short review of the actual book.*

A Brief History of Memphis by G. Wayne Dowdy


This is another basic book that I read, early on in my research, for practical reasons. I wanted a general overview of the history of Memphis, and that is what I got. Names, dates, who did what when…well, you get the picture. Reading A Brief History of Memphis was not an entertaining experience, but it pointed me in the direction of some helpful resources that successfully led me towards the next thing. Mission accomplished.


G. Wayne Dowdy is not a dynamic writer. You can tell that he is passionate about his city and its history, which perhaps takes him further than it should. He knows his stuff, though, and if your aim in reading this book is similar to mine then you will likely be rewarded with a few gems of pertinent info.

Original 1819 Plan of Memphis. Engraving circa 1820. Public Domain.

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