Cox, James M. “Life on the Mississippi Revisited.” In The Mythologizing of Mark Twain, edited by Sara deSaussure Davis and Phillip D. Beidler. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1984. Presents a persuasive argument that Life on the Mississippi converts the life of Samuel L. Clemens into the “myth” of Mark Twain.
Emerson, Everett. The Authentic Mark Twain: A Literary Biography of Samuel L. Clemens. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985. Contains a useful summary of Twain’s composition of Life on the Mississippi, concluding that the “real” Mark Twain disappears from the last part of his book. Emerson also wrote on this book for The Mark Twain Encyclopedia, edited by J. R. LeMaster and James D. Wilson (New York: Garland, 1993).
Kruse, Horst H. Mark Twain and “Life on the Mississippi.” Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981. Much the fullest study of its subject, this book focuses on Twain’s composition of Life on the Mississippi. Kruse concludes that one of Twain’s intentions was to help redeem the South from the Romanticism that brought on the Civil War. Includes an extensive bibliography.
Rasmussen, R. Kent. Mark Twain A to Z. New York: Facts On File, 1995. This comprehensive reference work has a long analytical synopsis of Life on the Mississippi which is cross-referenced to essays on individual characters, places, and other topics. It also has extended essays on such related topics as piloting, steamboats, and the Mississippi River.
Twain, Mark. Life on the Mississippi. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1944. A full edition of the work with an authoritative introduction by Edward Wagenknecht and an appendix that restores fifteen thousand words cut from the original text. Also published in a Heritage Press edition.