Cotton's Renaissance: A Study in Market Innovation

Overview

Cotton's Renaissance is the story of one of the more remarkable feats in the annals of enterprise. At its center, the book shows how U.S. cotton growers lost half their market share in the 1960s and 1970s and then won it back through highly innovative marketing and organization. To place this unprecedented achievement in perspective, the authors analyze and interpret the responses of cotton growers over two hundred years to the timeless problems of nature, technology, markets, and politics. The upshot is a ...

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Overview

Cotton's Renaissance is the story of one of the more remarkable feats in the annals of enterprise. At its center, the book shows how U.S. cotton growers lost half their market share in the 1960s and 1970s and then won it back through highly innovative marketing and organization. To place this unprecedented achievement in perspective, the authors analyze and interpret the responses of cotton growers over two hundred years to the timeless problems of nature, technology, markets, and politics. The upshot is a dramatic history of how growers learned—after more than a century and a half of trying to manage supply—how to drive and shape demand for their commodity. This key change in perspective and behavior was accomplished by the creation of a unique public-private company that helped thousands of growers to cultivate demand and to survive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. The impact of Cotton Incorporated on the markets for cotton was nothing less than an entrepreneurial coup in strategy and organization. In its "total marketing" effort to rebuild cotton's market share, it fostered substantial scientific, technological, and managerial improvements in the quality and performance of cotton. In doing so, it has enhanced the efficiency not only of the farmers who grow cotton but also of the intermediaries who transform it into consumer goods. This account of the cotton industry's revival, which took place at every level of production and distribution, holds many important lessons for anyone interested in history, economics, marketing, or public policy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Few studies so adequately demonstrate the power of consumer sovereignty in the U.S. economy." History

"Cotton's Renaissance is a well-written and compelling story." The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"This book is written in an engaging, sometimes entertaining style...A particular strength of the book is the number of personal interview of leading figures...the book forms a useful case study for those interested in the history of marketing, or perhaps as a reference for those studying the provision of public goods within an industry setting." Journal of Economic History

"The book is filled with fascinating information about the inner workings of Cotton Incorporated, including portraits of the most important people involved with the organization....the agruments of the book generally persuasive....the book does a wonderful job of disentangling the important, fascinating history of cotton in the twentieth century." Business History Review

"The authors discuss complex technologies and complex marketing problems with great skill and clear pose." Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521298957
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2011
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction: why grow cotton, anyway? Culture and economy; Part I. Managing Supply: 1. 'The snow of southern summers': King Cotton and his markets in the age of industrial revolution; 2. Nature and know-how: organization and technology in the Postbellum era; 3. Acts of God and Government: the search for political solutions; Part II. Approaching the Market: 4. Synthetic shock: competition's alarm; 5. Creating Cotton Incorporated; Part III. Managing the Market: 6. Creating consumption; 7. Managing the mill: the necessary illusion of control; 8. Competitive markets in a global economy; Afterword: trends and cycles.

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