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Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy since the Civil War

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LSU Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Wright's earlier work established him as the most literate and thoughtful of the ``new economic historians''; this new book can only enhance his reputation. In it he argues that Southern poverty after the Civil War is best understood as a function of a separate, low-wage labor market. The advantage of lower labor costs did not bring prosperity but instead kept the South impoverished. Wright argues that market forces alone could not transform the South onto a level comparable to the North. Rather, the market economy perversely keep the South racist and poor. Only the undermining of the Southern plantation economy by federal New Deal policies changed the South in the post-war decades into part of the ``Sun Belt.'' Wright's book will interest scholars, but it is also accessible to laypersons. Strongly recommended for academic and larger public libraries. James W. Oberly, History Dept., Univ. of WisconsinEau Claire
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465051946
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/1986
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336

Meet the Author

Gavin Wright, professor of economics at Stanford University, is the author of The Political Economy of the Cotton South.

LSU Press

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Table of Contents

1 Old South, New South 3
2 From Laborlords to Landlords: The "Liberation" of the Southern Economy 17
3 The Long View of Southern Land and Labor 51
4 Plantation, Farm, and Farm Labor in the South 81
5 The Rise of Southern Textiles 124
6 Southern Industry, the Colonial Economy, and Black Workers 156
7 The Interwar Years: Assault on the Low-Wage Economy 198
8 The New Economy of the Postwar South 239
Notes 275
Suggested Readings 304
Index 311
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