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SELLING OF THE SOUTH: The Southern Crusade for Industrial Development, 1936-90

1 rating: 1.0
A book by James C. Cobb

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Author: James C. Cobb
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
1 review about SELLING OF THE SOUTH: The Southern Crusade...

Good combination of history and economics

  • Aug 15, 2008
This book looks at the industrialization of the former Conferederate states of the US South from the Great Depression onwards to just before Bill Clinton's presidency. Specifically, the book focuses on the efforts of political and business leaders in the South to attract manufacturing companies from the North, and to a limited degree, from other countries. The book examines the use of subsidies, tax breaks, open-shop laws, and other economic and political incentives to entice companies to locate south of the Mason-Dixie line. Each chapter looks at one chronological period of this time-frame, so over time we get to see an economic history of the Deep South. The author cites a lot of studies put forth by trade journals, government agencies, companies, and other sources as to the processes by which different businesses were lured south. The author also spends a lot of words interpreting these studies, which is good.

The book does miss out on two points. First, given that the book looks at how civic and government leaders in the Southern States actively courted industry, there should have been greater mention of criminal connections between elected/appointed officials and business interests. Open up any newspaper from any Southern state and there will always be at least one article about some public official going to jail because of kickbacks, bribes, graft, or some other white collar crime related to business interests. A nice addition to the book would have been a list of public officials convicted of white collar crimes broken down by state, county, and type of crime. The 2nd major point the book misses out on is the rise of Walmart and its relation to the Clinton family. Before becoming First Lady, Hillary Clinton sat on the board of Walmart, which incidentally is based in Arkansas. But overall, this is still a good book to read to understand the Deep South and its history.

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