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Miners Millhands Mountaineers: Industrialization Appalachian South (Twentieth-Century America Series) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0870493416 ISBN-10: 0870493418 Edition: 1st

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Miners Millhands Mountaineers: Industrialization Appalachian South (Twentieth-Century America Series) + All That Is Native and Fine: The Politics of Culture in an American Region + Appalachia: A History
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Product Details

  • Series: Twentieth-Century America Series
  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1 edition (September 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870493418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870493416
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James Hoogerwerf on March 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Mention "Appalachia" today and the idea of a "backward" people in an impoverished region left behind by progress comes to mind. When it was published in 1982, Ronald D. Eller's Miners, Millhands, and Mountaineers: Industrialization of the Appalachian South, 1880-1930, was the first study to argue that, contrary to this common perception, modernization had not passed the region by. Until Eller's no other scholarly study had address the industrialization of Appalachia. What Eller discovered was that Appalachia had indeed passed through a dynamic period of transformation but that as a result "the mountaineers had lost the independence and self-determination of their ancestors, without becoming full participants in the benefits of the modern work." (242) What remained after the boom years was a society trying to cling to tradition but unable to afford the trappings of modern life. Profits generated from the extraction of timber and coal had flowed into the coffers of outside investors.

It is Eller's thesis that while Appalachia had undergone industrialization, the region failed to modernize. He argues that in order to understand the reasons, Southern Appalachia's industrialization should be viewed in a national context. Profits came from the extraction of mountain resources at the lowest possible cost for national markets. This view is buttressed by Gavin Wright's (1996) economic interpretation of the South as a low wage economy within a larger economy. Eller agrees with this interpretation. Like Wright, he argues industrialization was accomplished with cheap labor.

Eller's treatise spans the years 1880 to 1930. Prior to 1880 the area's remoteness and inaccessibility had delayed development.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roy L. Salmons on April 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This text was one of the first books to explore the industrialization of Appalachia. It set the field for much of the current discouse that is being developed in Appalachian History. It is very well written and provides a good list of sources for additional study.
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Ronald Eller shows extensive research into the history of how the cultural, economic, and industrial landscapes of southern appalachia was changed through the demands of its renewable and non-renewable natural resources. This book is highly recommended to individuals who are both anxious and curious to strengthen their knowledge about the exploitation of labor and natural resources in southern appalachia.
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