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Old Dominion, Industrial Commonwealth: Coal, Politics, and Economy in Antebellum America (Studies in Early American Economy and Society from the Library Company of Philadelphia) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Early American Economy and Society from the Library Company of Philadelphia
  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (November 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080187968X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801879685
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 14.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,103,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

For anyone interested in state policies, paths of economic development, and antebellum political economy, this study is necessary reading.

(Choice)

Adams's innovative study has opened up a new arena for investigation and, judging from the richness of his analysis, one with great potential.

(Edward J. Davies, II Journal of American History)

Adams makes good use of the available primary and secondary sources in support of his thesis.

(Willard Carl Klunder Historian)

Historians of many fields will want to take note.

(Virginia Magazine of History and Biography)

Explaining the troubled present is not Adam's objective, but his book provides a powerful tool for doing just that.

(Warren R. Hofstra Common-Place)

As with any successful study, this one answers some questions and provokes others... One hopes that rather than this being the last word on the subject, it serves as a call for further investigation.

(Andrew M. Schocket Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography)

An engaging and persuasive work that addresses in a highly accessible manner the intricacies of state-level politics and economic decision-making.

(James Campbell Journal of American Studies)

Thoroughly researched, attractively written, and nicely produced, with clear maps and useful data graphs.

(Howell John Harris History)

An impressive exemplar of comparative history. Adams is a gifted writer with an excellent eye for detail.

(John Majewski Enterprise and Society)

Profoundly powerful insights into the importance of political and economic institutions.

(Robert E. Wright Journal of Interdisciplinary History)

This is economic history as it should be written... Adams has created an important and highly readable interpretation of Virginia and Pennsylvania's economic history in the early and mid-1800s, and I commend him.

(Paul Salstrom West Virginia History)

Rooted in impressive scholarship in the archives, and with a sound knowledge and understanding of the secondary sources, it merits a wide readership.

(Neville Kirk Economic History Review)

Just when it looks as if good historical political economy might perish from the earth, along comes Sean Patrick Adams with a study of politics, coal, slavery, and industrialization that is so readable, so compelling, and so richly contextualized that even the most resistant cultural historians should find it immensely rewarding. This is the definitive account of how and why the coal trade developed as it did in Virginia and Pennsylvania. This is history—political, economic, and cultural history—at its finest.

(John Lauritz Larson, Purdue University)

From the Back Cover

Sean Patrick Adams compares the political economies of coal in Virginia and Pennsylvania from the late 18th century through the Civil War, examining the divergent paths these two states took in developing their ample coal reserves during a critical period of American industrialization. In both cases, Adams finds, state economic policies played a major role.

Old Dominion, Industrial Commonwealth addresses longstanding questions about North-South economic divergence and the role of state government in American industrial development. It provides new insights into both the political and economic history of 19th-century America.

"Adams's innovative study has opened up a new arena for investigation and judging from the richness of his analysis, one with great potential."— Journal of American History

"As with any successful study, this one answers some questions and provokes others... One hopes that rather than this being the last word on the subject, it serves as a call for further investigation."— Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

"An engaging and persuasive work that addresses in a highly accessible manner the intricacies of state-level politics and economic decision-making."— Journal of American Studies

"An impressive exemplar of comparative history. Adams is a gifted writer with an excellent eye for detail."— Enterprise and Society

"Profoundly powerful insights into the importance of political and economic institutions."— Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"This is economic history as it should be written... Adams has created an important and highly readable interpretation of Virginia's and Pennsylvania's economic histories in the early and mid-1800s, and I commend him."— West Virginia History


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Brandt on November 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Adams compares the histories of coal and attendant railroad industries of antebellum Pennsylvania and Virginia (and eventually West Virginia) along with one chapter for post-war events. I had to read this book as part of a larger project on which I am working and harbored little hope that it would be interesting reading. Gamely I began to read, expecting to plow through the usual molasses-thick academic writing that provides a surefire cure for insomnia. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. His book is academic, but his writing is lively and straight-forward, the words of a man who knows his stuff and relates it in an interesting fashion. He gives us a good peek into the workings the antebellum political and industrial business and political world. It does bog down a bit when he gets into relating long lists of statistics in the narrative that would have been better served in charts, but it does not happen often and does not detract significantly from the book. Well recommended even if you're not fascinated by coal production, especially for Civil War scholars studying the breakup of Virginia.
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