From 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
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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