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Social Origins of the New South: Alabama, 1860-1885 [Book Review]

Kousser, J. Morgan (1979) Social Origins of the New South: Alabama, 1860-1885 [Book Review]. American Historical Review, 84 (5). p. 1483. ISSN 0002-8762.

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In this broad, ambitious, and important book, Jonathan M. Wiener argues that the black belt planter elite reconstructed its hegemonic class position after the Civil War by shepherding its wealth despite the death and destruction of war, forcing black labor into a new oppressed state, employing political power to beat back a challenge by crossroads merchants, forming an opportunistic alliance with Yankee financiers to prevent the rise of an industrialist class in Birmingham until that potential Southern bourgeoisie in effect agreed to subject itself to planter domination, and spawning a "nonbourgeois agrarian ideology" (p. 187) to justify planter rule. Thus, the South was condemned, in the term of Wiener's thesis director, Barrington Moore, Jr., to follow "the Prussian Road" to modernization. Interesting and well-written, the book is a forceful statement of an original and coherent thesis. Yet I found it unconvincing at certain crucial points.

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Additional Information:© 1979 Oxford University Press. Book review of: Social Origins of the New South: Alabama, 1860-1885 by Jonathan M. Wiener. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978. ISBN: 9780807103975
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131009-114102368
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Official Citation:Treason Must Be Made Odious: Military Occupation and Wartime Reconstruction in Nashville, Tennessee, 1862-65 by Peter Maslowski; Social Origins of the New South: Alabama, 1860-1885 by Jonathan M. Wiener Review by: Allen W. Trelease and J. Morgan Kousser The American Historical Review , Vol. 84, No. 5 (Dec., 1979), pp. 1481-1483 Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical Association Article Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41823
Deposited By: SWORD User
Deposited On:11 Oct 2013 21:34
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:52

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