The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 11: Agriculture and Industry

Edited by Melissa Walker, James C. Cobb

Charles Reagan Wilson, General Editor

372 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 33 illus., 1 table, 1 map, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5909-4
    Published: November 2008
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-1668-1
    Published: February 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8102-1
    Published: February 2014

New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

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Volume 11 of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture examines the economic culture of the South by pairing two categories that account for the ways many southerners have made their living. In the antebellum period, the wealth of southern whites came largely from agriculture that relied on the forced labor of enslaved blacks. After Reconstruction, the South became attractive to new industries lured by the region's ongoing commitment to low-wage labor and management-friendly economic policies. Throughout the volume, articles reflect the breadth and variety of southern life, paying particular attention to the region's profound economic transformation in recent decades.

The agricultural section consists of 25 thematic entries that explore issues such as Native American agricultural practices, plantations, and sustainable agriculture. Thirty-eight shorter pieces cover key crops of the region--from tobacco to Christmas trees--as well as issues of historic and emerging interest--from insects and insecticides to migrant labor. The section on industry and commerce contains 13 thematic entries in which contributors address topics such as the economic impact of military bases, resistance to industrialization, and black business. Thirty-six topical entries explore particular industries, such as textiles, timber, automobiles, and banking, as well as individuals--including Henry W. Grady and Sam M. Walton--whose ideas and enterprises have helped shape the modern South.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi

About the Authors

Melissa Walker is George Dean Johnson Jr. Professor of History at Converse College.
For more information about Melissa Walker, visit the Author Page.

James C. Cobb is B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South at the University of Georgia.
For more information about James C. Cobb, visit the Author Page.


"Excellent. . . . A volume both handy to consult and enjoyable to read."--NC Historical Review

"Walker's impressive essay succinctly moves from colonial and antebellum planters, yeomen, and slaves to postwar tenancy, boll weevils, and government programs before concluding with the rise of agribusiness in recent decades. . . . Researchers of southern culture will find this volume a useful starting point."--West Virginia History

"Remarkably well done, a worthwhile endeavor deserving of the praise it is certain to elicit."--The Alabama Review

"These new and updated essays offer fresh insights into the diverse and dynamic history of southern agriculture and industry. They remind us of the exploitation and struggle, innovation and creativity that have characterized the region's economic past and inspire us to think critically about changes to come in the twenty-first century."--Lu Ann Jones, University of South Florida, author of Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South

"The collaborative effort of long-time super-star scholars . . . and a rainbow of rising new lights, The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture . . . is living up to its promise of combining old verities with an array of recent scholarly perceptions that make covering everything in only 24 volumes seem to be a short-sighted goal. . . . Wresting a representative snapshot of southern history from the voluminous scrapbooks and long, long library shelves on that subject is a daunting assignment, and Wilson deserves praise for taking the risk of producing a good one."--Index-Journal (Greenwood, SC)

"The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture provide[s] wonderful insight into the history and culture of the American South. By publishing the encyclopedia in multiple volumes, the editors have helped make this rich resource more readily available to the reading public. Future volumes . . . will be highly anticipated."--North Carolina Historical Review