Goodyear Invades the Backcountry: The Corporate Takeover of a Rural Town

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9780853459101: Goodyear Invades the Backcountry: The Corporate Takeover of a Rural Town
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About the Author:

BRYAN D. PALMER is Professor of History at Queen's University in Kingston Ontario. He is the author of several books including Descent into Discourse: The Reification of Language and the Writing of Social History, Objections and Oppressions: The Histories and Politics of E.P. Thompson, and Goodyear Invades the Backcountry: The Corporate Takeover of a Rural Town.

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Shortly after history professor Palmer moved to Newburgh, Ont., agents of an anonymous company using only their first names started investigating nearby Napanee as a possible location for a new plant. There followed months filled with enticements aimed at the still-undisclosed Goodyear: cajoling by local politicians; a videotaped appeal from the town high school; a $32-million interest-free loan from the Ontario government; simultaneous with a run of speculation that would leave the rural community with vacant strip malls and industrial parks. Then Goodyear finally announced its plans for a new modernized tire factory. Palmer delves into the (near) past of Goodyear's Etobicoke plant a few hundred miles away, which was closed, according to Goodyear, because of the expense of staving off an attempted buyout. Palmer notes that by closing Etobicoke while keeping plans for the new factory secret, Goodyear was able to jettison a heavily unionized plant for a mechanized one with virtually no union presence. Palmer is also interesting when looking at the corporate familial philosophy that became a guiding force even in the curriculum at the high school. Palmer (Descent into Discourse) occasionally falls prey to jargon (``indicates the importance of establishing ideological hegemony and sustaining a kind of cultural imperialism as capitalism penetrates its own, once marginalized, hinterlands.'') Still, this is clearly a subject physically and spiritually close to home; and for the most part, Palmer treats his subject with a personal touch.

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Publisher: Monthly Review Press, 1994
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