The New South's New Frontier : A Social History of Economic Development in Southwestern North Carolin (New Perspectives on the History of the South)

Taylor, Stephen Wallace; Smith, John David

Published by U.S.A.: University Press of Florida, 2001
ISBN 10: 0813021162 / ISBN 13: 9780813021164
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8vo. 186p. New unread copy. Explores economic development in the Great Smoky Mountains. Bookseller Inventory #

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"[This] well-researched, broadly conceived, and gracefully written narrative charts the economic transformation of the upper Little Tennessee River Valley [and] revises long-standing misconceptions about the people, economy, and culture of southwestern Appalachia. . . . While Taylor’s book has much to teach us about Appalachian economic development, it also reminds us of the power of myth in southern history." --John David Smith


This book explores the origins of exploitative development in the Great Smoky Mountains and finds some surprising similarities to developmental patterns in the rest of the South. Focusing on the economic transformation of the southern Appalachians, Stephen Taylor examines the dynamics of rural versus small-town forces in the western North Carolina mountains, the region sometimes known as the “back of beyond,” a name that pays homage to the mythic past of Appalachian isolation. 

 The capitalist ethic permeated the area: people accustomed to just “getting by” tended to embrace a money economy with open arms and wallets but retained their ability to survive on what they could produce, just in case prosperity fled again. As they sought more cash and more of the material goods that it made available to them, town dwellers actively participated in the exploitation of the area’s natural resources. After the mines and logging companies left, the National Park Service and TVA’s Fontana Dam harnessed what remained--scenic beauty (where the forest had not been clear-cut) and hydroelectric power. In the process they reduced the few options remaining to area residents to develop the local economy; the only asset left to market was the region’s romanticized image as an isolated backwater.

 Focusing with sensitivity on the ordinary citizens who made the region what it has become, Taylor demonstrates how government plans and business goals affected the culture and community life of a particular region. The national implications of this study will be of interest to scholars studying the New South and the history of tourism and of economic development.                           

Stephen Wallace Taylor teaches history at Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, and at Macon State College.

Review: "[This] well-researched, broadly conceived, and gracefully written narrative charis the economic transformation of the upper Little Tennessee River Valley [and] revises long-standing misconceptions about the people, economy, and culture of southwestern Appalachia.... While Taylor's book has much to teach us about Appalachian economic development, it also reminds us of the power of myth in southern history." - John David Smith

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The New South's New Frontier : A Social ...
Publisher: U.S.A.: University Press of Florida
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Edition: 1st Edition

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Taylor, Stephen Wallace, Smith, John David
Published by University Press of Florida (2001)
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Book Description University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2001. Hard Cover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition. F/F/1st ed. Foucusing with sensitivity on the ordinary citizens who made the region what it has become, Taylor demonstrates how government plans and business goals affected the culture and community of a particular region. The national implications of this study will be of interest to scholars studying the New South and the history of tourism and of economic development. Book and jacket are in Fine condition. No wear. Dust jacket has been covered with a mylar sleeve. 186pp. First Edition. Maps, tables, bibliography and index. Scarce study. History/Economics/Development. Seller Inventory # 0021521

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