OLD SOUTH, NEW SOUTH: Revolutions in the Southern Economy Since the Civil War by Gavin Wright

OLD SOUTH, NEW SOUTH: Revolutions in the Southern Economy Since the Civil War

Email this review


The economic development of the post-Civil War South is thoroughly and thoughtfully analysed in this scholarly work by Wright, a Stanford Economics Professor who previously authored The Political Economy of the Cotton South. A quasi-country until recent times, the South experienced the development of a separate regional labor market outside national and international ones. Primarily a long-term consequence of slavery, the labor market that developed was cotton-centered, and comprised of primarily farming and textile enterprises. The composition of the labor force, intricacies of wage structure, as well as relative importance of goods produced are presented here in great depth and augmented by much statistical data. Those seeking a definitive guide will find this strictly economic history a well-documented, exhaustive reference that puts in perspective the entrenched enigma which was--and to a large part, still is--the southern economy. Through years of research, Wright has evaluated the South as only an outsider can. The result is refreshingly readable and complete in terms of economic history. Sociopolitical history, which has received much attention through the years, is not covered here, though undertones are unavoidably present throughout the work. For students and other serious economic observers of the South, this will provide insights which have not been assembled in so complete a perspective before.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1986
Publisher: Basic Books