"Alongside Jefferson Cowie's Capital Moves, Beth English offers one of the first works of business and labor history to take seriously an industry-wide, cross-regional analysis that is a necessary prelude to understanding the challenges facing working people in an age of globalization. This careful case study is filled with both analytic and strategic insight."
—Leon Fink, author of The Maya of Morganton
In 1896, to confront the effects of increasing state regulations, labor militancy, and competition from southern mills, the Dwight Company became one of the first New England cotton textile companies to open a subsidiary mill in the South. Dwight closed its Massachusetts operations completely in 1927, but its southern subsidiary lasted three more decades. In 1959, the branch factory Dwight had opened in Alabama became one of the first textile mills in the South to close in the face of post-World War II foreign competition.
Beth English explains why and how New England cotton manufacturing companies pursued relocation to the South as a key strategy for economic survival, why and how southern states attracted northern textile capital, and how textile mill owners, labor unions, the state, manufacturers' associations, and reform groups shaped the ongoing movement of cotton-mill money, machinery, and jobs. A Common Thread is a case study that helps provide clues and predictors about the processes of attracting and moving industrial capital to developing economies throughout the world.
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