Product Details

Railroads in the Old South Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society
Aaron W. Marrs
Johns Hopkins U Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2009-10-02 19:43:47
Retail Price:
Our Price:

Railroads in the Old South

Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society

by Aaron W. Marrs.

Cloth with dust jacket, 288 pages, 7 halftones, 12 line drawings, 11.25x9.75.

Related Books: Old Dominion, Industrial Commonwealth: Coal, Politics, and Economy in Antebellum America

Death Rode the Rails: American Railroad Accidents and Safety, 1828–1965

"Aaron W. Marrs challenges the accepted understanding of economic and industrial growth in antebellum America with this original study of the history of the railroad in the Old South.

"Drawing from both familiar and overlooked sources, such as the personal diaries of Southern travelers, papers and letters from civil engineers, corporate records, and contemporary newspaper accounts, Marrs skillfully expands on the conventional business histories that have characterized scholarship in this field. He situates railroads in the fullness of antebellum life, examining how slavery, technology, labor, social convention, and the environment shaped their evolution.

"Far from seeing the Old South as backward and premodern, Marrs finds evidence of urban life, industry, and entrepreneurship throughout the region. But these signs of progress existed alongside efforts to preserve traditional ways of life. Railroads exemplified Southerners' pursuit of progress on their own terms: developing modern transportation while retaining a conservative social order.

"Railroads in the Old South demonstrates that a simple approach to the Old South fails to do justice to its complexity and contradictions.

"The time is right to bring the South into the story of the economic transformation of antebellum America. Aaron Marrs does this with force and grace in Railroads in the Old South." -- John L. Larson, Purdue University

"I am hard pressed to think of another volume that better catches the overall effect railroads had on the Old South." -- Kenneth W. Noe, Auburn University

"Aaron W. Marrs received his Ph.D. in history from the University of South Carolina and was associate managing editor of South Carolina Encyclopedia. He now serves in the Office of the Historian, United States Department of State."