Paths of Resistance: Tradition and Dignity in Industrializing Missouri
David R. Thelen | 1986-01-23 00:00:00 | Oxford University Press, USA | 324 | Economics
The years between 1865 and 1920 were eventful ones for the sake of Missouri. It was not only the time of Jesse James, Scott Joplin, and Mark Twain, of progressive governors Joseph Folk and Herbert Hadley, of the first general strike in St. Louis and some especially vicious vigilante activity, it was also the time when Missouri, like many other states, was being transformed by the tides of industrialism and economic growth. This social history examines the social and economic forces that resisted economic development in Missouri. Here, Thelen explores the various ways that people attempted to maintain their values and dignity in the face of overwhelming new economic, cultural, and political pressures, and analyzes the grassroots patterns that emerged in response to rapid social change. Thelen, who is one of the leading historians of the Progressive period in America, contends that people found their strength not in class solidarity or other Marxist responses but in what he calls "the resistance of folk memories", which allowed them to call upon the best elements of their collective past to help them cope with the new situation.
This book is so interesting - especially if you are from Missouri. Missouri is such a diverse state, both geographically and politically - partly due to the distance it covers north to south. Many different cultures migrated to Missouri. This book shows that the proud folk traditions and customs helped the folks that settled here to progress as events caused the changes that go with "progress" anywhere. It belongs in anyone's collection of Missouri literature!!
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