Like Fire in Broom Straw: Southern Journalism and the by Robert W. Whalen

By Robert W. Whalen

The southern cloth moves of 1929-1931 have been ferocious struggles--thousands of millhands went on strike, the nationwide safeguard was once deployed, a number of humans have been killed and thousands injured and jailed. The southern press, and for a time the nationwide press, coated the tale in huge, immense element. In recounting advancements, southern newshounds and editors came upon themselves swept up on a painful and sweeping re-evaluation and reconstruction of southern associations and values. Whalen explores the mostly unknown global of southern journalism and investigates the ways that the upheaval in textiles brought on profound soul-searching between southerners. The southern cloth moves of 1929-1931 have been ferocious struggles--thousands of millhands went on strike, the nationwide protect was once deployed, numerous humans have been killed and hundreds of thousands injured and jailed. The southern press, and for a time the nationwide press, lined the tale in huge, immense element. In recounting advancements, southern newshounds and editors stumbled on themselves swept up on a painful and sweeping second look and reconstruction of southern associations and values. Whalen explores the mostly unknown international of southern journalism and investigates the ways that the upheaval in textiles brought on profound soul-searching between southerners.

The worlds of work, journalism, and the yankee South collide during this research. That collision, Whalen claims, is the prelude to the beautiful social, monetary, and cultural transformation of the yank South which happened within the final half the 20th century. The cloth moves surprised the brain of the South, a proven fact that can conveniently be obvious in homeland papers, as journalists and editors ran the gamut from denial and scheming to hoping and dreaming--sometimes even bravely confronting the reality. The reevaluation of southern manners and mores that might culminate within the Civil Rights struggles of the Fifties and Sixties may be dated again to this era of turmoil.

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Additional info for Like Fire in Broom Straw: Southern Journalism and the Textile Strikes of 1929-1931 (Contributions in American History)

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They were outbreaks of frightening crime. This was a consistent thane of the Piedmont's press and politicians. In a front-page editorial of May 13, the Star grimly warned of the "criminal outbreaks" sweeping through the city. To be sure, the Star evenhandedly defended both capital's right to a "feir and reasonable return on its investments," and labor's right "to seek, by any honorable and peaceful means betterment of... " But, the paper insisted, labor-management conflict was not the real issue; "these...

Novelist Sherwood Anderson hurried to the city in the spring of 1929 when the strike began and looked at Elizabethton with a jaundiced eye. He was, on the (me hand, deeply impressed by the giant Bemberg-Glanzstoff mills. "The mills themselves," he wrote, "had that combination of the terrible with the magnificent that is so disconcerting. " Yes, the city was growing; in 1920 Elizabethton had a mere 2,749 citizens, he reported, and by 1929 had over 8,000. Much of the town was, in feet, less than five years old, and the hastily constructed buildings, Anderson thought, already had "that half

All the union leaders were rounded up, and eventually seven, the "Gastonia Seven," were charged with murder. Their trial, in neighboring Charlotte, began in late August but quickly ended when one of the jurors had a nervous breakdown (there were no alternate jurors). When news of the mistrial swept through Gastonia, a mob of vigilantes attacked what was left of the strike headquarters, kidnapped and beat remaining union leaders, and even led a wild convoy of automobiles through Charlotte. Even that wasn't the end.

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