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George C. Rogers, Jr. Book Award - 2014
McKinley argues that despite considerable similarities between Old and New South, the negotiations that produced this resemblance reveal the agency of freedpeople as well as planters, the mingled self-interest and aspirations of politicians, and a new commercial and manufacturing class that relied on old networks and ways of doing business....A solid contribution.
--The Journal of American History
A very well-researched, contextual case study that makes a significant contribution to the story of industrialization in the New South.
A valued addition to the history of the low-country and the post-slavery South more generally.
An insightful analysis of the rise of the phosphate and fertilizer industries in the South Carolina low country.
--Business History Review
McKinley’s fine monograph is a valued addition to the history of the low-county and the post-slavery South more generally.
Examines an often-overlooked aspect of southern industrialization and thus makes an important contribution to the history of the New South.
--North Carolina Historical Review
Offers an exciting invitation for more scholarship on a New South industry that has remained hidden from view.
--Journal of Southern History
Presents a narrative that stresses the importance of focusing on certain industries--for example, mining, phosphates, and fertilizers--that thrived during the postbellum era and have, for far too long, been relatively unexamined.
Equal parts history of science, business history, industrial history, labor history, and the history of race relations, all done as a case study geographically centered on Charleston, the Charleston Neck, and the Ashley River. McKinley’s research of these topics is thorough, and his analysis of that research is convincing.
--South Carolina Historical Magazine
Convincingly argues that the tripartite industry was more significant than historians have previously allowed. . . . A fascinating glimpse of a neglected industrial Charleston.
--Journal of Economic History
Combining business, economic, labor, local, political, and social history, McKinley posits that the fertilizer industry emancipated former planter elites from the slave-based antebellum economy. . . . [His] examination of a relatively obscure aspect of industrial and technological history suggests the existence of other nascent southern industries after the Civil War.
--American Historical Review