Cold War Dixie: Militarization and Modernization in the American South by Kari FredericksonCold War Dixie: Militarization and Modernization in the American South by Kari Frederickson

Cold War Dixie: Militarization and Modernization in the American South

byKari Frederickson

Paperback | June 1, 2013

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Focusing on the impact of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) on the communities it created, rejuvenated, or displaced, this book explores the parallel militarization and modernization of the Cold War-era South. The SRP, a scientific and industrial complex near Aiken, South Carolina, grew out of a 1950 partnership between the Atomic Energy Commission and the DuPont Corporation and was dedicated to producing materials for the hydrogen bomb. Kari Frederickson shows how the needs of the expanding national security state, in combination with the corporate culture of DuPont, transformed the economy, landscape, social relations, and politics of this corner of the South. In 1950, the area comprising the SRP and its surrounding communities was primarily poor, uneducated, rural, and staunchly Democratic; by the mid-1960s, it boasted the most PhDs per capita in the state and had become increasingly middle class, suburban, and Republican.

The SRP's story is notably dramatic; however, Frederickson argues, it is far from unique. The influx of new money, new workers, and new business practices stemming from Cold War-era federal initiatives helped drive the emergence of the Sunbelt. These factors also shaped local race relations. In the case of the SRP, DuPont's deeply conservative ethos blunted opportunities for social change, but it also helped contain the radical white backlash that was so prominent in places like the Mississippi Delta that received less Cold War investment.

KARI FREDERICKSON is an associate professor and chair of the department of history at the University of Alabama. She is author of The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 and coeditor of Making Waves: Female Activists in Twentieth-Century Florida.
Title:Cold War Dixie: Militarization and Modernization in the American SouthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:June 1, 2013Publisher:University of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820345202

ISBN - 13:9780820345208

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

"This Most Essential Task": The Decision to Build the Super 10

A Varied Landscape: Geography and Culture in the Savannah River Valley 30

"A Land Doomed and Damned": The Costs of Militarization 48

"Bigger'n Any Lie": Building the Bomb Plant 75

Rejecting the Garrison State: National Priorities and Local Limitations 107

"Better Living": Life in a Cold War Company Town 123

Shifting Landscapes: Politics and Race in a Cold War Community 147

Epilogue 170

Notes 177
Bibliography 205
Index 221

Editorial Reviews

Cold War Dixie begins to fill an important gap in the historiography of the South, and of the Cold War, generally. By examining the cultural impact of the Savannah River Project, Frederickson effectively illuminates how military and political history, too often segregated or ignored in modern academia, intersects and changes society – from whole cities and towns, to individuals having their lives forever changed. - Brian Lewis Crispell - Florida Historical Quarterly