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T H E A L A B A M A R E V I E W 288 need to pull it out. He knew it by heart” (p. 369). The reader is informed that one of the guards at Camp Aliceville used to sled “with his friends down mile-long hills” during his youth (p. 208) and that eight-year-old Mary-Lu Turner and her stepsister Joyce spent “their first night in Alabama at the Aliceville Hotel on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and First Street, right in the middle of town” (p. 44). Historians will question the relevance and accuracy of such information . In addition, Cook could have, on occasion, dealt more critically with her sources. The book features a number of often-repeated but questionable anecdotes; for example, that German propaganda allegedly had led the POWs to believe that the Luftwaffe destroyed many American cities (pp. 137, 188, 424), or that Eleanor Roosevelt initiated the POW reeducation program (pp. 331–32). Unfortunately, the author makes no use of the substantial German literature on this period and on POWs in particular. On a number of issues, such as the German Army’s role in the Holocaust (p. 469) or the Morgenthau Plan (p. 460), the book does not reflect the latest research. However, Guests is probably not directed at an audience of specialists. Cook has written an engaging, well-illustrated book, which offers a good introduction into the history of German POWs in the United States for those who do not feel drawn to the style and analysis of traditional historical studies. It highlights the human dimension of war and captivity, and shows the various ways in which the small community of Aliceville became connected to events and places in the United States and abroad. MATTHIAS REISS University of Exeter A Common Thread: Labor, Politics, and Capital Mobility in the Textile Industry. By Beth English. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006. x, 236 pp. $39.95. ISBN 0-8203-2628-3. In A Common Thread, Beth English uses the Dwight Manufacturing Company’s relocation from Massachusetts to Alabama to examine the impact of capital mobility on business, politics, and labor. Recognizing the similar appeal of plentiful supplies of low-wage laborers across the eras, English ties her history of industrial relocation within the United States to the current movement of U.S. industries across international boundaries. While adding to the industrial and labor history of Alabama, English contributes to a growing body of southern industrial history that O C T O B E R 2 0 0 7 289 seeks to place the South in a broader, trans-regional, and trans-national economic context that challenges the idea of southern distinctiveness. English focuses on three areas of analysis—business, politics, and labor . In some ways, this book is a business history examining the decision, in 1894, of the New England–based Dwight Manufacturing Company to build a textile manufacturing facility in Alabama. Moving into the twentieth century, English considers the widening margin of profitability between Dwight’s southern and northern facilities that influenced the decision to close all facilities in Chicopee, Massachusetts, while expanding the Alabama City complex (now part of Gadsden). Intertwining political history with corporate history, she explores the long and ultimately successful struggle to pass protective labor legislation in Massachusetts by considering the actions of labor unions, powerful lobbyists on both sides of the issue, and individual legislators. In the South, she explores the efforts of labor unions and progressive reformers to restrict hours and improve working conditions in textile mills, as well as the role of Dwight corporate officials and pro-business politicians in defeating their proposals . Her business and political analysis supports long-standing historical interpretations of southern industries’ intransigence to meaningful or enforceable government regulation until the New Deal and World War II brought somewhat ineffective federal oversight. While A Common Thread does not purport to be a cultural, shop-floor labor history, English gives extensive attention to organizational labor history and this may be the most powerful aspect of the volume. Focusing on the organizational and regional strategies of the United Textile Workers of America (UTWA...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-9961
Print ISSN
0002-4341
Pages
pp. 288-290
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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