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T H E A L A B A M A R E V I E W 290 manufacturing jobs in developed nations or the exploitation of workers in developing nations. Given the powerful corporate and political forces aligned against them and the exploitation of racial divisions those forces perpetuated, it is not clear that a more southern strategy on the part of union leadership could have successfully organized a majority of southern textile workers. Nevertheless, additional funding and manpower, English convinces us, could not have hurt. As the first major New England textile manufacturer to move assets south, the Dwight Manufacturing Company played a significant role in the history of Alabama. Dwight Company officials worked to prevent child-labor legislation, as well as state regulation of working hours and conditions in Alabama’s textile mills and villages. Corporate officials testified before legislative committees, sought to sway the votes of individual state legislators, and used the economic needs of communities like Gadsden and Alabama City to influence the actions of local and state political officials. Pro-business politicians and corporate officials worked together to block every effort to unionize or even protect workers . Although conditions improved for Alabama laborers in the 1930s and 1940s, the fruits of their long struggle came too late to prevent the closure of the Dwight facility in Alabama or the beginnings of a new relocation of the textile industry out of the American South to low-wage, less-regulated economies in Asia and Latin America. Cogent and tightly written, A Common Thread demonstrates the historical and ongoing relationship between developed and less-developed regional economies. English effectively links the American South to a broader history of international economic development and labor organization. PAMELA C. EDWARDS Shepherd University Practicing Ethnohistory: Mining Archives, Hearing Testimony, Constructing Narrative. By Patricia Galloway. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006. 554 pp. $24.95. ISBN 0-8032-7115-8. Patricia Galloway has been practicing ethnohistory for nearly thirty years; this award-winning scholar is widely recognized as a preeminent practitioner of that demanding and expanding field. Practicing Ethnohistory brings together twenty-one of her essays, some never before published. It presents, in Galloway’s words, her “intellectual autobiography ” (p. 1) and serves as a model of intellectual rigor, meticulous methodology , and cross-disciplinary work. The essays vary in content, tone, O C T O B E R 2 0 0 7 291 and quality, but all provide the reader a valuable opportunity to observe a first-rate scholar practicing her craft. Galloway’s work began as a documentary editor in 1979 when she was called upon by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to complete the editing of the two final volumes of Mississippi Provincial Archives: French Dominion (Baton Rouge, 1984), which had endured a forty-year hiatus since the first three volumes were published in 1932. Galloway struggled with incomplete and biased records—French bureaucrats recorded what they had judged worthy and later archivists preserved selectively. In addition, Galloway applied revised standards of historical editing to her volumes. The welter of missing and misused documents meant that Galloway “struggled . . . with trying to wring blood from the stones of European incomprehension and representation of Native behavior and testimony” (p. 7). As she makes clear, the French documents relating to what became the state of Mississippi were important not for what they revealed about the French, but for what they revealed about the Indians. In addition to a high standard of documentary editing, including translation and annotation, Galloway employed a number of innovative techniques, including textual criticism, a method of comparative literature, and narrative analysis. The essays in part one of the present volume, “Historiography: Deconstructing the Text,” highlight the many challenges that Galloway faced in the project and in her later work, including essays on the issues of bias and silence in ethnohistorical material. Also included in the section are two essays on the use and misuse of narrative sources relating to the De Soto expedition. Galloway’s work is noted for an exceptional use of archaeological material and innovative analysis of maps. In part two, her analytical methods for these non-textual materials...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-9961
Print ISSN
0002-4341
Pages
pp. 290-292
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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