The Life and Death of Industrial Languedoc, 1700-1920
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The Life and Death of Industrial Languedoc, 1700-1920

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The Life and Death of Industrial Languedoc looks at one of the earliest examples of a region and an industry (woolen textiles) that had successfully mechanized only to submit, in the later nineteenth century, to the ravages of deindustrialization. In contrast to the explanations of both economic "realists," who attribute deindustrialization to market forces and economic geography, and regional nationalists, who see a betrayal of Lower Languedoc by its bourgeoisie whose investments took the easy path to the vine rather than staying the course with industry, Johnson shows that woolens production remained vital through mid-century. The dimension that must be added, he argues, is the political. Workers in Languedoc developed a powerful labor and democratic socialist movement against an intransigent class of employers. That movement rocked the region, as well as the nation, from 1848-1851. Dramatic as it may have been, this upheaval also proved to be the catalyst stimulating the disfavor of the French state and the consumer alike, and the ineluctable process of decline set in. By 1920, Lower Languedoc clung tenuously to a single-crop economy, the ubiquitous vine.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 322 pages
  • 160.5 x 235.2 x 25.4mm | 657.72g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 6 halftones (one as frontispiece), 4 maps
  • 0195045084
  • 9780195045086

Review quote

impressive ... This is not a narrow, dry 'economic history' ... this is essentially a very good book ... a well-researched, powerfully argued and deeply-felt book, and one with obvious relevance to analysis of the strategies of global capitalism in our own grim era. * Roger Magraw, University of Warwick, EHR Sept. 97 * Professor Johnson gives us a fine example of a historical monograph that surely benefited from his painstaking approach. * Colin Heywood, University of Nottingham, Labour History Review, Vol. 61, No. 2, Summer 1996 * touches of autobiography, the fluid writing style, and the consistently argued political line to give a rare quality and ... it would be equally suitable as holiday or library reading * Pat Hudson, University of Liverpool, The Economic History Review, Volume L, No. 1, February 1997 *show more

Back cover copy

The Life and Death of Industrial Languedoc looks at one of the earliest examples of a region and an industry (woolen textiles) that had successfully mechanized only to submit, in the later nineteenth century, to the ravages of deindustrialization. In contrast to the explanations of both economic "realists", who attribute deindustrialization to market forces and economic geography, and regional nationalists, who see a betrayal of Lower Languedoc by its bourgeoisie whose investments took the easy path to the vine rather than staying the course with industry, Johnson shows that woolens production remained vital through mid-century. The dimension that must be added, he argues, is the political. Workers in Languedoc developed a powerful labor and democratic socialist movement against an intransigent class of employers. That movement rocked the region, as well as the nation, from 1848-1851. Dramatic as it may have been, this upheaval also proved to be the catalyst stimulating the disfavor of the French state and the consumer alike, and the ineluctable process of decline set in. By 1920, Lower Languedoc clung tenuously to a single-crop economy, the ubiquitous vine.show more

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