Katherine Rye Jewell
, Assistant Professor of History at Fitchburg State University, discusses her book, Dollars for Dixie: Business and the Transformation of Conservatism in the Twentieth Century
(Cambridge University Press, 2017), and the evolution of political and economic conservatism in the twentieth-century South.
Organized in 1933, the Southern States Industrial Council's (SSIC) adherence to the South as a unique political and economic entity limited its members' ability to forge political coalitions against the New Deal. The SSIC's commitment to regional preferences, however, transformed and incorporated conservative thought in the post-World War II era, ultimately complementing the emerging conservative movement in the 1940s and 1950s. In response to New Dealers' attempts to remake the southern economy, the New South industrialists - heirs of C. Vann Woodward's 'new men' of the New South - effectively fused cultural traditionalism and free market economics into a brand of southern free enterprise that shaped the region's reputation and political culture. Dollars for Dixie
demonstrates how the South emerged from this refashioning and became a key player in the modern conservative movement, with new ideas regarding free market capitalism, conservative fiscal policy, and limited bureaucracy.
Beth A. English is director of the Liechtenstein Institute's Project on Gender in the Global Community at Princeton University. She also is a past president of the Southern Labor History Association.