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David Carlton

Professor of History, Emeritus

David L. Carlton has been at Vanderbilt since 1983, having earlier taught at Texas Tech University and Coastal Carolina College. He is the author of Mill and Town in South Carolina, 1880-1920 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982). Mill and Town finds the indigenous roots of industrialization in the economic revolution in the South resulting from the Civil War and Emancipation and the resulting expansion of a dynamic, town-dwelling middle class, and explores the tense relationship between these “town people” and the white working class recruited to work in the new mills. More recently, he has been attempting to define a “southern style” of industrialization by focusing on the character of the region’s entrepreneurs, the problems they faced as latecomers to industrialization, the nature of their resulting development strategies, and the implications of those strategies for the modern region in an era of accelerated globalization. He has published a number of essays on various aspects of this project, and has co-authored, with Peter A. Coclanis, The South, the Nation, and the World: Essays in Southern Economic Development (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1984). In 2010-2011 he was a research fellow at the Global Research Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, part of an interdisciplinary team seeking understanding of the industrial crisis facing North Carolina and the South. In addition, he frequently speaks on southern historical topics, particularly relating to the industrial South and economic development issues. He has served on advisory boards for H-South, the southern history discussion list of H-Net, for Atlanta History, and for the Journal of the Historical Society, and has consulted with museums and public agencies around the South. He is past President and current Secretary-Treasurer of the St. George Tucker Society, a limited-membership, interdisciplinary southern studies group. At Vanderbilt, he teaches the U. S. History survey (and has edited a documentary reader for the survey), the History of the American South, the History of American Enterprise, and on occasion the History of Appalachia.