Book Reviews The consolidation of the industry into a few heavily mechanized companies by World War I and the inability of craft unionism to accommodate the new industrial workers destroyed the promise of a craftsmen's paradise in these new glass towns, and dashed any hope for an alternative path to "development" than that being offered by coal. By the arrival of the Great Depression, the once promising glass industry had itself fallen prey to corporate consolidation, mechanization, low wages, and absentee ownership. The failure of cooperative development between capital and labor in the glass industry will come as no surprise to scholars in Appalachian studies or labor history. The inability of local workers to leverage and sustain power in the face of technology, corporate domination of government, and the consolidation of capital has shaped the politics of development in Appalachia, America, and much of the rest of the world in the past century. Fones-Wolf has helped us to understand that not even the craft-centered glass industry was immune to this process. This well-researched and highly readable study forces us to look beyond coal and other extractive industries for explanations of the economic and political distress that has plagued
West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies – West Virginia University Press
Published: Aug 9, 2008
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