Georgia Gwinnett College History Professor Michael J. Gagnon to Provide Lecture on the Industrialization of the South

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Athens, Georgia – Michael Gagnon, author of Transition to an Industrial South: Athens, Georgia, 1830-1870 (Louisiana State University Press, 2012), will provide a presentation on his book on Sunday, February 10 at 3:00 pm at the Georgia Museum of Art. There will be a meet-the-author reception and book signing following the presentation.


In Transition to an Industrial South, Michael J. Gagnon explores the industrial network in the antebellum South with a case study of the creation and expansion of the cotton textile industry in Athens. One of the first industrialized cities in the antebellum South, Athens was home to three highly successful cotton factories with several others operating in close proximity. Athens set Georgia on a modernizing trend with its connected networks of family, business, and financial relations that provided a framework for Southern industry to profit. Atlanta’s famed railroad system exists, in part, because Athens, as part of a manufacturing belt in antebellum Georgia that stretched from Augusta to Roswell, needed connections to other markets for supplies and distribution. By the time of the Civil War, Georgia had more factories and more railroads than any other Southern state, making it the transportation hub of the South. Georgia remained the foremost industrial state in the South until the 1890s.


Michael J. Gagnon is an assistant professor of history at Georgia Gwinnett College. His academic interests include the history of industrialization, history of the early American republic and Southern history. Gagnon received his bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and has a masters and doctorate degree in history from Emory University.


This event, which is co-sponsored by the Athens Historical Society and the Georgia Museum of Art on the University of Georgia campus, is free and open to the public. The presentation will be held in the museum’s M. Smith Griffith Auditorium. Free parking is available in the Performing Arts Center parking deck, which is located at the rear of lot E11 off River Road, and in surface lot E11. Handicap parking will be available in the museum’s parking lot off Carlton Street. The museum galleries will be open before and after the presentation from 1-5 pm. For directions to the museum, please visit http://georgiamuseum.org/visit/hours.


For more information on Gagnon, visit http://www.ggc.edu/about-ggc/directory/michael-gagnon. For more information on Transition to an Industrial South, visit http://lsupress.org/books/detail/transition-to-an-industrial-south.


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