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Capital Moves : RCA's Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor



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The highly acclaimed account of one renowned company's labor struggles in its rise to global power. Globalization is the lead story of the new century, but its roots reach back nearly one hundred years, to major corporations' quest for stable, inexpensive, and pliant sources of labor. Before the largest companies moved beyond national boundaries, they crossed state lines, abandoning the industrial centers of the Eastern Seaboard for impoverished rural communities in the Midwest and South. In their wake they left the decaying urban landscapes and unemployment rates that became hallmarks of late-twentieth-century America. This is the story that Jefferson Cowie, in "a stunningly important work of historical imagination and rediscovery" (Nelson Lichtenstein), tells through the lens of a single American corporation, RCA. Capital Moves takes us through the interconnected histories of Camden, New Jersey; Bloomington, Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; and Juarez, Mexicofour cities radically transformed by America's leading manufacturer of records and radio sets. In a sweeping narrative of economic upheaval and class conflict, Cowie weaves together the rich detail of local history with the nationaland ultimately internationalstory of economic and social change. 22 black-and-white photographs.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations vi
Introduction 1(11)
In Defiance of Their Master's Voice: Camden, 1929--1950
``Anything but an Industrial Town'': Bloomington, 1940--1968
Bordering on the Sun Belt: Memphis, 1965--1971
The New Industrial Frontier: Ciudad Juarez, 1964--1978
Moving toward a Shutdown: Bloomington, 1969--1998
The Double Struggle: Ciudad Juarez, 1978--1998
The Distances In Between
Epilogue to the New Press Paperback Edition 202(8)
Notes 210(40)
Bibliography 250(19)
Acknowledgments 269(4)
Index 273

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