The “Amazon economy” seems like something new, but it rests on the physical and intellectual infrastructure built by those who came long before the age of the internet and leaves many of the same marks on the environment. Prominent in this story are five companies: Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Walmart, Bank of America, and FedEx, all of which have global reach and southern roots.
In this episode of The Road to Now, Bart Elmore joins us to talk about his new book Country Capitalism: How Corporations from the American South Remade our Economy and the Planet (UNC Press, 2023), and how understanding the history of American business can help us address the environmental challenges that are undeniably facing humanity today.
Dr. Bartow Elmore is Associate Professor of History and a core faculty member of the Sustainability Institute at The Ohio State University. In addition to Country Capitalism, he is also the author of Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism (W. W. Norton, 2015) and Seed Money: Monsanto’s Past and Our Food Future (W. W. Norton, 2021). You can hear him discuss these books in RTN episode 140 and episode 208 respectively. Bart is also a 2022 winner of the Dan David Prize.
The Road to Now is a series of conversations that trace the historical roots of today’s events. Hosted by Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers & Dr. Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University, RTN brings exceptional guests to the table to answer pressing questions and explain how our shared and personal past shape the world today. A member of the Osiris Podcast Network.