David L. Carlton
David L. Carlton is a historian of the American South. A Yale Ph.D., he has been teaching at Vanderbilt University since 1983. His scholarship has centered on the industrialization of the South, beginning with *Mill and Town in South Carolina, 1880-1920* (LSU, 1982). He has written a number of essays on the history of the South and its economic development, many of which are collected in a book he co-authored with Peter A. Coclanis, *The South, the Nation, and the World: Essays on Southern Economic Development* (Virginia, 200). His ongoing project, which uses North Carolina as a case study, is an attempt to define a “southern style” of industrialization by looking at the strategies southern businesspeople pursued in their efforts to develop a more advanced economy after the Civil War. The prevalent strategy, he argues, has been one of adopting mature industries rather than developing new ones; competing on price rather than product innovation; and relying more on attracting outside entrepreneurs than growing its own. While some parts of the South (such as the Research Triangle) have sought to break out of this pattern, the small-town and rural South remain locked into it; indeed, it is the foundation of the modern-day strategy of “smokestack-chasing.” This strategy leaves the region particularly vulnerable to economic globalization, because mature industries with mature products can as easily move out as move in. He believes that historical investigation of this problem can offer some real insights into the process of southern economic development and the nature of its present crisis.