Knoxville, Tennessee: A Mountain City in the New South

Knoxville, Tennessee: A Mountain City in the New South

by William Bruce Wheeler

Paperback(3rd Edition)

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This third edition of Knoxville, Tennessee: A Mountain City in the New South includes a new preface and a valuable new chapter covering the period from the death of Cas Walker to the end of the administration of Madeline Rogero, Knoxville’s first female mayor.

Wheeler argues that, until very recently, like Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (1925), Knoxvillians had fabricated for themselves a false history, portraying themselves and their city as the almost impotent victims of historical forces that they could neither alter nor control. The result of this myth has been a collective mentality of near-helplessness against the powerful forces of isolation, poverty, and even change itself. But Knoxville’s past is far more complicated than that, for the city contained abundant material goods and human talent that could have been used to propel Knoxville into the ranks of the premier cities of the New South—if those assets had not slipped through the fingers of both the leaders and the populace. In all, Knoxville’s history is the story of colliding forces—country and city, North and South, the poor and the elites as well as the story of colorful figures, including Perez Dickenson, Edward Sanford, George Dempster, Carlene Malone, Bill Haslam, and Madeline Rogero, among many, many more.

While challenges related to public health, income inequality, racism, and the environment remain, Wheeler detects the possibility that the myth Knoxvillians have clung to may finally be fading. Downtown development by vibrant local entrepreneurs, a government more responsive than ever before, and an economy that endured a severe economic downturn only to turn out brighter than expected are all symptoms of a Knoxville that may be ready to take its place in the rising urbanism of twenty-first-century America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621905790
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Publication date: 04/23/2020
Edition description: 3rd Edition
Sales rank: 468,982
Product dimensions: (w) x (h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

WILLIAM BRUCE WHEELER is professor emeritus of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the co-author of TVA and the Tellico Dam: A Bureaucratic Crisis in Post-Industrial America and is currently at work on the sixth edition of Discovering the American Past.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2020 Edition ix

Preface to the 2005 Edition xi

1 The New South Comes to Appalachia: The Emergence of Knoxville, 1850-1940 1

2 Lost Confidence and the Culture of Ugliness: Knoxville in World War II and the Postwar Era 61

3 The Wheels Come Off the Wagon: Knoxville in the 1950s 95

4 New Energy for an Old City: Knoxville in the 1960s-1980s 127

5 Perils and Promises of a New South City: Knoxville in the Modern Age 167

6 Knoxvillians in the New Millenium 199

Epilogue 233

Notes 237

Index 277

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