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Boll Weevil Blues – Cotton, Myth, and Power in the American South - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Boll Weevil Blues: Cotton, Myth, and Power in the American South

James C. Giesen


Between the 1890s and the early 1920s, the boll weevil slowly ate its way across the Cotton South from Texas to the Atlantic Ocean. At the turn of the century, some Texas counties were reporting crop losses of over 70 percent, as were areas of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. By the time the boll weevil reached the limits of the cotton belt, it had destroyed much of the region's chief cash crop: tens of billions of pounds of cotton, worth nearly a trillion dollars. As staggering as these numbers may seem, this book demonstrates that it was the very idea of the boll weevil and the struggle ... More

Keywords: cotton, landowning patterns, credit systems, white supremacy, soil fertility

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780226292878
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226292854.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James C. Giesen, author