Join Bexley Public Library as it celebrates the release of award-winning author Bart Elmore's latest book, Country Capitalism: How Corporations from the American South Remade Our Economy and the Planet. Nick Breyfogle, Associate Professor of History at OSU and the Director of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching, will moderate the discussion.
About the Author: Bart Elmore is an award-winning 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). Elmore is also a professor of environmental history and a core faculty member of the Sustainability Institute at The Ohio State University, where he won the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award in 2018. He currently edits the Histories of Capitalism and the Environment Series at West Virginia University Press. Learn more about Bart's writing, teaching, and media appearances by visiting his website.
About the Book: The rural roads that led to our planet-changing global economy ran through the American South. That region’s impact on the interconnected histories of business and ecological change is narrated here by acclaimed scholar Bart Elmore, who uses the histories of five southern firms—Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Walmart, FedEx, and Bank of America—to investigate the environmental impact of our have-it-now, fly-by-night, buy-on-credit economy. Drawing on exclusive interviews with company executives, corporate archives, and other records, Elmore explores the historical, economic, and ecological conditions that gave rise to these five trailblazing corporations. He then considers what each has become: an essential presence in the daily workings of the global economy and an unmistakable contributor to the reshaping of the world’s ecosystems. Even as businesses invest in sustainability initiatives and respond to new calls for corporate responsibility, Elmore shows the limits of their efforts to “green” their operations and offers insights on how governments and activists can push corporations to do better...This book is a must-read for anyone who hopes to create an ecologically sustainable future economy.
About the Moderator: Nick Breyfogle is an Associate Professor of History at OSU and Director of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching. He is a specialist in the history of Russia/Soviet Union as well as in global environmental and water history.
He is the author of Heretics and Colonizers: Forging Russia’s Empire in the South Caucasus (2005), which was awarded the Ohio Academy of History Outstanding Publication Award, 2006; and editor/co-editor of Hydraulic Societies: Water, Power, and Control in East and Central Asian History (2023); Place and Nature: Essays in Russian Environmental History (2021), Nature at War: American Environments and World War II (2020); Readings in Water History (2020); Eurasian Environments: Nature and Ecology in Imperial Russian and Soviet History (2018); and Peopling the Russian Periphery: Borderland Colonization in Eurasian History (2007).
Breyfogle has also worked extensively in the field of Public History. Since 2007, he has been co-editor of the online magazine/podcast/video channel Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, https://origins.osu.edu, A Well-Informed People, https://www.aw-ip.org/, and most recently of Picturing Black History, https://www.picturingblackhistory.org/.
He is currently completing two book projects, “Baikal: the Great Lake and its People” and “Water: A Human History.”