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The Greater Good, The Greater Good, 0817320083, 0-8173-2008-3, 978-0-8173-2008-9, 9780817320089, , The Modern South, The Greater Good, 0817392211, 0-8173-9221-1, 978-0-8173-9221-5, 9780817392215, , The Modern Sout

The Greater Good
Media, Family Removal, and TVA Dam Construction in North Alabama

Trade Cloth
2019. 200 pp.
4 tables
Price:  $54.95 s
E Book
2019. 200 pp.
4 tables
Price:  $54.95 d

Examines the role of press coverage in promoting the mission of the TVA, facilitating family relocation, and formulating the historical legacy of the New Deal
For poverty-stricken families in the Tennessee River Valley during the Great Depression, news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal plans to create the Tennessee Valley Authority—bringing the promise of jobs, soil conservation, and electricity—offered hope for a better life. The TVA dams would flood a considerable amount of land on the riverbanks, however, forcing many families to relocate. In exchange for this sacrifice for the “greater good,” these families were promised “fair market value” for their land. As the first geographic location to benefit from the electricity provided by TVA, the people of North Alabama had much to gain, but also much to lose.
In The Greater Good: Media, Family Removal, and TVA Dam Construction in North Alabama Laura Beth Daws and Susan L. Brinson describe the region’s preexisting conditions, analyze the effects of relocation, and argue that local newspapers had a significant impact in promoting the TVA’s agenda. The authors contend that it was principally through newspapers that local residents learned about the TVA and the process and reasons for relocation. Newspapers of the day encouraged regional cooperation by creating an overwhelmingly positive image of the TVA, emphasizing its economic benefits and disregarding many of the details of removal.
Using mostly primary research, the volume addresses two key questions: What happened to relocated families after they sacrificed their homes, lifestyles, and communities in the name of progress? And what role did mediated communication play in both the TVA’s family relocation process and the greater movement for the public to accept the TVA’s presence in their lives? The Greater Good offers a unique window into the larger impact of the New Deal in the South. Until now, most research on the TVA was focused on organizational development rather than on families, with little attention paid to the role of the media in garnering acceptance of a government-enforced relocation.

Laura Beth Daws is an associate professor of communication at Kennesaw State University. She has published articles in Communication Teacher, Florida Communication Journal, Kentucky Communication Journal, and In Media Res.
Susan L. Brinson is a professor emeritus of mass communication at Auburn University. She is the author of Personal and Public Interests: Frieda B. Hennock and the Federal Communications Commission and The Red Scare, Politics, and the Federal Communications Commission, 1941–1960 and is coeditor of Transmitting the Past: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Broadcasting.

“As an addendum to the triumphal narratives of TVA leadership, The Greater Good is thoughtful and well-considered. It is a reminder that progress always comes at a price, and the most powerless individuals in a society ofen bear the greatest cost. . . . Daws and Brinson have done an admirable job of contextualizing this part of TVA history within the broader scope of media studies.”
Alabama Review

The Greater Good is well written and will appeal to both scholarly and regional audiences interested in the time period, southern history, and TVA.”
—Aaron D. Purcell, author of White Collar Radicals: TVA’s Knoxville Fifteen, the New Deal, and the McCarthy Era and editor of TheJournal of East Tennessee History

The Greater Good: Media, Family Removal, and TVA Dam Construction in North Alabama is overall a strong book that will prove useful for scholars looking at the TVA or at media, southern and rural poverty, and social change in the New Deal era.”
Journal of Southern History
Also of Interest

Origins of the TVA
by Preston J. Hubbard

Alabama in the Twentieth Century
Wayne Flynt

History and Hope in the Heart of Dixie
Edited by Gordon E. Harvey, Richard D. Starnes and Glenn Feldman

Stand Up for Alabama
Jeffrey Frederick