The Growth of an American Village in the Early Industrial Revolution

Anthony F. C. Wallace
New preface by the author

554 pages
Illus., maps


June 2005


$24.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

A celebrated triumph of historiography, Rockdale tells the story of the Industrial Revolution as it was experienced by the men, women, and children of the cotton-manufacturing town of Rockdale, Pennsylvania. The lives of workers, managers, inventors, owners, and entrepreneurs are brilliantly illuminated by Anthony F. C. Wallace, who also describes the complex technology that governed all of Rockdale’s townspeople. Wallace examines the new relationships between employer and employee as work and workers moved out of the fields into the closed-in world of the spinning mule, the power loom, and the mill office. He brings to light the impassioned battle for the soul of the mill worker, a struggle between the exponents of the Enlightenment and Utopian Socialism, on the one hand, and, on the other, the ultimately triumphant champions of evangelical Christianity.

Author Bio

Anthony F. C. Wallace is University Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. His many books include Revitalizations and Mazeways, Modernity and Mind, and The Social Context of Innovation, all published by the University of Nebraska Press.


“Extraordinary and brilliant. . . . Rockdale has the dimensions of an important event in American historical writing. It is not only a splendid reconstruction of the past . . . [b]ut a powerful interpretive reading that reconceives the very basis for the study of American industrialization. . . . A book of epic proportions.”—New York Times Book Review

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