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Amassing Power: J. B. Duke and the Saguenay River, 1897-1927 by David Massell

By David Massell

The damming of the Saguenay introduced industrialisation on a grand scale to rural Quebec within the kind of newsprint and aluminum manufacture. Tapping into wealthy and numerous resources in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, Massell offers an interdisciplinary, cross-border research of yank capital and Canadian assets. He exhibits us how ever-larger quantities of capital yielded more and more titanic and complex purposes of hydroelectric know-how. Grand business plans, in flip, encroached upon provincial water rights and farmers' lands, which drew the eye of the nation. He examines the protracted energy fight among private and non-private pursuits - among American capitalists and the nascent paperwork of the province of Quebec - and describes the origins and evolution of the occasions that ended in country regulate over hydraulic assets within the province. In doing so he offers bright images of Duke and of Quebec politicians of the interval and provides a dramatic account of the protracted conflict of wits among Duke's leader engineer, William States Lee, and Quebec's leader of Hydraulic provider, Arthur Amos. gathering energy speaks to the mixing of North American economies, vividly illustrating the method through which American capital drew Canada's resource-rich North into the industrial orbit of the United States.

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Extra info for Amassing Power: J. B. Duke and the Saguenay River, 1897-1927

Sample text

5 A Canadian by birth, Willson spent the formative period of his working life in the United States: in Ohio, New York City, and eventually at Spray, North Carolina, where he sought to work out an alternative method for aluminum production using the hydroelectricity of a local stream to create intense heat inside an electric furnace, with the financial support of Major James Turner Morehead. Instead of aluminum, however, in May 1892, quite by accident, another compound was produced. Willson noticed that a mixture containing lime and powdered coal, under the heat of the furnace, fused to a heavy metallic mass.

In its scope, the chronology was somewhat broader than I had intended, reaching back by necessity into the nineteenth century, and going forward into the mid 1920s. In its content this was a good bit more complex a tale than the one I had anticipated, entwining not only “business” and the “state” but several levels of each. B. Duke; and Quebec politicians, responding to both political exigencies and selfish need as they attempted to oblige and sustain a vast development project on the northern resource frontier.

Yet, like the Commercial Travellers at the Château on a winter’s evening, what we know of this transformative decision has been effectively limited to the public words of the premier. Not that the dam and its immediate consequences have passed unremarked by historians. fm Page 10 Monday, May 29, 2000 2:19 PM 10 Amassing Power in the historical record, has drawn the attention of writers for over half a century. Harvard economic historian Donald Wallace was among the first to use the evidence from the anti-trust suits of the mid 1920s to deal at some length with the events leading up to the accord between Duke and Davis.

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