The Belles of New England by William Moran
The Women of the Textile Mills and the Families Whose Wealth They Wove

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The Belles of New England is a masterful, definitive, and eloquent look at the enormous cultural and economic impact on America of New England's textile mills. The author, an award-winning CBS producer, traces the history of American textile manufacturing back to the ingenuity of Francis Cabot Lodge. The early mills were an experiment in benevolent enlightened social responsibility on the part of the wealthy owners, who belonged to many of Boston's finest families. But the fledgling industry's ever-increasing profits were inextricably bound to the issues of slavery, immigration, and workers' rights.

William Moran brings a newsman's eye for the telling detail to this fascinating saga that is equally compelling when dealing with rags and when dealing with riches. In part a microcosm of America's social development during the period, The Belles of New England casts a new and finer light on this rich tapestry of vast wealth, greed, discrimination, and courage.


About William Moran

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William Moran was a writer, editor, and producer at CBS News for twenty-five years. From 1974 to 1977 he was principal writer for The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. He was producer on the program for two years before joining CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, where he served as producer and senior producer for sixteen years. His work at CBS News brought him awards from the Writers Guild of America and an Emmy. Prior to joining CBS News, Moran was a reporter for the Associated Press, covering events in New England, New York, and Washington. He was also a producer and writer at Vermont Public Television. While in Vermont, he was a stringer correspondent for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time magazine. Moran is a graduate of Boston University, where he majored in journalism. He is a native of Portland, Maine, and now resides in Scarborough, Maine and Sarasota, Florida.
Published April 1, 2007 by Thomas Dunne Books. 332 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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The huge, largely abandoned mill buildings of northern New England towns are the remnants of an industry that dominated the region and transformed the lives of its inhabitants, especially the women, for slightly more than a hundred years, beginning in the early 19th century.

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