Book Talk: The Greater Good Media, Family Removal, and TVA Dam Construction in North Alabama
The public is invited to a book talk by Laura Beth Daws and Susan Brinson, authors of The Greater Good Media, Family Removal, and TVA Dam Construction in North Alabama, on Wednesday, March 27 at 4:00 p.m. at the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities at Pebble Hill.
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, 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.
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.
The event is free, open to the public, and will be followed by refreshments. Books will be available for purchase and signing. The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities at Pebble Hill is located at 101 S. Debardeleben Street, Auburn.
For more information on the program, call 334-844-4903 or visit www.auburn.edu/cah.
Last Updated: March 13, 2019