Sunday, September 13, 2009

Word Count and an Industrial Revolution Bleg

This book chapter is hard, ya'll. It's the "why this happened" chapter, and several very eloquent folks have had opinions. And I think their opinions have been good, but not the whole story. I think the whole story is... well, the whole story. It's a mess of all the things people have said about why, and then some more. Ideological and religious shifts, check... status declarations and negotiations, check... professionalization and specialization of the industry, check... urbanization, check... development of the American Middle Class (however you define that), check... but also? Trains. Post office rates and structure. Wood-pulp paper. Thing is, they're not all discrete bits that I can summarize and move on; several are deeply inter-related, which makes this chapter challenging. Why I'm wrassling with this one now, and not a "what happened" chapter (infinitely simpler), I don't know. Call me a masochist.

Right then. The point of the post:

Word count today: 390 so far. I expect to pound out a few more in the next half hour.
Word count update: 672. I have more longhand, but I'm only counting what's in Word. Maybe I can squeeze some more in before bed?
Word count update 2: 1,018. Much is repetitive; much needs more fleshing out; much needs much, much reworking. But, in the spirit of Shitty First Drafts, I have something. And it seems to kind of be coming together. I hope I feel the same way in the morning!

Yay also for Shitty First Drafts. [h/t Clio Bluestocking and Notorious, PhD]

Bleg: Can anyone recommend a good overview of the American Industrial Revolution that touches on the social aspects? I'm not interested in when the cotton gin was invented (well, I am, but not for this particular project...) I'm interested in urbanization, rise of the middle-class, link with evangelicalism and religious reform movements, etc. I've seen things tossed out there as though they're related to Book Topic, but would like to take a step back before I go there and check out what scholars of the IR have to say, yanno?

1 comment:

Bavardess said...

Yay for making progress! And my word count for today is a big fat goose egg (if you don't count setting up my headers and footers. But wait - putting my name on the paper counts, doesn't it??)