Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Engines of RedemptionRailroads and the Reconstruction of Capitalism in the New South$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

R. Scott Jr. Huffard

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652818

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652818.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

The Phantasmagoria of the Rail

The Phantasmagoria of the Rail

(p.45) Chapter Two The Phantasmagoria of the Rail
Engines of Redemption

R. Scott Huffard Jr.

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses how white boosters used the symbolic power and magic of the railroad to support their regional and local claims that a New South had risen. It opens with a discussion of the New Orleans Exposition in 1884, which provided a microcosm for the transformations of the railroad. The chapter discusses how this magical thinking around the railroad meshes with Walter Benjamin’s concept of the phantasmagoria. The chapter then traces the arguments promoting 1880s railroad expansion projects in Macon, Greensboro, and Troy to show how this spirit filtered down into small towns across the South. It discusses how railroad construction imposed the logic of capitalism on southern environments and ends by looking at the community celebrations and travel narratives that boosters and journalists used to welcome new railroads.

Keywords:   World’s Fairs, Expositions, Phantasmagoria, Walter Benjamin, New Orleans, commodification, circulation, railroad construction, Southern Environment, travel

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .