Join Hub City Writers Project to celebrate the launch of Peddlers, Merchants, and Manufacturers: How Jewish Entrepreneurs Built Economy and Community in Upcountry South Carolina by Diane Vecchio! Pre-order your copy on Eventbrite to get 10% off and ensure you get a copy of the book!
Peddlers, Merchants, and Manufacturers provides a corrective to a neglected aspect of Jewish history in the South.
Diane Catherine Vecchio examines the diverse economic experiences of Jews who settled in what we today call Upstate South Carolina. Like other parts of the so-called New South, Upcountry South Carolina was a center of textile manufacturing and new business opportunities that drew entrepreneurial energy to the region. Previous histories of economic development in the South Carolina Piedmont have tended to overlook the significance of Jewish involvement and instead focused on northern investment and low labor costs. Working with a rich set of oral histories, memoirs, and traditional historical documents, Vecchio provides an important corrective to the history of manufacturing in South Carolina, and that revision is part of a large retelling of southern Jewish history, one that adds social and cultural dimensions to the traditional economic story.
Vecchio explores Jewish community development, how Jewish business leaders also became civic leaders and affected social, political, and cultural life in what we now call the mountainous Upcountry. Their impact in all facets of life across the Upstate is important to understanding the growth of today's Spartanburg-Greenville corridor.
Diane C. Vecchio is a native of Cortland, New York. She was educated at State University of New York and earned MA and Ph.D. degrees in History from Syracuse University. The author of multiple chapters and articles in scholarly journals on Italian and Jewish immigrants in America, she has also published on the history of upstate South Carolina. Her book titled Merchants, Midwives, and Laboring Women: Italian Migrants in Urban America was published by the University of Illinois Press, a leading publisher in immigration history.
Vecchio recently retired from Furman University where she was professor of history and chair of the History Department. She resides in Spartanburg with her husband, John Stockwell.