From the early twentieth century until the 1960s, Maine led the nation in paper production. Local paper companies in Maine dominated the political landscape, controlling economic, workplace, land use, and water use policies. The state could have earned a reputation as the Detroit of paper production, however, the industry eventually slid toward failure. What happened? Shredding Paper describes the industry's colorful origins, depicts its unusual character as industrial workplace, unwraps the changing US political economy since 1960, uncovers how the paper industry defined and interacted with labor relations, and peels away the layers of history that encompassed the rise and fall of Maine's mighty paper industry. Join us for a discussion with Michael G. Hillard about how his book deconstructs the paper industry's unusual technological and economic histories and examines the many contributing factors surrounding how Maine became a paper powerhouse and then lost that position to changing times and foreign interests.
About the author: Dr. Michael Hillard has taught at the University of Southern Maine for the past 33 years, and is the Director of the University of Southern Maine’s new Food Studies Program. He attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, receiving a BA in 1980 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), a Master's in Economics in 1986, and a PhD in Economics in 1988. He taught at Wellesley College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst prior to coming to USM. He has published widely in the fields of labor relations, labor history and the political economy of labor in academic journals.