The North East produced coal, iron, steel and ships on an unprecedented scale in the decades before the Great War, a time at which it acquired its persistent image as one of the world's great export-driven industrial districts. However, the North East was far from being a single and unified region, and its constituent towns and rivers often worked in fierce competition with one another. This book examines these tensions from a variety of perspectives, building a new picture of a place that seemed so uniform from the outside, while maintaining an intense localist particularism in its politics, institutions and economy. The development of the coalfield and the riparian manufacturing districts moulded new industrial landscapes; the growth of ports and conurbations demanded innovative approaches to government and administration; and the business strategies of North East entrepreneurs challenged conventional boundaries. The author concludes that riverside districts, on the Tyne, Tees and Wear, represented more viable working horizons than any 'regional' North East in this era, and raises important questions about the study of the English regions in their historical context.
Dr GRAEME J. MILNE is a Researcher at the University of Liverpool.
Make no mistake, this is a work of magnitude. Graeme Milne proves a wily and experienced observer, pursuing his chosen themes with intellectual rigour backed by an independence of analysis and outcome that are always illuminating. MARINER'S MIRROR
A challenging and thought-provoking volume.[...]This is a challenging work which raises important issues and displays first-class scholarship. I highly recommend it to maritime historians as well as those interested in the history of the North East and students of regionalism and industrial districts. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY
[A] well presented book throws valuable light, both on the economic and business history of a major industrial and commercial area, and on the continuing debate about what makes a ` region '. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
A wide ranging study of the maritime industrial heartland of north-eastern England. North East England is a work that should be of interest of scholars working well beyond the shores of British maritime history. ENTERPRISE AND SOCIETY
This is a book which will be valued in its own right as a penetrating study and one which will be quarried by historians for its exhaustive research and the detailed picture it provides of the development of a spectacular industrial economy. [...] An outstanding work. NORTHERN HISTORY
A useful resource for anyone researching the economic history of [the] area. THE LOCAL HISTORIAN
Offers a fascinating insight into this dynamic and specialised region. LOCAL POPULATION STUDIES