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From Southern roots to global dominance: The story of America's powerhouse corporations

 Glass bottles of Coca-Cola are stacked on a shelf in a grocery store.
Wilfredo Lee
Bottles of Coca-Cola are stacked on a shelf in a grocery store, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.

This show originally aired on July 11, 2023.

Five of the nation’s largest, and most profitable, companies have roots in the rural roots in the American South.

Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Bank of America, FedEx and Walmart are global corporations with deep roots in the American south. They’ve transformed the world economy and climate.

In his book Country Capitalism: How Corporations from the American South Remade Our Economy and the Planet, Ohio State professor Bart Elmore chronicles the history of these corporations.

Elmore delves into the humble beginnings of these companies. He also looks at how the region and societal conditions shaped their development as well as how they continue to shape our economy.



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