Monday, May 21, 2012 - 10:04am

The accolades for Franklin College's Bethany Moreton continue to roll in:

Bethany Moreton, a University of Georgia associate professor of history and women's studies, was one of 25 professors nationwide selected this year to join the speaker's bureau of the Organization of American Historians, the largest professional society dedicated to the teaching and study of American history.

As an OAH Distinguished Lecturer, Moreton will bring her expertise to college campuses and conferences as well as to historical societies, libraries, museums and teacher workshops. Moreton studies the interactions between religious conservatism and the 20th-century economy. Her book, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (Harvard University Press, 2009), has received a number of accolades and awards, including the OAH Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for the best first book in U.S. history. The New York Times Book Review described it as "a gracefully written and meticulously researched account of why people not only have been willing to work for the company, but often have also developed fierce loyalty to it."

Moreton's work demonstrates the power of a scholar to make connections and help us understanding broad cultural phenomena like Wal-mart and its impact upon our history, politics and commerce. It would be difficult to assess through conventional metrics just how inspiring and enlightening it must be to have her as one of your professors; yet that very presence is one of the reasons the campus experience can be so engaging, provocative and fulfilling. Congratulations to her and we look forward to her next book. Here is one review of To Serve God and Wal-Mart by a noted journalist.