BN.com Gift Guide

Faith in Reading (Religion in America Series): Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $15.37
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 71%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $15.37   
  • New (4) from $39.95   
  • Used (7) from $15.37   

Overview

In the twenty-first century, mass media corporations are often seen as profit-hungry money machines. It was a different world in the early days of mass communication in America. Faith in Reading tells the remarkable story of the noncommercial religious origins of our modern media culture. In the early nineteenth century, a few visionary entrepreneurs decided the time was right to reach everyone in America through the medium of print. Though they were modern businessmen, their publishing enterprises were not commercial businesses but nonprofit societies committed to the publication of traditional religious texts. Drawing on organizational reports and archival sources, David Paul Nord shows how the managers of Bible and religious tract societies made themselves into large-scale manufacturers and distributors of print. These organizations believed it was possible to place the same printed message into the hands of every man, woman, and child in America. Employing modern printing technologies and business methods, they were remarkably successful, churning out millions of Bibles, tracts, religious books, and periodicals. They mounted massive campaigns to make books cheap and plentiful by turning them into modern, mass-produced consumer goods. Nord demonstrates how religious publishers learned to work against the flow of ordinary commerce. They believed that reading was too important to be left to the "market revolution," so they turned the market on its head, seeking to deliver their product to everyone, regardless of ability or even desire to buy. Wedding modern technology and national organization to a traditional faith in reading, these publishing societies imagined and then invented mass media in America.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a welcome addition to the developing interest in American religious history as an important element in the larger national story." —The Historian

"The volume brilliantly achieves what it sets out to do: present a coherent institutional history and an analysis of the organizational logic of several major nonprofit religious publishers. The book makes an important contribution to scholarship in the history of the book, communications, economics, and Protestant religious history. This volume is a significant addition to scholarship of religious publishing and economic history that deserves faithful reading." —Journal of Religion

"...short, clearly argued book that is a valuable contribution to the study of print media." —American Historical Review

"David Paul Nord's Faith in Reading is a learned, imaginative, and deft interpretation of the innovative role that evangelical Protestants played in the development of mass communication in 19th-century America. Nord writes with economy and grace, providing an elegant account of evangelicals' motives and methods within the larger context of the print revolution that preceded the Civil War. —Richard D. Brown, University of Connecticut

"David Paul Nord's Faith in Reading is a jewel of a book, sparkling with crystal clear prose and coruscating from each of its facets: on reading in the churches and the world, on religion and commerce, on business for mission and for profit, on slavery and voluntary societies, and much, much more." —Mark A. Noll, author of Americas God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln

"An important book, sophisticated in its reflections on the so-called market revolution and democratization, and for these reasons deserving the attention of everyone who studies antebellum Protestantism." —David D. Hall, Harvard University

"Provides compelling insight into the relation of individuals to books at a crucial moment in American publishing." —SHARP News

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195173116
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/19/2004
  • Series: Religion in America Series
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David Paul Nord is Professor of Journalism and Adjunct Professor of History at Indiana University. He is also Associate Editor of the Journal of American History. Nord's research interests revolve around the history of journalism, religious publishing, and readership. He is author of Communities of Journalism: A History of American Newspapers and Their Readers (2001).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction : the finger of providence, 1815 3
1 Religion and reading in early America 13
2 Millennial print 27
3 The new mass media : economic foundations 41
4 The new mass media : national institutions 61
5 The new mass media : systematic distribution 89
6 How readers should read 113
7 How readers did read 131
Epilogue : fragmentation and denomination 151
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)