Perspectives on American Book History: Artifacts and Commentary

Overview

A collection of primary source materials and original essays, Perspectives on American Book History is the first text designed for the growing number of courses in American print culture, as well as a unique supplement for courses in American literature and history. It seeks to fill the void that has developed as the expanding history of the book has moved out of the archive and scholarly journal and into the classroom. The volume includes an introductory essay by Robert A. Gross, chair of the program in the ...
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Overview

A collection of primary source materials and original essays, Perspectives on American Book History is the first text designed for the growing number of courses in American print culture, as well as a unique supplement for courses in American literature and history. It seeks to fill the void that has developed as the expanding history of the book has moved out of the archive and scholarly journal and into the classroom. The volume includes an introductory essay by Robert A. Gross, chair of the program in the history of the book at the American Antiquarian Society, fourteen chapters composed of primary artifacts and original essays by rising scholars in the field, and an annotated bibliography of research sources.

Chapters trace topics in American print culture from Puritan New England to the future of newspapers in a digital age. The artifacts and documents, most of which have never before been anthologized, include excerpts from readers' diaries, accounts of the printing and publishing trades, materials from the alternative press, commentaries on authorship and reading, and visual images. The essays place these primary source materials in their historical, literary, and political contexts and model the ways students might approach them.

The volume is accompanied by a CD-ROM image archive, which includes nearly 200 digital images, captioned and keyed to the different chapters. Easily read with standard browsers, the CD-ROM allows access to otherwise scarce materials and vividly assists students in learning how book history is hands-on history.

In addition to the editors and Robert A. Gross, the contributors are Nancy Cook, Patricia Crain, Ann Fabian, Alice Fahs, Ellen Gruber Garvey, Jen A. Huntley-Smith, Charles Johanningsmeier, Jill Lepore, Russell L. Martin, Trysh Travis, Glenn Wallach, and Susan S. Williams.

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Editorial Reviews

Ezra Greenspan
This is one of the most intelligently edited collections of essays I have seen in a long time. An intellectually compelling work,it commands the field of American print history,covering a delightfully wide variety of topics with expert knowledge. Most important,it is teachable.
Booknews
The history of the book, also known as the study of print culture, has escaped from the archives into classrooms as teachers increasingly create courses on it to illuminate aspects of American history or incorporate it into other history courses. Specialist and general American historians respond with a collection of essays on selected topics relating to books from Puritan New England to the future. The disc contains images. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Texts for the Times: An Introduction to Book History 1
2 Literacy and Reading in Puritan New England 17
3 Print and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century 47
4 Publishing the American Revolution 79
5 The Book Trade Transformed 109
6 Antebellum Reading Prescribed and Described 135
7 Publishing an Emergent "American" Literature 165
8 Northern and Southern Worlds of Print 195
9 Reshaping Publishing and Authorship in the Gilded Age 223
10 Print Cultures in the American West 255
11 Laboring Classes, New Readers, and Print Cultures 285
12 The Industrialization and Nationalization of American Periodical Publishing 311
13 Print and the Creation of Middlebrow Culture 339
14 Out of the Mainstream and into the Streets: Small Press Magazines, the Underground Press, Zines, and Artists' Books 367
15 Newspapers since 1945 403
16 The Once and Future Book 435
17 Resources for Studying American Book History: A Selective, Annotated Bibliography 441
Contributors 459
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