Loughran's well-written book will likely promote vigorous debate among historians of U.S. nationhood, print culture, and slavery.
The Republic in Print: Print Culture in the Age of U.S. Nation Building, 1770-1870by Trish Loughran
In The Republic in Print, Trish Loughran challenges a dominant narrative about nationalism: the idea that print culture produces nations. Focusing on the years between 1770 and 1870, Loughran develops two richly detailed and provocative arguments. First she argues that it was the lack of national infrastructure (rather than a tightly connected print/i>… See more details below
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In The Republic in Print, Trish Loughran challenges a dominant narrative about nationalism: the idea that print culture produces nations. Focusing on the years between 1770 and 1870, Loughran develops two richly detailed and provocative arguments. First she argues that it was the lack of national infrastructure (rather than a tightly connected print network) that enabled the nation to be imagined between 1776 and 1790. She then describes how the increasingly connected book market of the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s worked to exacerbate regional differences in ways that contributed to secession and civil war. Drawing on a range of literary, historical, and archival materials, The Republic in Print is a refreshing and original cultural history of the early American nation-state.
A remarkable study, both in its marshaling of archival detail and in its ambitious thesis.
This book is inventively dialectical, unfailingly provocative, and consistently interesting. It formulates its myraid insights with an unusually rich, incisive and occasionally playful language that is deligtful to read.
Loughran's logic throughout is deep, intricate, and scholarly... Good reading.
Phillip H. Round
...Promise[s] to be useful to literary scholars in many ways.
- Columbia University Press
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What People are saying about this
The Republic in Print delivers a knock-out punch to the supposedly determinate linkages between print culture and nation formation that underwrite much of the scholarship about early America in a number of fields. The book is a massive achievement, marvelously original, refreshingly polemical, compelling in its argument, and complex in its implications. Its importance will be immediately evident and its influence widespread.
Asking us to rethink the meaning of nation and nation building in the aftermath of 1790, Trish Loughran has provided a series of remarkable case studies that support her skepticism about those subjects. An immensely valuable book.
A masterful reconceptualization of the role of print culture in the founding of the American nation. The claims of this book are ambitious and original, and Trish Loughran delivers. I can think of very few works of American studies that I have read in the past twenty years that are as intellectually satisfying, as archivally meticulous, and as broadly conceived as The Republic in Print.
Trish Loughran possesses an unusually and admirably capacious intellectual character. This is a book that will have to be read by any serious student of the early republic and by any serious student of the crisis over slavery.
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