Perspectives on American Book History: Artifacts and Commentary

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Scott E. Casper, Joanne D. Chaison, Jeffrey D. Groves
Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2002 - Antiques & Collectibles - 461 pages
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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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Texts for the Times An Introduction to Book History
Literacy and Reading in Puritan New England
Print and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century
Publishing the American Revolution
The Book Trade Transformed
Antebellum Reading Prescribed and Described
Publishing an Emergent American Literature
Northern and Southern Worlds of Print
Laboring Classes New Readers and Print Cultures
The Industrialization and Nationalization of American Periodical Publishing
Print and the Creation of Middlebrow Culture
Out of the Mainstream and into the Streets Small Press Magazines the Underground Press Zines and Artists Books
Newspapers since 1945
The Once and Future Book
Resources for Studying American Book History A Selective Annotated Bible

Reshaping Publishing and Authorship in the Gilded Age
Print Cultures in the American West

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Page 20 - I am obnoxious to each carping tongue Who says my hand a needle better fits, A Poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong, For such despite they cast on Female wits: If what I do prove well, it won't advance, They'l say it's stoln, or else it was by chance.

About the author (2002)

Scott E. Casper is associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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