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A History of the Book in America: Volume 1, The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World (A History of the Book in America)

Amory, Hugh (Editor)
Hall, David D. (Series Editor)

Cambridge University Press
Published:December 13, 1999

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Description: From Publishers Weekly
This vast, dense, scholarly tome, edited by Amory, retired rare book cataloguer at the Houghton library at Harvard University, and Hall, professor of American religious history at Harvard Divinity School, presents a collaborative effort toward an exhaustive history. Thirteen scholars, including historians and library curators, have contributed essays related to the historical definition of "the book" in colonial America (incorporating texts as diverse as manuscripts, almanacs, Bibles and broadsheets) in the 17th and 18th centuries, and to how that definition evolved as the social, economic and political conditions of the country consolidated and solidified into various new configurations. Amory attempts, for instance, to explain how the colonial book was characterized primarily by its growing political and economic independence from London. David Shields describes colonial literary culture in the 18th century as an expansive projection of diverse communities centered on a common language. One of the strengths of the volume is its plentiful textual artifacts, such as newspaper notices, apprenticeship indentures, catalogues, guidebooks, currency, textbooks, death notices, etc.Ait's fascinating flipping through and reading just the texts themselves. This is an almost addictive read for anyone even remotely concerned with the history of the production and distribution of books and printed materials. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Description:
A History of the Book in America is a five-volume, interdisciplinary series that offers a collborative history of the book in American culture from the earliest days of European settlement to our own days. Its creation is a principal activity of the American Antiquarian Society. Volume 1, The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World is organized around three major themes: the persisting colonial relationship between European settlements and the Old World; the gradual emergence of a pluralistic book trade that differentiated printers from booksellers; and the transition from a "culture of the Word" to the culture of republicanism. The volume also describes nascent forms of literary and learned culture (including the circulation of manuscripts), literacy and censorship, orality, and the efforts by Europeans to introduce written literacy to Native Americans and African Americans.

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