H-15. The History of the Book in America: A Survey from Colonial to Modern - Advance Reading List
Note: Students admitted to this course will receive further instructions for accessing these readings.
Readings are listed in the order that they will be discussed during the course. Throughout, the abbreviation “HBA” refers to the five-volume A History of the Book in America series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 2000; Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007–2009).
Darnton, Robert. The Kiss of Lamourette: Reflections on Cultural History. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1990. Read Chapter 7, “What Is the History of Books?,” pp. 107–135 and notes (pp. 358–362). This essay is also available online via Harvard’s DASH repository.
Rubin, Joan Shelley. “What Is the History of the History of Books?” Journal of American History 90:2 (September 2003): 555–575.
Casper, Scott and Joan Shelley Rubin. “The History of the Book in America.” In The Oxford Companion to the Book, edited by Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H.R. Woudhuysen, 425–442. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Amory, Hugh. “Reinventing the Colonial Book.” HBA I: 26–54 and notes (pp. 529–535).
Hall, David D. Cultures of Print: Essays in the History of the Book. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996. Read “The World of Print and Collective Mentality in Seventeenth-Century New England,” pp. 79–95.
Hall, David D. et al., “Chapter 11: Practices of Reading.” HBA I: 377–410 and notes (pp. 594–600).
Remer, Rosalind. Printers and Men of Capital. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996. Read Chapter 4, “New Modes of Publishing in the Early Republic,” pp. 69–99 and notes (pp. 175–180).
Abbott, Jacob. The Harper Establishment: How the Story Books Are Made. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855. Available via the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/harperestablishm00abbo.
Groves, Jeffrey D. “Trade Communication.” HBA III: 130–139 and notes (pp. 440–441).
Casper, Scott E. “Other Variations on the Trade.” HBA III: 203–223 and notes (pp. 450–454).
Miller, Sally M. “Distinctive Media: The European Ethnic Press in the United States.” HBA IV: 299–311 and notes (pp. 584–586).
Kanellos, Nicolás. “Exiles, Immigrants, and Natives: Hispanic Print Culture in What Became the Mainland of the United States.” HBA IV: 312–338 and notes (pp. 586–589).
Danky, James P. “Reading, Writing, and Resisting: African American Print Culture.” HBA IV: 339–358 and notes (pp. 589–593).
Winship, Michael. “The Rise of a National Book Trade System in the United States.” HBA IV: 56–77 and notes (pp. 544–546).
West, James L. W., III. “The Expansion of the National Book Trade System.” HBA IV: 78–89 and notes (pp. 546–547).
Luey, Beth. “The Organization of the Book Publishing Industry.” HBA V: 29–54 and notes (pp. 523–529).
Travis, Trysh. “Print and the Creation of Middlebrow Culture.” In Perspectives on American Book History: Artifacts and Commentary, edited by Scott E. Casper, Joanne D. Chaison, and Jeffrey D. Groves, 339–366. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002.
Rhodes, Jane. “The Black Press and Radical Print Culture.” HBA V: 286–303 and notes (pp. 564–566).
Reinking, David. “Valuing Reading, Writing, and Books in a Post-Typographic World.” HBA V: 485–501 and notes (pp. 595–597).