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Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List

The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820-1940

Michael Winship

Preliminary Advices

Required Readings

  1. Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut, et al. The Book in America: A History of the Making and Selling of Books in the United States. Rev. ed. (New York: Bowker, 1951). Parts II-III (pp. 63-419).
  2. Still the best summary after 50 years. You may wish to skim or pass over parts that seem too detailed or tedious.

  3. Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut, et al. A History of the Book in America, Volume 3: The Industrial Book, 1840-1880. Ed. Scott A. Casper, Jeffrey D. Groves, Stephen W. Nissenbaum, & Michael Winship. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007).
  4. This series, in the course of publication, will likely become the standard scholarly history of the book in America of our time. Recommended for browsing and selective reading, if you do not have time to read the entire volume.

Suggested Readings

For additional historical background, one or more of the following may be consulted:

  1. Charvat, William. Literary Publishing in America, 1790-1850. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959; reprinted Amherst MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1993.
  2. Sheehan, Donald. This Was Publishing: A Chronicle of the Book Trade in the Gilded Age. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1952.
  3. West, James L. W., III. American Authors and the Literary Marketplace since 1900. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.
  4. For bibliographical background, the following may be helpful:

  5. Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972; corrected reprint 1974, reprinted New Castle DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1995); pp. [189]-310.
  6. Bowers, Fredson. Principles of Bibliographical Description. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949; reprinted New Castle DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1994; pp. [355]-453.