H-50. The American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820–1940 - Advance Reading List
Casper, Scott A., Jeffrey D. Groves, Stephen W. Nissenbaum, and Michael Winship, eds. A History of the Book in America, Volume 3: The Industrial Book, 1840-1880. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. Especially the introduction and coda (by Scott Casper) and chapters 1 and 4 (by Michael Winship & Jeff Groves), and chapter 8 (by Barbara Sicherman).
Kaestle, Carl F. and Janice A. Radway, eds. A History of the Book in America, Volume 4: Print in Motion, The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880-1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009. Especially the prologue, epilogue, and introductions (by Carl Kaestle & Jan Radway), chapter 3 (by Michael Winship), chapter 4 (by Jim West), and chapter 5 (Peter Jaszi & Martha Woodmansee).
A History of the Book in America is the standard modern scholarly history of the book in America, and students are encouraged to consult these and the other volumes in the series for further browsing and selective additional reading.
Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut. 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). Still a useful overview after nearly 70 years. You may wish to skim or pass over parts that seem too detailed or tedious.
For additional historical background, one or more of the following may also be useful:
Charvat, William. Literary Publishing in America, 1790–1850. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959; reprinted Amherst MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1993.
Sheehan, Donald. This Was Publishing: A Chronicle of the Book Trade in the Gilded Age. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1952.
West, James L. W., III. American Authors and the Literary Marketplace since 1900. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.
Two of the best “house” histories, describing the development of two major American publishing firms:
Ellen B. Ballou. The Building of the House: Houghton Mifflin’s Formative Years. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970.
Eugene Exman. The House of Harper: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Publishing. New York: Harper & Row, 1967. See also Exman’s The Brothers Harper (1965).
For bibliographical practice, the following are the fundamental texts: