A History of the Book in America

Volume 3: The Industrial Book, 1840-1880

Edited by Scott E. Casper, Jeffrey D. Groves, Stephen W. Nissenbaum, Michael P. Winship

David D. Hall, General Editor

560 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2160-9
    Published: June 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8209-7
    Published: September 2009
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-6803-4
    Published: September 2009

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Awards & distinctions

2008 St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize in Bibliography

Volume 3 of A History of the Book in America narrates the emergence of a national book trade in the nineteenth century, as changes in manufacturing, distribution, and publishing conditioned, and were conditioned by, the evolving practices of authors and readers. Chapters trace the ascent of the “industrial book”--a manufactured product arising from the gradual adoption of new printing, binding, and illustration technologies and encompassing the profusion of nineteenth-century printed materials--which relied on nationwide networks of financing, transportation, and communication. In tandem with increasing educational opportunities and rising literacy rates, the industrial book encouraged new sites of reading; gave voice to diverse communities of interest through periodicals, broadsides, pamphlets, and other printed forms; and played a vital role in the development of American culture.


Susan Belasco, University of Nebraska

Candy Gunther Brown, Indiana University

Kenneth E. Carpenter, Newton Center, Massachusetts

Scott E. Casper, University of Nevada, Reno

Jeannine Marie DeLombard, University of Toronto

Ann Fabian, Rutgers University

Jeffrey D. Groves, Harvey Mudd College

Paul C. Gutjahr, Indiana University

David D. Hall, Harvard Divinity School

David M. Henkin, University of California, Berkeley

Bruce Laurie, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Eric Lupfer, Humanities Texas

Meredith L. McGill, Rutgers University

John Nerone, University of Illinois

Stephen W. Nissenbaum, University of Massachusetts

Lloyd Pratt, Michigan State University

Barbara Sicherman, Trinity College

Louise Stevenson, Franklin & Marshall College

Amy M. Thomas, Montana State University

Tamara Plakins Thornton, State University of New York, Buffalo

Susan S. Williams, Ohio State University

Michael Winship, University of Texas at Austin

Published in association with the American Antiquarian Society

About the Authors

Scott E. Casper is associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Reno, and author of Constructing American Lives: Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America.
For more information about Scott E. Casper, visit the Author Page.

Jeffrey D. Groves is professor of literature at Harvey Mudd College and coeditor, with Scott Casper and Joanne D. Chaison, of Perspectives on American Book History: Artifacts and Commentary.
For more information about Jeffrey D. Groves, visit the Author Page.

Stephen W. Nissenbaum is professor of history emeritus at the University of Massachusetts and author of The Battle for Christmas, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
For more information about Stephen W. Nissenbaum, visit the Author Page.

David D. Hall is professor of American religious history at Harvard Divinity School.
For more information about David D. Hall, visit the Author Page.

Michael Winship is Howard Regents Professor of English II at the University of Texas at Austin and author of American Literary Publishing in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: The Business of Ticknor and Fields.
For more information about Michael P. Winship, visit the Author Page.


"What the History of the Book series shows so clearly is that the world we know, the communities to which we already belong, are reified and reinforced by books. Such is the incredible and incredibly flexible power of this primitive technology. Behold the book: It is limited but perfect."--Humanities magazine

"Provides superb expositions of current scholarship on the history of the book. . . . Places the handsome, often gold-stamped, book-product front and center in a larger print universe operating in many sites. . . . [A] wonderfully rich complexity."--Journal of American History

"A model of scholarly publication and institutional cooperation. . . . A timely achievement and a great one. . . . Without university presses, we would still be waiting for HBA."--Journal of Scholarly Publishing

"Admirable. . . . Bears reading for new approaches to understanding how print culture affected the lives of Americans in a myriad of social settings and occupations."--Printing History

"Succeeds both as a reference work and as a status report on the field's scholarship. . . . Relevant and lucidly written."--Technology and Culture

"Generously illustrated, and numerous tables and graphs make statistically dense chapters accessible. . . . Recommend[ed] without hesitation."--Resources for American Literary Study