A History of the Book in America

Volume 5: The Enduring Book: Print Culture in Postwar America

Edited by David Paul Nord, Joan Shelley Rubin, Michael Schudson

David D. Hall, General Editor

640 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, appends., notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2163-0
    Published: July 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8242-4
    Published: December 2015
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-2583-6
    Published: December 2015

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The fifth volume of A History of the Book in America addresses the economic, social, and cultural shifts affecting print culture from World War II to the present. During this period factors such as the expansion of government, the growth of higher education, the climate of the Cold War, globalization, and the development of multimedia and digital technologies influenced the patterns of consolidation and diversification established earlier.

The thirty-three contributors to the volume explore the evolution of the publishing industry and the business of bookselling. The histories of government publishing, law and policy, the periodical press, literary criticism, and reading--in settings such as schools, libraries, book clubs, self-help programs, and collectors' societies--receive imaginative scrutiny as well. The Enduring Book demonstrates that the corporate consolidations of the last half-century have left space for the independent publisher, that multiplicity continues to define American print culture, and that even in the digital age, the book endures.


David Abrahamson, Northwestern University

James L. Baughman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kenneth Cmiel (d. 2006)

James Danky, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Robert DeMaria Jr., Vassar College

Donald A. Downs, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Robert W. Frase (d. 2003)

Paul C. Gutjahr, Indiana University

David D. Hall, Harvard Divinity School

John B. Hench, American Antiquarian Society

Patrick Henry, New York City College of Technology

Dan Lacy (d. 2001)

Marshall Leaffer, Indiana University

Bruce Lewenstein, Cornell University

Elizabeth Long, Rice University

Beth Luey, Arizona State University

Tom McCarthy, Beirut, Lebanon

Laura J. Miller, Brandeis University

Priscilla Coit Murphy, Chapel Hill, N.C.

David Paul Nord, Indiana University

Carol Polsgrove, Indiana University

David Reinking, Clemson University

Jane Rhodes, Macalester College

John V. Richardson Jr., University of California, Los Angeles

Joan Shelley Rubin, University of Rochester

Michael Schudson, University of California, San Diego, and Columbia University

Linda Scott, University of Oxford

Dan Simon, Seven Stories Press

Ilan Stavans, Amherst College

Harvey M. Teres, Syracuse University

John B. Thompson, University of Cambridge

Trysh Travis, University of Florida

Jonathan Zimmerman, New York University

Published in association with the American Antiquarian Society

About the Authors

David Paul Nord is professor of journalism and adjunct professor of history at Indiana University. He is author of Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America.
For more information about David Paul Nord, visit the Author Page.

Joan Shelley Rubin is professor of history at the University of Rochester. She is author of Songs of Ourselves: The Uses of Poetry in America.
For more information about Joan Shelley Rubin, visit the Author Page.

Michael Schudson is professor of communication at the University of California, San Diego and at the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University. He is author of Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press.
For more information about Michael Schudson, visit the Author Page.


"A very readable and insightful account. . . . This volume and the series will be standards for a long time. . . . Essential."--Choice

"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

"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

"Magisterial scholarship, compelling writing, and extraordinary range….The Enduring Book functions successfully on a number of intellectual scales. Scholars interested in American print culture will find this book invaluable."--The Journal of American History

“Certain to become required reading for anyone interested in books, book publishing, and/or print culture in postwar America. . . . This one’s definitely a keeper.” --Publishing Research Quarterly

"Underscoring the centrality of the book and print in modern American culture, this impressive volume makes a significant contribution not only to the history of the book but also to post–World War II American cultural history. It is a great resource for cultural historians, a repository of information and analytic insight on the many topics covered, and a valuable reference work."--Paul S. Boyer, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison