In a period characterized by expanding markets, national consolidation, and social upheaval, print culture picked up momentum as the nineteenth century turned into the twentieth. Books, magazines, and newspapers were produced more quickly and more cheaply, reaching ever-increasing numbers of readers. Volume 4 of "A History of the Book in America" traces the complex, even contradictory consequences of these changes in the production, circulation, and use of print.
Contributors to this volume explain that although mass production encouraged consolidation and standardization, readers increasingly adapted print to serve their own purposes, allowing for increased diversity in the midst of concentration and integration. Considering the book in larger social and cultural networks, essays address the rise of consumer culture, the extension of literacy and reading through schooling, the expansion of secondary and postsecondary education and the growth of the textbook industry, the growing influence of the professions and their dependence on print culture, and the history of relevant technology. As the essays here attest, the expansion of print culture between 1880 and 1940 enabled it to become part of Americans' everyday business, social, political, and religious lives.
The contributors are Megan Benton, Paul S. Boyer, Una M. Cadegan, Phyllis Dain, James P. Danky, Ellen Gruber Garvey, Peter Jaszi, Carl F. Kaestle, Nicolas Kanellos, Richard L. Kaplan, Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette, Elizabeth Long, Elizabeth McHenry, Sally M. Miller, Richard Ohmann, Janice A. Radway, Joan Shelley Rubin, Jonathan D. Sarna, Charles A. Seavey, Michael Schudson, William Vance Trollinger Jr., Richard L. Venezky, James L. W. West III, Wayne A. Wiegand, Michael Winship, and Martha Woodmansee.