History Faculty Publications

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Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Print in Motion: The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880-1940


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.


  • Megan Benton, Pacific Lutheran University
  • Paul S. Boyer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Una M. Cadegan, University of Dayton
  • Phyllis Dain, Columbia University
  • James P. Danky, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Ellen Gruber Garvey, New Jersey City University
  • Peter Jaszi, American University
  • Carl F. Kaestle, Brown University
  • Nicolás Kanellos, University of Houston
  • Richard L. Kaplan, ABC-Clio Publishing
  • Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette, Washington, D.C.
  • Elizabeth Long, Rice University
  • Elizabeth McHenry, New York University
  • Sally M. Miller, University of the Pacific
  • Richard Ohmann, Wesleyan University
  • Janice A. Radway, Duke University
  • Joan Shelley Rubin, University of Rochester
  • Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University
  • Charles A. Seavey, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Michael Schudson, University of California, San Diego
  • William Vance Trollinger Jr., University of Dayton
  • Richard L. Venezky (1938-2004)
  • James L. W. West III, Pennsylvania State University
  • Wayne A. Wiegand, Florida State University
  • Michael Winship, University of Texas at Austin
  • Martha Woodmansee, Case Western Reserve University

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Published Version


The chapter available for download is from A HISTORY OF THE BOOK IN AMERICA: VOLUME 4: PRINT IN MOTION: THE EXPANSION OF PUBLISHING AND READING IN THE UNITED STATES, 1880-1940, edited by Carl F. Kaestle and Janice A. Radway. Used by permission of the publisher.

Permission documentation is on file.


University of North Carolina Press


History of the Book in America, Vol. IV

Place of Publication

Chapel Hill, NC

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History Commons