Save 40% on ‘A History of the Book in America’ 5-volume set


The five volumes in A History of the Book in America offer a sweeping chronicle of our country’s print production and culture from colonial times to the end of the twentieth century. This interdisciplinary, collaborative work of scholarship examines the book trades as they have developed and spread throughout the United States; provides a history of U.S. literary cultures; investigates the practice of reading and, more broadly, the uses of literacy; and links literary culture with larger themes in American history.

Add to shopping cart: A History of the Book in America, 5-volume setThe complete series is now available in paperback for $200.00, but for a limited time you can save 40% on this set (and all UNC Press books in print!) by using discount code 01REL40 at checkout. So the full collection can be yours for $120.00. Buy a bundle, save a bundle. And because your purchase totals more than $75, the shipping is FREE!

Each volume is also available individually. Just use discount code 01REL40 at checkout using the links below to get the special savings.

Volume 1: The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World
Edited by Hugh Amory and David D. Hall

This first volume of the five-volume series on the history of the book in America carries the interrelated stories of publishing, writing, and reading from the beginning of the colonial period in America up to 1790. Three major themes run through the volume: the persisting connections between the book trade in the Old World and the New; the gradual emergence of a competitive book trade in which newspapers were the largest form of production; and the institution of a “culture of the Word,” organized around an essentially theological understanding of print, authorship, and reading. The volume also traces the histories of literary and learned culture, censorship and “freedom of the press,” and literacy and orality.
664 pp., 51 illus.

Volume 2: An Extensive Republic: Print, Culture, and Society in the New Nation, 1790–1840
Edited by Robert A. Gross and Mary Kelley

Volume Two of this five-volume series documents the development of a distinctive culture of print in the new American republic. Between 1790 and 1840 printing and publishing expanded, and literate publics provided a ready market for novels, almanacs, newspapers, tracts, and periodicals. Government, business, and reform drove the dissemination of print, and a decentralized print culture emerged where citizenship meant literacy and print meant power. Yet regional differences persisted and older forms of oral and handwritten communication offered alternatives to print.
712 pp., 66 illus.

Volume 3: The Industrial Book, 1840–1880
Edited by Scott E. Casper, Jeffrey D. Groves, Stephen W. Nissenbaum, and Michael Winship

This volume of A History of the Book in America covers the creation, distribution, and uses of print and books in the mid-nineteenth century, when a truly national book trade emerged. Essays examine the rise of the manufactured, bound product and the idea of the book as the quintessential product of the industrialization of both the print and papermaking trades, which depended on new nationwide networks for finance, transportation, and communication. The volume also chronicles the rise of a uniquely American print culture, as reading and writing were increasingly conceived of as essential to American citizenship, economic success, and cultural achievement.
560 pp., 43 illus.

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

In a period characterized by expanding markets, national consolidation, and social upheaval, print culture picked up momentum as the 19th century turned into the 20th. Books, magazines, and newspapers were produced more quickly and more cheaply, reaching ever-increasing numbers of readers. 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. 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.
688 pp., 74 illus.

Volume 5: The Enduring Book: Print Culture in Postwar America
Edited by David Paul Nord, Joan Shelley Rubin, and Michael Schudson

This volume addresses the economic, social, and cultural shifts affecting print culture from World War II to the present. The 33 contributors 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 volume 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.
632 pp., 95 illus.