How did people in early America understand the authority of print and how was this authority sustained and contested? These questions are at the heart of this set of pathbreaking essays in the history of the book by one of America's leading practitioners in this interdisciplinary field.
David D. Hall examines the interchange between popular and learned cultures and the practices of reading and writing. His writings deal with change and continuity, exploring the possibility of a reading revolution and arguing for the long duration of a Protestant vernacular tradition. A newly written essay on book culture in the early Chesapeake describes a system of scribal publication. The pieces reflect Hall's belief that the better we understand the production and consumption of books, the closer we come to a social history of culture.