Academic journal article Journalism History

Printers and Men of Capital: Philadelphia Book Publishers in the New Republic

Academic journal article Journalism History

Printers and Men of Capital: Philadelphia Book Publishers in the New Republic

Article excerpt

Remer, Rosalind. Printers and Men of Capital: Philadelphia Book Publishers in the New Republic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996. 210 pp. $36.50.

Rosalind Remer's book provides a much needed view of the publishing trade in Philadelphia during the early national period. She examines the early progress of the industry, with a special focus on the transitional period after the Revolution until the 1830s, when new book markets were being defined and the role of the publishing entrepreneur became distinctly different from that of the printer craftsman. She focuses her study on the book publishing industry, rather than newspaper and periodical publishing or job printing. In doing so, she relies on extensive records left by certain major Philadelphia publishers.

The study begins with a brief look at publishing in Philadelphia during the colonial period, when most book titles were published in England and most printers also were considered publishers. Remer then examines the book trade in transition during the 1790s, when printers scrambled for lucrative patronage and became increasingly politicized. That is followed by an examination of some of the major publishers, such as Mathew Carey, Benjamin Franklin Bache, and the Bradfords, and their business practices. …

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