History of American Schoolbooks

By Charles Carpenter | Go to book overview

Preface

IN THE PAGES that follow it has been the desire of the writer to present a general portrayal of American textbooks, and along with this, as a requisite accompaniment, a picture of the pioneerday school system -- this latter only insofar as it had to do with schoolbook production and early usage. An effort has been made to show how the first textbooks came to be, to make passing mention of text writers, and to trace through the bulk of the material presented as nearly as possible the changes that most of the textbook authors brought about.

No attempt has been made to present a comprehensive bibliographical treatment of the subject; a number of volumes would be required to cover anything like all the schoolbooks that have come and gone. To treat of them in their entirety, even if it were within the range and capacity of one person, would be a herculean project, to say the least. Edwin Grant Dexter, an education historian, referring to schoolbooks of the nineteenth century alone in his History of Education in the United States, said, "Their titles alone would fill a volume."

The subject matter set forth is confined to books used in what are generally designated as common schools -- the elementary, secondary, and high schools. This limitation arises from the nature of such institutions, including the early academies. It

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History of American Schoolbooks
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 11
  • I - The Early American Schools 15
  • II - The New England Primer 21
  • III - Nineteenth-Century Primers 35
  • IV - Special Primers 43
  • V - Beginning of Readers 57
  • VI - Following the Initial Readers 67
  • VII - The Mcguffey and Contemporary Readers 79
  • VIII - Grammars 93
  • IX - Rhetorics and Foreign Language Books 110
  • X - Arithmetics 122
  • XI - Spelling Books 148
  • XII - Literature Texts 160
  • Xlll - Elocution Manuals 168
  • XIV - Handwriting and Copybooks 177
  • XV - School Histories 196
  • XVI - General Science Texts 212
  • XVII - Physiologies And Mental Science Texts 233
  • XVIII - Geographies 245
  • XIX - Progress of Schoolbook Publishing 271
  • Bibliography 279
  • Index 301
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