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Revolutionary Networks

The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763–1789

Joseph M. Adelman

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An engrossing and powerful story about the influence of printers, who used their commercial and political connections to directly shape Revolutionary political ideology and mass mobilization.

Honorable Mention for the St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize by the Bibliographical Society of America

During the American Revolution, printed material, including newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and broadsides, played a crucial role as a forum for public debate. In Revolutionary Networks, Joseph M. Adelman argues that printers—artisans who mingled with the elite but labored in a manual trade—used their…

An engrossing and powerful story about the influence of printers, who used their commercial and political connections to directly shape Revolutionary political ideology and mass mobilization.

Honorable Mention for the St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize by the Bibliographical Society of America

During the American Revolution, printed material, including newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and broadsides, played a crucial role as a forum for public debate. In Revolutionary Networks, Joseph M. Adelman argues that printers—artisans who mingled with the elite but labored in a manual trade—used their commercial and political connections to directly shape Revolutionary political ideology and mass mobilization. Going into the printing offices of colonial America to explore how these documents were produced, Adelman shows how printers balanced their own political beliefs and interests alongside the commercial interests of their businesses, the customs of the printing trade, and the prevailing mood of their communities.

Adelman describes how these laborers repackaged oral and manuscript compositions into printed works through which political news and opinion circulated. Drawing on a database of 756 printers active during the Revolutionary era, along with a rich collection of archival and printed sources, Adelman surveys printers' editorial strategies. Moving chronologically through the era of the American Revolution and to the war's aftermath, he details the development of the networks of printers and explains how they contributed to the process of creating first a revolution and then the new nation.

By underscoring the important and intertwined roles of commercial and political interests in the development of Revolutionary rhetoric, this book essentially reframes our understanding of the American Revolution. Printers, Adelman argues, played a major role as mediators who determined what rhetoric to amplify and where to circulate it. Offering a unique perspective on the American Revolution and early American print culture, Revolutionary Networks reveals how these men and women managed political upheaval through a commercial lens.

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Revolutionary Networks

Joseph M. Adelman

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Revolutionary Networks

Joseph M. Adelman

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Binding Type
Reviews

Reviews

Revolutionary Networks is consequently an important work that partially applies a new reading of printers through the methods of book history, whereby the actual production of the product is central to the historical narrative. Sections of Revolutionary Networks that explore those methods of production, the technological constraints of printing, and the ways those procedures altered narratives of political change are important and relatively new within the historiography.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
280
ISBN
9781421439907
Illustration Description
9 b&w illus., 3 maps, 4 graphs
Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Business and Economic World of the Late Colonial Printing Trade
2. A Trade under Threat: Printers and the Stamp Act Crisis
3. The Business of

Series Editor's Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Business and Economic World of the Late Colonial Printing Trade
2. A Trade under Threat: Printers and the Stamp Act Crisis
3. The Business of Protest: Printing against Empire
4. The Collision of Business and Politics, 1774-1775
5. Patriots, Loyalists, and the Perils of Wartime Printing
6. Rebuilding Print Networks for the New Nation
Conclusion
Notes
Essay on Sources
Index

Author Bio
Joseph M. Adelman
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Joseph M. Adelman

Joseph M. Adelman (FRAMINGHAM, MA) is an associate professor of history at Framingham State University.