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The Pen Makes a Good Sword

John Forsyth of the Mobile Register

Written by Lonnie A. Burnett

This book is a biography of Alabama native John Forsyth Jr. and documents his career as a southern newspaper editor during the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. From 1837 to 1877 Forsyth wrote about many of the most important events of the 19th century. He used his various positions as an editor, Civil War field correspondent, and Reconstruction critic at the MobileRegister to advocate on behalf of both the South and the Democratic Party.
 
In addition, Forsyth played an active role in the events taking place around him through his political career, as United States Minister to Mexico, state legislator, Confederate Peace Commissioner to the Lincoln administration, staff officer to Braxton Bragg, and twice mayor of the city of Mobile.

 

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The Pilgrim and the Bee

Reading Rituals and Book Culture in Early New England

By Matthew P. Brown

We conventionally understand the book as a vessel for words, a place where the reader goes to have a private experience with written language. But readers' relationships with books are much more complex. In The Pilgrim and the Bee, Matthew P. Brown examines book culture and the rituals of reading in early New England, ranging across almanacs, commonplace books, wonder tales, funeral elegies, sermon notes, conversion relations, and missionary tracts. What emerges is a new understanding of the book at once as a material good, existing within the economies of buying, selling, giving, and receiving; as an object of reverence and a medium for the performance of reading; and as an organizational system for word, sound, and image.

The product of extensive archival research, The Pilgrim and the Bee brings together the disciplines of book studies and performance theory to reconsider the literary history of early America. Brown focuses on the reader's body, carefully studying reading practices during the first three generations of English settlement, with particular emphasis on the way such practices operated in the social rituals of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Understanding Puritanism as a style of piety predicated on access to texts, he describes a canon of texts (devotional "steady sellers") that, with the Bible, served as conduct literature for pious readers. These devotional manuals were reprinted and read frequently and helped to shape the social identities of gender, race, class, faith, and age. To Brown, seventeenth-century devotional readers are both pilgrims, treating texts as continuous narratives of redemptive journeying, and bees, treating texts as flowers or hives, as spatial objects where information is extracted and deposited discontinuously.

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Prince of Dublin Printers

The Letters of George Faulkner

Robert E. Ward

Here for the first time are gathered together the extant letters of George Faulkner, Irish printer in eighteenth-century Dublin. These firsthand accounts give an unprecedented view of Anglo-Irish social and political events, as well as a view of an Anglo-Irish printer-publisher at work.

Faulkner discusses a wide range of subjects, including theatrical events, attacks on political enemies (he himself was often the subject of political attack), and London parties with Lord Chesterfield, Tobias Smollet, and Samuel Johnson.

In his interesting sketch of the Irish printer, Robert E. Ward has included excerpts from Faulkner's Dublin Journal which show the ambiguity in Irish life -- violence, on the one hand, and, on the other, light-hearted entertainment. Other articles from his newspaper show Faulkner's attempts to steer a neutral course between English and Irish politics.

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Producing Canadian Literature

Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace

Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace brings to light the relationship between writers in Canada and the marketplace within which their work circulates. Through a series of conversations with both established and younger writers from across the country, Kit Dobson and Smaro Kamboureli investigate how writers perceive their relationship to the cultural economy—and what that economy means for their creative processes.

The interviews in Producing Canadian Literature focus, in particular, on how writers interact with the cultural institutions and bodies that surround them. Conversations pursue the impacts of arts funding on writers; show how agents, editors, and publishers affect writers’ works; examine the process of actually selling a book, both in Canada and abroad; and contemplate what literary awards mean to writers. Dialogues with Christian Bök, George Elliott Clarke, Daniel Heath Justice, Larissa Lai, Stephen Henighan, Erín Moure, Ashok Mathur, Lee Maracle, Jane Urquhart, and Aritha van Herk testify to the broad range of experience that writers in Canada have when it comes to the conditions in which their work is produced.

Original in its desire to directly explore the specific circumstances in which writers work—and how those conditions affect their writing itself—Producing Canadian Literature will be of interest to scholars, students, aspiring writers, and readers who have followed these authors and want to know more about how their books come into being.

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Publishing, Printing, and the Origins of the Intellectual Life in Russia, 1700-1800

Gary Marker

Gary Marker describes the pursuit of an effective public voice by political, Church, and literary elites in Russia as synonymous with the struggle to control the printed media, showing that Russian publishing and printing evolved in a way that sharply diverged from Western experiences but that proved to be highly significant for Russian society.

Originally published in 1985.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America

Edited by Charles L. Cohen and Paul S. Boyer

Mingling God and Mammon, piety and polemics, and prescriptions for this world and the next, modern Americans have created a culture of print that is vibrantly religious. From America’s beginnings, the printed word has played a central role in articulating, propagating, defending, critiquing, and sometimes attacking religious belief. In the last two centuries the United States has become both the leading producer and consumer of print and one of the most identifiably religious nations on earth. Print in every form has helped religious groups come to grips with modernity as they construct their identities. In turn, publishers have profited by swelling their lists with spiritual advice books and scriptures formatted so as to attract every conceivable niche market.
            Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America explores how a variety of print media—religious tracts, newsletters, cartoons, pamphlets, self-help books, mass-market paperbacks, and editions of the Bible from the King James Version to contemporary “Bible-zines”—have shaped and been shaped by experiences of faith since the Civil War. Edited by Charles L. Cohen and Paul S. Boyer, whose comprehensive historical essays provide a broad overview to the topic, this book is the first on the history of religious print culture in modern America and a well-timed entry into the increasingly prominent contemporary debate over the role of religion in American public life.
 
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for Regional Special Interests, selected by the Public Library Association
 

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Removable Type

Histories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663-1880

Phillip H. Round

In 1663, the Puritan missionary John Eliot, with the help of a Nipmuck convert the English called John Printer, produced the first Bible printed in North America; it was printed not in English but in Algonquian, making it one of the first books printed in a Native language. Thus, the trajectory of printing history in North America is intimately tied to the indigenous cultures of this continent--even if it took another one hundred years before Samson Occom became the first Native American to publish his own book in 1772. In this ambitious and multidisciplinary work, Round examines the relationship between Native Americans and the printed book over a 200-year span, arguing persuasively for the essential role of the book and of print culture in Indian lives from the sixteenth century through the Removal Period to the rise of U.S. assimilation policies in the late nineteenth century. Merging the methods of book history and Native American studies, Round shows how books became a central point of contestation between Europeans eager to assimilate Native Americans and Native people themselves, who quickly recognized the power of print to stake out claims for cultural and political sovereignty. Round showcases the varied ways that Native peoples produced and/or utilized printed texts over time, addressing such issues as the role of white missionaries and Christian texts in the dissemination of print culture in Indian Country, the establishment of “national” publishing houses by tribes, the production and consumption of bilingual texts, the role of copyright in establishing Native intellectual sovereignty (and the sometimes corrosive effects of reprinting thereon), and the role of illustrations.

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Robert E. Sherwood

The Playwright in Peace and War

Harriet Hyman Alonso

One of the nation's first film critics, an acclaimed speechwriter on his own and for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a propagandist during World War II, and a leading producer on Broadway, Robert E. Sherwood scripted some of the most popular plays and films of his day, including Waterloo Bridge, The Best Years of Our Lives, Idiot's Delight, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and Rebecca. His work brought him four Pulitzer Prizes and an Oscar. In his personal life, however, he was driven by a deep conviction that war was a societal evil that must be eradicated and human rights a moral responsibility that all governments should protect. At times, his belief in pacifism and his commitment to defending freedom and justice came into conflict with each other, causing frustration and emotional trauma which found their way into his writings and actions. In this book, Harriet Hyman Alonso unravels Sherwood's inner struggle and portrays his political journey. Relying largely on his letters, diaries, plays, films, essays, and biography of Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins, she traces Sherwood's obsession with the world of politics and its effects on his life and art, from his experience as a soldier in World War I to the Cold War. She also describes his participation in the Algonquin Round Table, his friendships and working relationships with such notables as Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Edna Ferber, Spencer Tracy, Harry Hopkins, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, his two marriages and uneasy relationship with his daughter, and his leadership role in the Broadway community. Alonso brings together history, theater and film studies, and peace studies in this interdisciplinary political biography. In the process, she illuminates major currents in U.S. foreign policy, society, and culture from 1896 to 1955—the years of the remarkable life of Robert E. Sherwood.

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Roses and Revolutions

The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall

Edited and with an Introduction by Melba Joyce Boyd

Collects significant poetry, short stories, and essays by celebrated African American poet and publisher Dudley Randall.

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Scoop

The Evolution of a Southern Reporter

Jack Nelson

From a gullible cub reporter with the Daily Herald in Biloxi and Gulfport, to the pugnacious Pulitzer Prize winner at the Atlanta Constitution, to the peerless beat reporter for the Los Angeles Times covering civil rights in the South, Jack Nelson (1929-2009) was dedicated to exposing injustice and corruption wherever he found it. Whether it was the gruesome conditions at a twelve-thousand-bed mental hospital in Georgia or the cruelties of Jim Crow inequity, Nelson proved himself to be one of those rare reporters whose work affected and improved thousands of lives.

His memories about difficult circumstances, contentious people, and calamitous events provide a unique window into some of the most momentous periods in southern and U.S. history. Wherever he landed, Nelson found the corruption others missed or disregarded. He found it in lawless Biloxi; he found it in buttoned-up corporate Atlanta; he found it in the college town of Athens, Georgia. Nelson turned his investigations of illegal gambling, liquor sales, prostitution, shakedowns, and corrupt cops into such a trademark that honest mayors and military commanders called on him to expose miscreants in their midst.

Once he realized that segregation was another form of corruption, he became a premier reporter of the civil rights movement and its cast of characters, including Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Alabama's Sheriff Jim Clarke, George Wallace, and others. He was, through his steely commitment to journalism, a chronicler of great events, a witness to news, a shaper and reshaper of viewpoints, and indeed one of the most important journalists of the twentieth century.

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