"Entering the Lists" traces the relationship between printing and coercion that underlies the consolidation and maintenance of Revolutionary-era "patriotism." Focused on a set of related ephemeral texts produced in eastern Massachusetts in the spring and summer of 1774, the essay models an approach to the world of printed material that does not assign it automatically to the Habermasian categories of "abstraction," "impersonality" or dispassionate critique. In so doing, it provides a counterpoint to long-held narratives of the natural flowering of American liberalism and the remarkable spontaneity of the American Revolution.