The post office, Winifred Gallagher argues, has been not just a witness to but a foundational influence on much of the history of the United States of America, particularly for women and African-Americans, who participated in the nation's formation via the post office in pivotal ways. How the Post Office Created America tells this story, tracing the role of a unique institution and its leaders, such as Benjamin Franklin, the Crown's first postmaster general - a position that for a great deal of America's history belonged to the cabinet, and as such was politically important and influential. Taking in all the major events in American history, from the Declaration of Independence to the Civil War to the advent of the Internet, Gallagher tells a vitally important story.
This fascinating and original work of history brings to life a uniquely American institution, one without which our democracy as we know it would not have been possible. Gallagher casts her eyes forward, arguing compellingly that now more than ever before, as we arrive at a fork in the road with the advent of the Internet, we need to ensure that the future of the postal service is not squandered.
'Winifred Gallagher makes a big claim in the first sentence of her new book - 'The history of the Post Office is nothing less than the story of America.' And then, in a sweeping tour of American and postal history from the colonial period to the present, she makes us all believers. Highly recommended for students, scholars, and those who care about this nation's past.' David Nasaw, author of The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy and Andrew Carnegie
'At first glance, a book on the history of the post office seems an unpromising prospect for a page-turner. But I found it so fascinating that I could hardly put it down. This book is a winner, based on deep knowledge and research that will reach a broad audience with a story that will enhance their appreciation and understanding of the post office and its contribution to American life.' James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of Tried by War and Embattled Rebel