The Public Prints is the first comprehensive study of the role of the earliest American newspapers in the society and culture of the eighteenth century. In the hands of Charles E. Clark, American newspaper publishing becomes a branch of the English world of print in a story that begins in the bustling streets of late seventeenth-century London and moves to the provincial towns of England and across the Atlantic. While Clark's most detailed attention in America is to the three multi-newspaper towns of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, evidence from Williamsburg, Charleston, and Barbados also contributes to generalizations about the craft and business of eighteenth-century publishing. Stressing continuing trans-Atlantic connections as well as English origins, Clark argues that the newspapers were a force both for "anglicization" in their attempts to replicate English culture in America and for "Americanization" in creating a fuller awareness of the British-American experience across colonial boundaries. He suggests, finally, that the newspapers' greatest cultural role in provincial America was the creation of a community bound by the celebration of common values and attachments through the shared ritual of reading.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 12 / 1993