Download An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United by Paul Gutjahr PDF

By Paul Gutjahr

"An American Bible is a really compelling piece of cultural background that succeeds in making wealthy instead of schematic feel of the key dramas that lay at the back of the construction of over 1,700 diversified American variations of the Bible within the century after the yankee Revolution. Gutjahr's booklet is principally strong in demonstrating how nineteenth-century efforts to purge the Bible of textual and translational impurities looking for an 'authentic' textual content led satirically to the emergence of solely new gospels just like the Book of Mormon and the big fictionalized literature facing the lifetime of Christ."
―Jay Fliegelman,
Stanford University

During the 1st three-quarters of the 19th century, American publishing skilled unheard of, exponential development. An rising marketplace economic system, frequent spiritual revival, academic reforms, and options in print expertise labored jointly to create a tradition more and more shaped and framed by way of the facility of print. on the middle of this new tradition used to be the Bible, the publication that has been referred to as "the top vendor" in American publishing historical past. but you will need to detect that the Bible in the US was once now not an easy, uniform entity. First published within the usa through the American Revolution, the Bible underwent many revisions, translations, and alterations in layout as varied editors and publishers appropriated it to satisfy quite a lot of altering ideological and fiscal demands.
This booklet examines what percentage diversified constituencies (both secular and spiritual) fought to maintain the Bible the preeminent textual content within the usa because the country's print market skilled explosive progress. the writer exhibits how those heated battles had profound outcomes for lots of American cultural practices and sorts of revealed fabric. by way of exploring how publishers, priests, politicians, educators, and lay folks met the risk that new published fabric posed to the dominance of the Bible via altering either its shape and its contents, the writer finds the explanations and results of mutating God's supposedly immutable be aware.

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Additional resources for An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777-1880

Sample text

59 The General Supply of 1829­1831 stands as the most ambitious, and perhaps most successful, attempt at placing the Bible in a preeminent position in the United States print culture through the sheer number of volumes produced and made available.  Perhaps the best way of doing this is to examine two key figures who preceded the American Bible Society in bible publishing: the colonial printer Robert Aitken and the premier book publisher of the early republic, Mathew Carey.  As the process of seeking to publish bibles in America would soon show, however, it was more than just a copyright that had made printers slow to publish an English bible in the colonies.

One sign of his dominance is an 1807 pamphlet entitled Mathew Carey's Plan and Terms of Supplying the Booksellers Throughout the Union, with School and Page 29 98 Quarto Bibles.  It is only with the emergence of the American Bible Society that Carey's role as America's preeminent bible producer would come to an end. 107 Stereotyping revolutionized American book publishing in the first third of the nineteenth century, and no book was so radically touched by this revolution as the Bible. 115 Once the Society was born, no American bible publisher could match its volume of production.

As other forms of printed material became more ac­ Page 19 cessible, the Bible's clear role as the centerpiece of American print culture came into question.  For the Society, the solution to print competition was simple: Make the Bible the most accessible written text in the United States, and you would make it the most important. 59 The General Supply of 1829­1831 stands as the most ambitious, and perhaps most successful, attempt at placing the Bible in a preeminent position in the United States print culture through the sheer number of volumes produced and made available.

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