Chapter

The Character of the Trade

Michael J. Everton

in The Grand Chorus of Complaint

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751785
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896936 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751785.003.0001
The Character of the Trade

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Chapter 1 surveys the two predominant views of the trade between the Revolution and the Civil War. In the first view, the book business was a gentlemanly sphere where publishers' conduct was driven by principle. In the second, the trade was governed by a commercial ethos that privileged profit above all else. A single person, Evert Duyckinck, one of the most influential figures in American print culture, embodied both these views. Using Duyckinck's extant papers and published writings, as well as the archives and published commentary of tradesmen who came before and after him, I reconstruct the character of the trade first as it was; second, as publishers and authors thought it was; and, third, as they thought it ought to be.

Keywords: Evert Duyckinck; James Parton; Benjamin Franklin; printing; publishing; ethics

Chapter.  12567 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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