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American Studies

The Light of the Home
An Intimate View of the Lives of Women in Victorian America

Harvey Green, with the assistance of Mary-Ellen Perry
With illustrations from the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum

New in paper

"Harvey Green's Light of the Home is a rich portrait of Victorian domesticity and everyday life. Lively, accessible writing and evocative illustrations combine in this volume to convey a sense of nineteenth-century family relationships, women's experiences, and the material culture of the home." (more …)

—Kathy Peiss, author of Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture (Owl Books, 1999) and Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York (Temple, 1987)

2003, 205 pages
$17.95, paper (s)

Breach of Faith
A Crisis of Coverage in the Age of Corporate Newspapering

Gene Roberts, Editor in Chief
and Thomas Kunkel, General Editor

Veteran journalists report on their own industry's threat to democracy.

What has happened to the news? Over the past decade, there has been a major shift in newspaper coverage. Many newspaper executives, paring costs and badly misreading public appetites, have cut back dramatically on all types of public-affairs reporting. Fewer reporters than ever are assigned to the statehouse or the White House, to city hall or foreign capitals. Too often celebrity gossip and movie tips take the place of serious journalism instead of existing alongside it. Newspapers once operated under a mandate to provide the kinds of news that citizens need to function in a democratic society, but many corporations have changed that mandate. (more …)

2002, 288 pages
$29.95 cloth

2005, 256 pages
$19.95 (s) paper

Leaving Readers Behind
The Age of Corporate Newspapering

Gene Roberts
Thomas Kunkel
Charles Layton
General Editors

Are American newspapers abdicating their responsibility to keep their readers informed?

The American newspaper industry is in the middle of the most momentous change in its entire three hundred-year history. A generation of relentless "corporatization" has resulted in a furious, unprecedented blitz of buying, selling, and consolidation of newspapers—affecting the mightiest dailies and the humblest weeklies. Accompanying this corporate jury has come dramatic—and drastic—change in reporting and coverage of all kinds. Concerned that this phenomenon was going largely unreported—and, therefore, unquestioned—Gene Roberts, legendary reporter and editor, decided to undertake a huge, extended reportorial study of his own industry. (more …)

2001, 400 pages, 10 illustrations
$29.95 cloth

The Expansion of Everyday Life, 1860–1876

Daniel E. Sutherland

The Expansion of Everyday Life: 1860–1876 portrays ordinary Americans swept up in an era of social and geographical expansion. During this period, five states joined the Union—Kansas, West Virginia, Nevada, Nebraska and Colorado—and the population reached nearly forty million. The westward movement was given a boost by the cornpletion of the first intercontinental railroad, and migration from farms and villages to towns and cities increased, accompanied by a shift from rural occupations and crafts to industrial tasks and trades. Overall, the pursuit of middle-class status became a driving force. (more …)

"[T]his lively study should inspire renewed interest in the social history of the U.S."

—Publishers Weekly

2000, 312 pages, 39 illustrations
$16.95 paper (s)

As Various as Their Land
The Everyday Lives of Eighteenth-Century Americans

Stephanie Grauman Wolf

In 1700, ten sparsely settled colonies clung precariously to the Atlantic coast of the vast American continent, each far more firmly attached to the Old World by ties of politics, economy, and culture than they were to each other. By 1800, sixteen states, united by a common government, were poised exploit the seemingly endless resources of a new and independent nation. (more …)

"Well researched . . . this study deals with an extraordinary variety of people in equally manifold circumstances: urban and rural dwellers, laborers and owners, slaves, impoverished immigrants, and Amerindians."

—Publishers Weekly

2000, 240 pages, 45 illustrations
$15.00 paper (s), 1-55728-599-3

The Uncertainty of Everyday Life, 1915–1945

Harvey Green

The era between the world wars, from the "roaring 20s" to the grim days of the Great Depression, was a time of tremendous change. The United States became an increasingly urban culture as people left their farms to seek work in the cities. Many blacks moved North to escape the violence and racism of a resurgent Ku Klux Klan in the South. And, while life became more comfortable for many Americans during this period, by 1941 only half the population enjoyed the modern conveniences we now take for granted. (more …)

"The author . . . has filled his exceptionally readable work with minutiae of everyday life, from frozen foods to Superman comics, using these material things to illuminate broader aspects of American culture."

—Deborah Hammer
The Library Journal

2000, 296 pages
$16.00 paper (s)

Love and Power in the Nineteenth Century
The Marriage of Violet Blair

Virginia Jeans Laas

This fascinating biography of a marriage in the Gilded Age closely examines the dynamic flow of power, control, and love between Washington blue blood Violet Blair and New Orleans attorney Albert Janin. Based on their voluminous correspondence as well as Violet's extensive diaries, it offers a thoroughly intimate portrait of a fifty-four-year union which, in many ways, conformed to societal strictures, yet always created its own definition of itself in order to fit the flux of needs of both husband and wife.

192 pages, illustrations
$39.95 cloth (s), 978-1-55728-505-8 | 1-55728-505-5
$18.95 paper (s), 978-1-55728-506-5 | 1-55728-506-3

Some Degree of Power
From Hired Hand to Union Craftsman in the Preindustrial American Printing Trades 1778-1815

Mark Lause

$32.00 cloth (s), 1-55728-185-8


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