By Paul Gutjahr
"An American Bible is an exceptionally compelling piece of cultural historical past that succeeds in making wealthy instead of schematic feel of the main dramas that lay at the back of the construction of over 1,700 various American variations of the Bible within the century after the yank Revolution. Gutjahr's publication is mainly robust in demonstrating how nineteenth-century efforts to purge the Bible of textual and translational impurities looking for an 'authentic' textual content led mockingly to the emergence of totally new gospels just like the Book of Mormon and the large fictionalized literature facing the lifetime of Christ."
During the 1st three-quarters of the 19th century, American publishing skilled extraordinary, exponential progress. An rising marketplace economic system, frequent spiritual revival, academic reforms, and techniques in print expertise labored jointly to create a tradition more and more shaped and framed by means of the ability of print. on the heart of this new tradition used to be the Bible, the ebook that has been referred to as "the most sensible vendor" in American publishing heritage. but you will need to become aware of that the Bible in the USA was once now not an easy, uniform entity. First revealed within the usa throughout the American Revolution, the Bible underwent many revisions, translations, and alterations in layout as various editors and publishers appropriated it to satisfy a variety of altering ideological and financial demands.
This booklet examines what number varied constituencies (both secular and non secular) fought to maintain the Bible the preeminent textual content within the usa because the country's print market skilled explosive development. the writer exhibits how those heated battles had profound results for plenty of American cultural practices and different types of published fabric. through exploring how publishers, priests, politicians, educators, and lay people met the danger that new revealed fabric posed to the dominance of the Bible via altering either its shape and its contents, the writer finds the factors and outcomes of mutating God's supposedly immutable note.
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Additional resources for An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777-1880
87 Publishers began to produce bibles in a wide range of sizes and formats. He offered his customers a range of bibles printed on different kinds of paper, bound in different Page 27 kinds of leathers, set in different sizes of type, and furnished with a wide variety of maps and pictures. By trimming these production costs, Carey was realizing everhigher profit margins on his bible editions. Weems raved to Carey: "The Binders! Through correspondence, Weems kept Carey apprised of his movements and advised Carey where to direct the next shipment of books.
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. He often dined with various members of the Congress at the London Coffee House near his shop, and he used these connections to become the Congress's official printer, publishing the Congressional Journal. In 1777, he published the first English New Page 21 63 Testament printed in the colonies. From the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania he secured a loan, and from the Continental Congress he secured a written endorsement that he placed as a preface to his bible edition.
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. 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.