THE BOOK IN AMERICA , by Richard W. Clement (Fulcrum Publishing, 150 pages, $39.95).
This ninth in a series of Library of Congress classics examines the effect that the American publishing industry has had on the development of the United States. Clement traces the history of publishing since the colonial era, paying special attention to the creation of libraries in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries; reading in America; and the role of books in wartime. He demonstrates how writers, editors, printers, and publishers influence the reading public by the choices they make, and how those readers respond by making choices of their own. The text is heavily illustrated with color and black and white illustrations of works drawn from the collections of the Library of Congress, including an extremely rare edition of the first book printed in the American colonies–The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre, which is commonly known as the Bay Psalm Book; the first American cook book, Amelia Simmons’s American Cookery; Mason Locke Weems’s Life of George Washington, said to be one of the most influential biographies ever written; and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.