Cover: The Letters of the Republic: Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America, from Harvard University PressCover: The Letters of the Republic in PAPERBACK

The Letters of the Republic

Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America

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Product Details


$36.50 • £29.95 • €33.00

ISBN 9780674527867

Publication Date: 01/01/1992


224 pages

6 x 9-1/4 inches


Arguing the inseparableness of print and culture, this is one of the most engaging books about eighteenth-century American publishing in decades.—Hazel Dicken-Garcia, Journal of the Early Republic

Michael Warner’s compact discourse on the meaning of the printed word in eighteenth-century America will be recognized by every reader as an extraordinarily ingenious contribution, and one of lasting lasting importance, to the study of republicanism and to the history of print… Warner’s notion of a socially and culturally limited ‘public sphere,’ inhabited by participants in a depersonalized, largely printed discourse, not only rings true to the evidence but provides a powerful aid in articulating the nature and limits of republicanism.—Charles E. Clark, William & Mary Quarterly

Michael Warner captures better than anyone else I know the way a new technology and the practices related to it can enable a new social formation to crystallize. In doing so Warner provides us with a terribly important lesson in how to conceive of society and more particularly how to understand the functioning of society within the condition of Western modernity. An excellent book.—Charles Taylor, McGill University

Innovative in conception, resourcefully argued, The Letters of the Republic will certainly become one of the indispensable books on eighteenth-century American literary history. [This] lucid study…is marked throughout by a distilled, mature intellection that is rare even in senior scholars, and in a younger scholar’s first book, most extraordinary.—Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

A brilliant revaluation of eighteenth-century America, a work of extraordinary learning and sustained insight, with far-reaching implications, both practical and theoretical, for the study of literature and culture through the Revolutionary and Federalist eras and beyond. It establishes Michael Warner unquestionably as a major critic and a leading Americanist.—Sacvan Bercovitch, Harvard University

The Letters of the Republic is a highly original book of great explanatory power, one that fills a gaping hole in the secondary literature of eighteenth-century American culture and brings a theoretical sophistication to the literary history of that period rarely encountered in the scholarship this is an important and in many ways remarkable book. It is written with grace and with a broad intelligence always in evidence.—Jay Fliegelman, Stanford University

Overall, the writing is marvelously economical and precise… The book is original without being forced; the originality lies in both the fundamental scheme and in the careful readings of particular materials.—David Hall, Harvard University

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The Vivian’s Door Initiative is inspired by the courage and legacy of the late Vivian Malone Jones. She was the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama and was responsible for ending the segregation of public universities in the state of Alabama. Vivian’s courage and will power to create change for her brothers and sisters of color inspired the creation of a nonprofit project called Vivian’s Door. In March 2020, Vivian’s Door started a book club; their first pick was The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran. In June, over 50 people joined the online discussion of the book