The key to North American intellectual life

The figure of Benjamin Franklin is indelibly associated with Creole nationalism in the northern Americas. But the importance of his trade may be less apparent. Once again, Febvre and Martin are enlightening. They remind us that ‘printing did not really develop in [North] America during the eighteenth century until printers discovered a new source of income — the newspaper.’ Printers starting new presses always included a newspaper in their productions, to which they were usually the main, even the sole, contributor. Thus the printer-journalist was initially an essentially North American phenomenon. Since the main problem facing the printer-journalist was reaching readers, there developed an alliance with the post-master so intimate that often each became the other. Hence, the printer’s office emerged as the key to North American communications and community intellectual life.

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities.

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One response to “The key to North American intellectual life

  1. Pingback: The key to North American intellectual life | Reaction Times

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