Knowledge Is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early America, 1700-1865

Paperback | September 5, 1991

byRichard D. Brown

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Brown here explores America's first communications revolution--the revolution that made printed goods and public oratory widely available and, by means of the steamboat, railroad and telegraph, sharply accelerated the pace at which information travelled. He describes the day-to-dayexperiences of dozens of men and women, and in the process illuminates the social dimensions of this profound, far-reaching transformation. Brown begins in Massachusetts and Virginia in the early 18th century, when public information was the precious possession of the wealthy, learned, andpowerful, who used it to reinforce political order and cultural unity. Employing diaries and letters to trace how information moved through society during seven generations, he explains that by the Civil War era, cultural unity had become a thing of the past. Assisted by advanced technology and anexpanding economy, Americans had created a pluralistic information marketplace in which all forms of public communication--print, oratory, and public meetings--were competing for the attention of free men and women. Knowledge is Power provides fresh insights into the foundations of Americanpluralism and deepens our perspective on the character of public communications in the United States.

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Brown here explores America's first communications revolution--the revolution that made printed goods and public oratory widely available and, by means of the steamboat, railroad and telegraph, sharply accelerated the pace at which information travelled. He describes the day-to-dayexperiences of dozens of men and women, and in the pro...

Richard D. Brown is at University of Connecticut.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.17 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:September 5, 1991Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195072650

ISBN - 13:9780195072655

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"A lively and intensely imaginative contribution....Brown's methodology is as bold as the rather audacious scope of his topic itself, and equally refreshing."--The Book