This volume presents a comparative framework in which to study the history of publishing and reading in Europe and North America during the eighteenth century. The chapters are written by leading French and American specialists in publishing during the pre-revolutionary and revolutionary eras. The book synthesizes current knowledge in the field and advances scholarship, particularly with respect to copyright legislation. It skillfully integrates the history of publishing during this period with the larger field of eighteenth-century intellectual and cultural history. The chapters are grouped in four sections devoted to publishing as a profession, publishing and the law, readership, and the collection and use of materials. Each broad area is addressed by both specialists from France and America to create a comparative context. The chapters address more particular topics from the perspectives of social, economic, and cultural history; literary criticism; law; and library history. The comparative framework yields new insights into the political cultures of eighteenth-century France and America and into the relationship of print media and political culture.