Q&A with Joseph Adelman

joe-headshot-croppedToday, The Junto interviews our own Joseph Adelman about his new book Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763–1789. Jordan Taylor’s review of the book appeared yesterday.

Junto: Let’s start off on a hostile note: Why should anyone care about early American newspaper printers?

JMA: Well if you’re going to be hostile, I’m tempted to just say “because I said so.” But assuming that will work about as well here as it does with my kids, let me make the case as best I can. At its core, Revolutionary Networksargues that the material realities of texts matters, and that scholars have tended to elide or simply stipulate their importance. Or, to put it in historiographic terms, we need to integrate book history methods more fully into our understanding of politics in Revolutionary America. So when I started doing research for the book when it was a dissertation, I focused on the production and circulation of texts and the impact those processes had on how American colonists and British officials made political decisions.
Continue reading

Review: Adelman, Revolutionary Networks

Cover of Revolutionary Networks by Joseph M. AdelmanJoseph M. Adelman, Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763–1789 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).

Historians often rely on a pair of archetypes to think about early American newspaper printers. First, in colonial British North America, printers evaded regulators by pretending to be “meer mechanics” who simply passed along information as it came to them. When he published the Pennsylvania Gazette in the early eighteenth century, for example, Benjamin Franklin famously protested that “Printers naturally acquire a vast Unconcernedness as to the right or wrong Opinions contain’d in what they print.” Second, historians of the American Revolution and the early U.S. republic often valorize printers as ideologically-driven leaders whose presses pushed forward political causes. Beginning with Isaiah Thomas’s history of printing and David Ramsey’s history of the American Revolution, scholars have often been inclined to treat printers as central heroes of the revolutionary era. Continue reading

Announcing the Winner of Junto March Madness 2019

Junto March Madness 2019It’s been a fun tournament, but as we inch into April, we know that March Madness must come to an end. We’ve appreciated hearing from all of you who have found new digital projects, new sources, and new research opportunities by exploring the field. Thank you to all those who have participated.

This final was unusually close, decided by a razor-tight margin: 52% to 48%. It attracted far more votes than any of the other matchups in the tournament, reflecting both projects’ impressive ability to engage with a broad community of creators, users, and readers.

Without further ado, the winner of Junto March Madness 2019 is…

Continue reading

Junto March Madness 2019: The Final

Junto March Madness 2019From a field of 64 incredible digital projects, we’ll soon be down to just one. This is the final for Junto March Madness 2019.

Thank you to all those who voted, campaigned, tweeted about, or otherwise participated in this tournament. We’ve been gratified to hear from those of you who found new digital resources, rediscovered old ones, or brought students into the tournament.

Moreover, while this is the final matchup of this competition, we hope that this is only the beginning of a conversation about digital projects and resources relating to early American history. If you are involved with a DH project relating to early American history (broadly conceived) that you would like for The Junto’s readers to learn more about, get in touch with me and we’ll figure something out.

Without further ado, please vote on the final matchup of the tournament, below. Polls will close on Wednesday at 5:00pm (EST). The winner will be announced on Thursday morning.

Continue reading

Junto March Madness Final Four!

Junto March Madness 2019The road has been long and the competition fierce, but the voters have spoken. Four worthy digital projects have made it to the final four of Junto March Madness 2019.

Many of our matchups have been close this tournament, including one tie, but it was nevertheless stunning to see one result in the elite eight decided by a single vote. That speaks to the strength of this field, as well as the importance of your vote in the matchups below.

Voting will end on Friday at 5:00pm and the championship matchup will begin on Monday morning. Remember to join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #JMM19.

Continue reading

Junto March Madness 2019: Elite Eight!

Junto March Madness 2019This is the elite eight.

We began this tournament with eight different “regions,” based loosely on the different kinds of digital projects nominated. The digital projects below have each won their “region.”  The winners in this round will go to the Final Four.

Thanks to those of you participating in the votes and on twitter (with the hashtag #JMM19). As always, we encourage you to explore these digital projects, rather than voting for the ones you are most familiar with. The field of early American digital history is incredibly rich and invites continued investigation.

Voting will end on Tuesday at 5:00pm (EST). Continue reading

Junto March Madness 2019: Round 3!

Junto March Madness 2019Round 3: the part of the tournament when things start to resemble an early American election. Corrupt bargains will be struck, defense pamphlets composed, and votes will be bought. A duel or two is always possible.

Well, hopefully not.

Thanks to all those who voted in rounds 1 and 2—which has so far added up to about 6,000 votes. Despite the large number of votes, many of these matchups have been decided by slim margins. In the previous round, a single vote twice separated the competitors. Today, voting begins for the third round of 2019’s Junto March Madness tournament. Voting will end on Friday at 5:00pm (EST). Continue reading