The Postal Age: The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth-Century America

The Postal Age
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The Postal Age

Henkin offers a clinic in how to combine social analysis of institutions with cultural study of the rituals, emotions, and meanings by which people pattern their lives. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 15 business days.

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The book The Postal Age: The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth-Century America, David M. Henkin is published by University of Chicago. The Postal Age: The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth- Century America [David M. M. Henkin] on tnamotomar.gq *FREE* shipping on.

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The Library Book. Individuals interested in how personal documents changed in the nineteenth century certainly will want to read this book.

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View my complete profile. Rhetoric and Communication. In so doing, he offers fresh insights into several well-known events—including the Gold Rush and the Civil War—while inviting us to ponder the extent to which the postal system, and not the electric telegraph, laid the cultural foundations not only for modern telecommunications, but also for the habits of interconnectedness that are such a touchstone of modernity. The Postal Age is engagingly written, rich with anecdotes and observations that dramatize and illuminate the manifold facets of 'postal culture' in the antebellum United States. Paperback or Softback. That all changed in when Congress enacted the first in a series of laws that sharply reduced the cost of sending letters.

The postal service was initially established to serve business, but like the later experience with the telephone, it quickly became a critical system for supporting individuals in their personal and family lives as Henkin richly describes in his chapters on letter-writing in the California Gold Rush and Civil War. What is worth noting, however, is how a national investment in these letters as historically significant and personally poignant served, in the s, the secondary cultural function of dramatizing the role of mail in everyday life.

What Henkin tracks is certainly a major transformation in American life.

Over less than half a century, Americans move from being a people who experience the arrival of mail rarely to being accustomed to receiving it daily. Rich with statistical data and embellished with particular examples and cases, The Postal Age is a major contribution both to the origins of our modern information society and our understanding of how individuals created and maintained personal documents. Henkin also draws on diaries of the period, mixing their discussion about the mail and reading letters in with newspaper accounts, literary journals, government reports, etiquette and letter-writing manuals, and an array of other documentary materials.

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The Postal Age is an important addition to our understanding of both the evolution of personal recordkeeping and the origins of the modern information era. Archivists and other records professionals will learn a great deal about how the common person began to use the increased potential of a postal service to build networks of personal, family, and business arrangements.

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Those interested in the idea of a modern information age or its particulars, from telecommunications to concerns with privacy and secrecy, also will be illuminated. Too many assume that what we are experiencing today is the result exclusively of computer technologies, but Henkin shows that there were immense social, political, economic and other factors involved in laying the foundation for our presented global networked age. Despite all the changes that separate us from the postal culture of the mid-nineteenth century, our pervasive expectations of complete contact, of boundless accessibility, actually link us back to the cultural moment when ordinary Americans first experienced the mail in similar terms.

History of the mailing system

Cox AM. The internet is so frequently proclaimed as revolutionary that one can forget that it's a revolution that has happened before: universal postal service and broadcast radio being two quite similar revolutions in communication. Post a Comment.