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Faith in ReadingReligious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America$
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David Paul Nord

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173116

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195173112.001.0001

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The New Mass Media

The New Mass Media

Economic Foundations

(p.41) 3 The New Mass Media
Faith in Reading

David Paul Nord (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the interplay of economics and religion in the publishing efforts of the early Bible and tract societies. It describes how religions publishers found ways to deal with the central economic problem: how to run a successful marketing and manufacturing business whose goal was to give a away rather than sell a product; a business whose most needy customers were least likely to desire the product. The economic nature of the new mass media, as well as the special economic nature of religion itself are examined. Emphasis is given to the pioneering work of the New England Tract Society (1814-1825) and the Bible Society of Philadelphia (1808-1815).

Keywords:   economics, religion, publishing, New England Tract Society, Bible Society of Philadelphia

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