Information Networks in the Age of Revolutions Bibliography

(In)forming Revolution: Information Networks in the Age of Revolutions” Bibliography

As we bring this series to a close, we asked its participants which books and articles they would include in a brief bibliography on communication networks and the American, French, Haitian, and Latin American Revolutions. What follows is a concise list of texts to consult in order to explore the revolutionary information age. While not exhaustive, it is a good place to start your information journey. 

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For historiography of print and the American Revolution, see, e.g.: Bernard Bailyn,
Pamphlets of the American Revolution, 1750–1765 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965); Bernard Bailyn, and John B. Hench, eds. The Press and the American Revolution. Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1980; Russ Castronova, Propaganda 1776: Secrets, Leaks, and Revolutionary Communication in Early America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014); Charles E. Clark, “Early American Journalism: News and Opinion in the Popular Press,” in History of the Book in America, ed. Amory and Hall, Vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Philip Davidson, Propaganda and the American Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1940); Carol Sue Humphrey, The American Revolution and the Press: The Promise of Independence (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2013); Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Sr. Prelude to Independence: The Newspaper War on Britain, 1764–1776 (New York: Vintage, 1957); Eric Slauter, “Reading and Radicalization: Print, Politics, and the American Revolution.” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 8, no. 1 (2010): 5–40; Will Slauter, “A Trojan Horse in Parliament: International Publicity in the Age of the American Revolution,” in Charles Walton, ed., Into Print: Limits and Legacies of the Enlightenment. Essays in Honor of Robert Darnton (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2011); William Beatty Warner, “Communicating Liberty: The Newspapers of the British Empire as a Matrix for the American Revolution.” ELH 72, no. 2 (2005): 339–361; Caitlyn Fitz, Our Sister Republics: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions. New York: W.W. Norton, 2016.

Also check out Alejandra Dubcovsky’s recent literature review of pre-revolutionary communication networks in History Compass. A. Dubcovsky, “Communication in Colonial North America,” History Compass 15, Issue 9 (September 2017).

Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 4.38.15 PMFor books and articles on the French Revolution and print culture, see, Jack Richard Censer, Prelude to Power: The Parisian Radical Press, 1789-1791 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976); Robert Darnton and Daniel Roche eds. Revolution in Print: The Press in France, 1775-1800 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1989); Robert Darnton, The Forbidden Best-Sellers Of Pre-Revolutionary France (New York: W.W Norton, & Co, 1995); Roger Chartier, The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution, translated by Lydia G. Cochrane (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991); Carla Hesse, Publishing And Cultural Politics In Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1810 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991); Béatrice Didier, Ecrire la Révolution, 1789-1799 (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1989); Jeremy Popkin, Revolutionary News: The Press in France, 1789-1799 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1990); Pierre Retat, ed. La Revolution du Journal, 1788-1794 (Paris, Éditions du C.N.R.S., 1989); Haydn Trevor Mason, The Darnton Debate: Books And Revolution In The Eighteenth Century (Oxford : Voltaire foundation, 1999).

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For historiography of print and the Haitian Revolution, see, Marie-Antoniette Menier,  and Gabriel Debien, “Journaux de Saint-Domingue,” Revue d’Histoire des Colonies 127-8 (1949): 424-75; François Girod, La vie quotidienne de la société créole: Saint-Domingue au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Hachette, 1972); Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2004); David Geggus, “Print Culture and the Haitian Revolution: The Written and the Spoken Word.” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 116, part 2 (October 2006): 297-314; Kenneth J. Banks, Chasing Empire Across the Sea: Communications and the State in the French Atlantic, 1713-1763 (Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006); John Garrigus, “Opportunist or Patriot? Julien Raimond (1744-1801) and the Haitian Revolution.” Slavery & Abolition 28, no.1 (2007): 1-21; Ada Ferrer, “Talk about Haiti: The Archive and the Atlantic’s Haitian Revolution.” In Tree of Liberty: Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution, edited by Doris L. Garraway (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008): 21-40; Deborah Jenson, Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2011); Alexandra Tolin Schultz, “The Créole Patriote: the journalism of Claude Milscent.” Atlantic Studies 11, no. 2 (2014): 175-194; James Alexander Dun, Dangerous Neighbors: Making the Haitian Revolution in America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); Julia Gaffield, ed., The Haitian Declaration of Independence: Creation, Context, and Legacy (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2016); Jeremy D. Popkin, “Colonial Enlightenment and the French Revolution: Julien Raymond and Milscent Créole.” In Enlightened Colonialism: Civilization Narratives and Imperial Politics in the Age of Reason, edited by Damien Tricoire  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017): 269-82; Erin Zavitz, “Revolutionary Narrations: Early Haitian Historiography and the Challenge of Writing Counter-History” Atlantic Studies 14, no. 3 (2017), 336-353.

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For more reading on print and Latin American Revolutions, see

William J. Callahan, “La propaganda, la sedición y la Revolución Francesa en la capitanía general de Venezuela, 1780-1796.” Boletín histórico 14 (May, 1967): 177-205; Rebecca Earle, “Information and Disinformation in Late Colonial New Granada.” The Americas 54, no. 2 (1997): 167-84; Fernando Bouza, Corre manuscrito: una historia cultural del siglo de oro (Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2001); Víctor Uribe-Urán, “The Birth of a Public Sphere in Latin America during the Age of Revolution.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 42, no. 2 (2002): 425-57; Sergio Serulnikov, Subverting the Colonial Authority, Challenges to Spanish Rule in Eighteenth-Century Southern Andes (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003); Sara Castro-Klarén and John C. Chasteen, eds. Beyond Imagined Communities, Reading and Writing the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Latin America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003); David S. Shields and Mariselle Meléndez. Liberty! Égalité! Independencia!: Print Culture, Enlightenment, and Revolution in the Americas, 1776-1838 (Worcester [Mass.]: American Antiquarian Society, 2007); Fernando Bouza, Papeles y Opinión. Políticas de publicación en el Siglo de Oro (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2008); Pablo Piccato, “Public Sphere in Latin America: A Map of the Historiography.” Social History 32, no. 2 (2010): 165-192; William Acree Jr., Everyday Reading. Print Culture and Collective Identity in the Río de La Plata 1780-1910 (Nashville, Vanderbilt University, 2011); Antonio Castillo Gómez,  “‘There are lots of papers going around and it’d be better if there weren’t’ Broadsides and Public Opinion in the Spanish Monarchy in the Seventeenth Century.” In Beyond the Public Sphere: Opinions, Publics, Spaces in Early Modern Europe, edited by Massimo Rospocher,  (Bologna/Berlin,  Il Mulino/Dunker & Humbolt, 2012): 227-248; Sylvia Sellers-García, Distance and Documents at the Spanish Empire’s Periphery. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013); Cristina Soriano, Tides of Revolution: Information, Insurgencies, and The Crisis of Colonial Rule in Venezuela (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, forthcoming 2018).

These lists are certainly not exhaustive. Check out our other lists as well!

What are we missing? Leave us a comment below!

Title image: A View of Part of the Town of Boston in New-England and Brittish Ships of War Landing Their Troops! Boston, 1770 Courtesy, American Antiquarian Society. [sic]

3 thoughts on “Information Networks in the Age of Revolutions Bibliography

  1. Thanks a lot for the great bibliographies. It could be important to add in the “Latin American revolutions” at least the next titles:
    – Gabriel Torres Puga, Opinión pública y censura en Nueva España. Indicios de un silencio imposible, 1764-1794 (México, El Colegio de México, 2010).
    – Laura Suárez de la Torre, coord., Creación de estados de opinión en el proceso de independencia mexicano (1808-1823). (México, Instituto Mora, 2010).
    – Rafael Rojas, La escritura de la Independencia. El surgimiento de la opinión pública en México. (México, Taurus/Cide, 2003).


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