The Late Age of Print

The Late Age of Print Cover

The Late Age of Print

Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control

By Ted Striphas

Columbia University Press, Paperback, 9780231148153, 242pp.

Publication Date: December 17, 2010


Ted Striphas argues that, although the production and propagation of books have undoubtedly entered a new phase, printed works are still very much a part of our everyday lives. With examples from trade journals, news media, films, advertisements, and a host of other commercial and scholarly materials, Striphas tells a story of modern publishing that proves, even in a rapidly digitizing world, books are anything but dead.

From the rise of retail superstores to Oprah's phenomenal reach, Striphas tracks the methods through which the book industry has adapted (or has failed to adapt) to rapid changes in twentieth-century print culture. Barnes & Noble, Borders, and have established new routes of traffic in and around books, and pop sensations like "Harry Potter" and the Oprah Book Club have inspired the kind of brand loyalty that could only make advertisers swoon. At the same time, advances in digital technology have presented the book industry with extraordinary threats and unique opportunities.

Striphas's provocative analysis offers a counternarrative to those who either triumphantly declare the end of printed books or deeply mourn their passing. With wit and brilliant insight, he isolates the invisible processes through which books have come to mediate our social interactions and influence our habits of consumption, integrating themselves into our routines and intellects like never before.

About the Author
Ted Striphas (Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 2002) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University. His primary research interests include media historiography, cultural studies, Marxism, and communication theory. At present he is at work on a cultural history of the U.S. book industry tentatively entitled, Equipment for Living: Everyday Book Culture in the Making. He also is co-editor (with Kembrew McLeod) of a forthcoming special issue of the journal Cultural Studies on the politics of intellectual properties. His work has appeared in, among other places, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Cultural Studies, The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, Social Epistemology, and Television and New Media. He is a 2004 recipient of the Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Dissertation Award from the National Communication Association.