Taking up the New Hampshire newspaper industry as its case study, American Intelligence unpacks the ways in which an unprecedented quantity of printed material was gathered, distributed, marketed, and consumed, as well as the strong influence that it had on the shaping of the American political imagination. Ben P. Lafferty also considers the lives of the printers themselves and asks why so many men chose to pursue such a fraught and turbulent profession. This snapshot resonates with the contemporary media-saturated and politically chaotic age.
"Lafferty’s focus on New Hampshire enables readers to gain a fuller understanding of how the press operated and its impact in the 1790s. The author’s approach is engaging and will serve to spark further questions about the role of newspapers in the early years of the United States."—Carol Sue Humphrey, author of The American Revolution and the Press: The Promise of Independence
"Lafferty deserves much credit for readmitting New Hampshire into our early press history. This is local history that matters, for it grounds the story of how our first political parties developed in the late 1790s and anticipates the great power regional and small-town papers would have as the nation moved west."—Thomas C. Leonard, author of News for All: America’s Coming-of-Age with the Press