The medium is the message: so we modern Americans view the media assault with which we're endlessly bombarded. As it turns out, ours is not the only era in American history to experience an explosion of media. In the new issue of Common-place (http://www.common-place.org), see how nineteenth-century Americans experienced a media explosion of their own, one characterized above all by a stunning profusion of graphic imagery. From formal prints to magazine illustrations, from trade cards to campaign posters, nineteenth-century Americans found themselves in a new sea of visual experience and, as the thirteen authors in this special issue demonstrate, developed an extraordinary range of strategies for adapting to these powerful new forms of visual expression.
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