The American Revolution and the Press

Paper Text – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2650-3
Publication Date
August 2013
Page Count
284 pages
Trim Size
5.25 x 8

The American Revolution and the Press

The Promise of Independence

Carol Sue Humphrey’s The American Revolution and the Press argues that newspapers played an important role during America’s struggle for independence by keeping Americans engaged in the war even when the fighting occurred in distant locales. From the moment that the colonials received word of Britain’s new taxes in 1764 until reports of the peace treaty arrived in 1783, the press constituted the major source of information about events and developments in the conflict with the mother country. Both Benjamin Franklin, one of the Revolution’s greatest leaders, and Ambrose Serle, a Loyalist, described the press as an “engine” that should be used to advance the cause. The efforts of Patriot printers to keep readers informed about the war helped ensure ultimate success by boosting morale and rallying Americans to the cause until victory was achieved. As Humphrey illustrates, Revolutionary-era newspapers provided the political and ideological unity that helped Americans secure their independence and create a new nation.

About the Author

Carol Sue Humphrey is a professor of history at Oklahoma Baptist University and the author of numerous books on American history and journalism, including The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800 (2003) and two volumes of The Greenwood Library of American War Reporting—Volume 1, The French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War and, with David A. Copeland, Volume 2, The War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War (both 2005).

David A. Copeland is the A. J. Fletcher Professor in the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina and author of The Idea of a Free Press: The Enlightenment and Its Unruly Legacy. (2006). He is also the series editor of The Greenwood Library of American War Reporting.


"Humphrey presents convincing evidence to support arguments concerning the various goals printers pursued as they sought to shape perceptions of politics and military encounters over the course of two pivotal decades... Humphrey offers her interpretation that printers played a significant role in shaping colonists' attitudes about the Revolutionary conflict through the content they chose to include in newspapers within a lively narrative that is both engaging and readable." --American Periodicals