“Good Bunnies Always Obey”: Books for American Children
The boy should enclose and keep, as his life, the child at the heart of him, and never let it go … the child is not meant to die but to be forever fresh born.
– George MacDonald
EVER SINCE AN 18th-century bookseller named John Newbery commissioned Oliver Goldsmith to compile the first Mother Goose, and thus launched an industry, the publication of books for children has been, among other things, a way of making money. Lately it has become a way of making a lot of money, and as more of the nation’s effort comes to be invested in educating the young, the publication of books for children promises to become a major aspect of American business. Even more, it promises to become a business of great social and political importance, for it is trafficking in nothing less than the next generation, which is to say our whole future and the future of all our technological, political, and social machinery.
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