Monday, February 11, 2013

Business Historians Comment on Post Office History

The Post Office's financial difficulties and proposals have been the subject of recent commentary by business historians who have studied the institution's origins and history:
Richard R. John, professor of journalism at Columbia University and recent BHC president, published an essay on the February 8, 2013, Op-Ed pages of The New York Times. Titled "How the Post Office Made America," the article comments on the roles Post Office services have played in American life since the founding of the institution in 1792. John is the author of an award-winning book on the history of the Post Office, Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse and, more recently, of Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications.

    Joseph M. Adelman (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, 2010 ) and a visiting assistant professor in the History Department at Framingham State University, has also written extensively on the role and status of the Post Office in American life. Most recently, see his article for the Echoes blog for February 7, "USPS Folly Was Foreshadowed by Confederate Post Office"; he also wrote "The Postal Service Is a Civic Institution, Not a Business" for The Atlantic, and  "The Post Office as a State-Business Hybrid" for Publick Occurrences 2.0 at Common-Place. Adelman won the 2011 Rita Lloyd Moroney Junior Prize for Scholarship in Postal History from the U.S. Postal Service for his article, “ ‘A Constitutional Conveyance of Intelligence, Public and Private,’ ” published in the BHC journal Enterprise & Society (11, no. 4 [2010]).