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Noah Webster
An American Selection of Lessons in Reading and Speaking
Boston, 1794
In the choice of pieces, I have been attentive to the political interests of America. I consider it as a capital fault in all our schools, that the books generally used, contain subjects wholly uninteresting to our youth...
—From the Preface
Choosing books not just wisely and well, but prescriptively became increasingly common throughout the 19th century.