The history of the post office is nothing less than the story of America. Of the nation’s founding institutions, it is the least appreciated or studied, and yet for a very long time was the U.S. government’s major endeavor. Indeed, it was the government in the eyes of most citizens. As radical an experiment as America itself, the post was the incubator for our uniquely lively, disputatious culture of innovative ideas and uncensored opinions. With astonishing speed, it established the United States as the world’ information-and-communications superpower.