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  • From the Editor
  • Martin J. Medhurst

Journals, like the scholars who populate their pages, go through stages of development. Various landmarks indicate important moments of passage in life, whether it is the life of a nation, a person, or a publication. Rhetoric & Public Affairs cannot escape this larger pattern of existence. On October 10, 2005, our board member Wayne C. Booth of the University of Chicago passed away. Wayne was an original member of the editorial board, joining at the founding in 1998. For eight years he patiently labored away—as do all of our board members—in a task that is central to any journal's success but which garners little recognition and even less praise. Wayne's reviews were crisp, to the point, and never left a doubt about where he stood or what he thought. They were also helpful, both to the author and to the editor. I was not a close friend of Wayne's as were many of the board members, contributors, and readers of Rhetoric & Public Affairs, but I was an admirer. From the first time that I encountered his work as a graduate student in the mid-1970s to our first meeting in 1981 and ever since, I have admired his intellect, his style of writing, and his humility. I also admired his directness and his sense of humor. His contributions to the study of rhetoric are well known to our readers. In an age when language is regularly abused and hyperbole is a way of life for some, it is no exaggeration to say that he was one of the intellectual giants of literary and rhetorical criticism during the last half of the twentieth century. He will be missed, but his contributions will live on, helping to educate students about the ways and wiles of rhetoric for many years to come.

Other changes are taking place as well. Mary E. Stuckey, who has served selflessly as Book Review Editor for the last seven years, has asked to be relieved of her duties. I have accepted her resignation, but only after extracting an agreement that she would transition to the editorial board. Thank you, Mary, for producing year after year a first-rate book section. From volume 1:4 (Winter 1999) through volume 8:4 (Winter 2005), Mary Stuckey orchestrated 25 lead reviews and almost 300 short reviews. She has also commissioned all of the lead reviews for volume 9, including the one that appears in this issue. Replacing Mary as Book Review Editor will be board member Vanessa B. Beasley of the University of Georgia. Welcome, Vanessa. As you inherit the mantle of David Henry and Mary Stuckey, may you carry on the grand tradition of interdisciplinary reviewing that they pioneered. [End Page vii]

Finally, with change already in the air, I have decided to make some fairly extensive changes to the editorial board. These are not the kind of changes that one makes because something has gone wrong—far from it. The editorial board of Rhetoric & Public Affairs is the hardest working group of people with whom I have ever been affiliated. All of these scholars have served selflessly for more than nine years without a break. They are original board members who, like Wayne Booth, have served since day one without a word of complaint or a dime of recompense. They love the field and have dedicated their lives to it. I salute them—and I invite you to thank them the next time your paths cross—for service above and beyond the ordinary. These retiring board members include: H. W. Brands, Robert E. Denton Jr., George C. Edwards III, Fred I. Greenstein, Roderick P. Hart, Kathleen E. Kendall, Michael C. Leff, Stephen E. Lucas, Robert James Maddox, and Robert P. Newman. These ten scholars from the original board represent a full 25 percent of board membership.

Also retiring from the board are Jeff Bass, Vanessa Beasley, John Angus Campbell, Leroy G. Dorsey, Robert H. Ferrell, and Richard J. Jensen. To all of these board members, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. So do the many authors who have published articles in Rhetoric & Public Affairs. Everything we have published...


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