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  • Editor’s Note
  • Stanley I. Kutler

Reviews in American History is twenty-five years old. We have produced one hundred issues, with approximately 3,000 essays, and we have reviewed nearly 4,000 books. It has been a wonderful run. “Doing” the journal has been immensely satisfying to me. I treasure the many generous comments that I have had from readers, colleagues and friends. Perhaps the most gratifying one through the years has been: “It is the one journal I read from cover to cover.” RAH was created to fill a void, and whatever success we have enjoyed, we are only as good as our contributors and their work.

Perhaps RAH’s uniqueness, as one reader has noted, is that it has stood aside from the formal institutions of the discipline, and thus has had no constituency, no interest groups to serve, other than those who just want to read interesting, informative essays on a wide range of historical writings. I like to think that RAH has stood only for satisfying that need. It represents no received orthodoxy. I am not a censor. I have liked and disliked any number of the books we have reviewed, sometimes concurring, sometimes disagreeing, with the reviewers. No matter; this journal simply has tried to offer a sample of the wide diversity of the books, authors, and reviewers that are representative of the subject matter. We have tried to be “fair.”

Let me express what can only be inadequate “thanks” for twenty-five years of help and cooperation from friends and members of the Editorial Board, and especially our splendid contributors. During these years, I have been fortunate to have first, Dianne McGann, and now, Judith Kirkwood, as Assistant Editors. Excellent editors and stylists, they always struck a favorable chord with our writers. They have been indispensable. Similarly, through nearly the entire time, Marie Hansen and her Happy Crew at Johns Hopkins University Press have unfailingly supported me and have had a key role in producing the journal.

Louis Masur, the new editor, has my absolute confidence. He is tolerant, has enormous range, and an intuitive feel for the essay format. The future of Reviews in American History is both assured and very bright.


September 1997


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