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  • Editor's Note:Peter Stearns and Social History
  • Matthew B. Karush

The following special section examines the enormous contributions of Peter Stearns, the Founding Editor of the Journal of Social History. We solicited four essays by prominent scholars, each exploring a different aspect of Stearns's extraordinary career. Jack Censer traces Stearns's evolving understanding of social history and its position within the discipline; Michael Adas describes his approach to global history; Gary Cross discusses the evolution of his work on the history of childhood; and Stephanie Olsen and Rob Boddice examine his groundbreaking scholarship on the history of emotions. We have also included a wide-ranging interview that I conducted with Stearns. Finally, we conclude with a new essay by Stearns himself, an assessment of the long history and continuing relevance of "national character" studies. This section cannot do justice to Stearns's prolific and influential career. I do hope, however, that it can contribute to a longer conversation over where the field of social history has been and where it ought to go. Peter Stearns has played an undeniably central role in that story. [End Page 443]



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