Civil War History 47.1 (2001) 5
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From The Editor
Historians often argue over whether a particular movement looked backward or forward. This issue of Civil War History features both tendencies, as it offers a freshened face that signals a slightly new phase while taking care to preserve its ties with the past.
First, in recognition of the debts owed to the past, the editorial board and I take great pleasure in announcing the institution of a $1,000 prize for best article--the John T. Hubbell Prize. Funded through a gift donated to the Civil War Era Center at The Pennsylvania State University, the award pays tribute to my predecessor who spent thirty-five years in the editor's chair. In performing this service to the profession, John presided over an explosion of post-revisionist work, which brought to the journal most of the kinds of history that used to be called "new"--new military history, new social history, new political history, and so on. We can think of no better way to signal our continued quest for scholarship of a high caliber than by naming this prize for him. It will be judged annually by a small committee of the editorial board beginning with the articles published in this current volume year.
Second, this issue also features a slightly different look, through a careful redesign by Will Underwood, production director at The Kent State University Press. He has given the cover a more open, modern look and revamped the typeface inside to enhance readability while not sacrificing space. We need a judicious use of space as more features come into the journal. Over the past year, we have added a column called "Endnotes" to highlight information about the field. Future issues will carry information about Civil War studies on the internet and debates over public representation at historic sites. We also hope to feature forums on relevant issues facing the field and have included a few more graphics.
This brings me to a final point that also contains an affirmation of the past while representing a slightly new departure. The careful eye will have noticed that the cover of this issue no longer contains the subtitle, "A Journal of the Middle Period." This change did not come about because of a shift in our mission. The term Middle Period seems to have lost currency with the new generation of scholars and no longer conveys the broad nature of the scholarship that John T. Hubbell had enticed and that we continue to seek. We still want research that spans the antebellum period through Reconstruction. But chronological periods fail to capture the newer emphases that examine memory or the comparative dimension that has become profitable. We hope in the future to feature not only work that internationalizes the war but also might compare civil wars from various time periods or countries to learn about common threads and differences in this phenomenon.
Transitions take time and typically involve a learning curve. I appreciate the patience of readers, contributors, and the production staff during this change--and especially John T. Hubbell who has provided just the right advice at the right moments.