Founded In    1913
Published   quarterly
Language(s)   English

Fields of Interest


American history

ISSN   0021-8723
Affiliated Organization   Organization of American Historians
Editorial Board

JAH Staff 2006
Edward T. Linenthal, Editor
David Paul Nord, Associate Editor
Steven D. Andrews, Assistant Editor
Susan Armeny, Associate Editor
Nancy J. Croker, Production Manager
Kevin Marsh, Assistant Editor
Melissa C. Beaver, Information Technology Manager
Bonnie Laughlin Schultz , Senior Editorial Assistant
Andrew Kahrl, Editorial Assistant
John Baesler, Editorial Assistant
Donna Drucker, Editorial Assistant
Karen Dunak, Editorial Assistant
Deneise Hueston, Production Assistant

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Two paper copies of the manuscript and an electronic version should be sent to the Editor, Journal of American History, 1215 E. Atwater, Bloomington, Indiana 47401. The electronic version should be in a Word, WordPerfect, or Rich Text format and may be submitted on a disk or as an email attachment. All text, including quotations and footnotes, should be prepared in double-spaced typescript according to The Chicago Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press). See the Journal’s style sheet for further details. Manuscripts, including footnotes, must not exceed 14,000 words. Because submissions are evaluated anonymously, the author’s name should appear only on the title page. Please provide your full address, including e-mail, in all correspondence.

A manuscript that has been published or that is currently under consideration for publication elsewhere in either article or book form should not be submitted. The Journal will not consider submissions that duplicate other published works in either wording or substance. Articles that are accepted become the property of the Organization of American Historians. The OAH allows authors the free use of their materials as long as a decent interval elapses between publication in the Journal and subsequent publication.

Graduate students interested in submitting essays for the Louis Pelzer Memorial Award should consult the guidelines at the OAH Web site.

March 2005 – Volume 91, No. 4 <>

Presidential Address “The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past”
Jacquelyn Dowd Hall

In an article based on her presidential address to the Organization of American Historians, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall explores the stories we craft and teach about the American civil rights movement. The dominant narrative, which rightly celebrates the decade between Brown v. Board of Education and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, often obscures both the movement's rich antecedents and the nationwide struggles that continue today. The truncated narrative of a sharply delimited, victorious civil rights struggle misconstrues the movement's radicalism and lends itself to use by the New Right to undermine the movement's far-reaching economic and structural goals. Hall proposes the story of a "long civil rights movement," a truer story that incorporates change and resistance across the twentieth century and speaks to the challenges of our time. (pp. 1233–63)


Journal of American History

In October 1907, seven of the leading historical societies of the Mississippi Valley were invited to Lincoln, Nebraska, “for the purpose of considering plans for effecting a permanent organization for the advancement of historical research and the collection and conservation of material in these western States.” The result was the formation of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. Seven years later, the Association launched the first issue of its quarterly Mississippi Valley Historical Review as a new publication to showcase the publishing activities of the association.

The March 1964 issue completed the fiftieth volume of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, and at that time the association celebrated the half-century landmark anniversary by approving a name change of the association’s journal to the Journal of American History. The change in title not only reflected an awareness of a growing national membership in the association but recognized a decided shift in contributor emphasis from regional to nationally oriented history.

The Journal of American History remains the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history and is well known as the major resource for the study, investigation, and teaching of our country’s heritage. Published quarterly in March, June, September, and December, the Journal continues its distinguished career by publishing prize-winning and widely reprinted original articles on American history. The Journal also features historiographic essays and reviews of books, films, exhibitions, and Web sites. Its ongoing initiative in internationalization places American history in a global context, and its new “Teaching the JAH” Web project brings the latest scholarly research into the U.S. history classroom. The Journal’s Recent Scholarship bibliography is now available to OAH members as an online searchable database.


» Visit Journal Web Site

December 2005, Vol. 92, No. 3

Presidential Address: Patriot Acts: Public History in Public Service

In his presidential address to the Organization of American Historians, James Oliver Horton argues that if the promise of America is to be fulfilled, its people must understand its history. A widespread comprehension of our national history is critical to contemporary conversation about public issues. Horton believes that professional historians have to play a crucial role in providing context for public debates over politics and policy. Despite the contentious nature of public history, Horton challenges American historians to deepen public historical knowledge and to support history education in pre-college classrooms, national parks, museums, and other sites where many people learn about the history of the United States.

Midnight Rangers: Costume and Performance in the Reconstruction–Era Ku Klux Klan

Popular entertainment shaped Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan terror and its meaning for Klansmen, their victims, and witnesses. Rather than presenting themselves as silent ghostly figures in white robes, many Klansmen committed atrocities while wearing bizarre costumes such as masquerade disguises, women’s dresses, or squirrel-skin masks. The nighttime productions of Klansmen sometimes included animal noises, faked foreign accents, and brief dramatic performances for their victims. Asserting the importance of the Klan’s theatrics, Elaine Frantz Parsons shows that just as Klansmen used such popular cultural traditions as minstrelsy and the circus to spread their message of white superiority, so popular cultural venues incorporated the Klan into their acts.

‘Made by Toile’? Tourism, Labor, and the Construction of the Colorado Landscape, 1858–1917

Close your eyes and imagine Colorado: Is anyone working? Do you see pristine wilderness, or does your image have room for those who perform the physical labor that maintains a modern society? Those questions are less innocent than they might appear. As toil in Colorado from the 1870s to the 1910s taught an old railroader named John Watt, erasing working people from representations of past and place can have real consequences. Confined to a county poor farm, Watt wrote letters that prompt Thomas G. Andrews to explore the causes and consequences of how tourists saw—and, from the 1860s on, increasingly failed to see—work and workers in the Colorado landscape.

‘The Most Wonderful Thing Has Happened to Me in the Army’: Psychology, Citizenship, and American Higher Education in World War II

Christopher P. Loss examines the way American higher education contributed to nation building and new conceptions of democratic citizenship during World War II. Arguing that the 1944 G.I. Bill of Rights was far from novel, Loss explores the army’s soldier education programs before the G.I. Bill. Those programs satisfied many soldiers’ demands for self-improvement and access to social mobility. They also reflected officials’ growing faith in the psychological power of education to ensure soldiers’ “adjustment” to life within and outside the military. Loss concludes that the postwar expansion of higher education linked citizens’ desire for a better life to the state’s pursuit of political, economic, and emotional stability.

Sound and Fury; or, Much Ado about Nothing? Cochlear Implants in Historical Perspective

R. A. R. Edwards introduces readers to the uneasy relationship the American Deaf community has had with assistive technology throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The medical community has viewed the development of devices to relieve deafness—from ear trumpets to hearing aids to cochlear implants—as a sign of progress, and most hearing people have agreed. Some Deaf people have viewed the same progression as a thinly veiled assault on Deaf culture, maintaining that deafness is a cultural condition in need of understanding, not a medical condition in need of alleviation. Edwards probes this nexus of technology, culture, and disability to shed light on both the history of the Deaf as a minority group and the future of disability studies.

Other Issues

September 2005, Vol. 92, No. 2
June 2005, Vol. 92, No. 1
March 2005, Vol. 91, No. 4