American Historical Review presents diverse topics, approaches

Oct. 31, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The five articles in the current issue of the American Historical Review illustrate the diverse approaches and topics that characterize contemporary historical writing. The subjects: polygamy in early North America; serfdom in imperial Russia; medicine and mass culture in the U.S.; modernization in Africa; and decolonization in Asia.

The American Historical Review is the official publication of the American Historical Association. Its editorial offices are at Indiana University Bloomington.

Articles in the October 2013 issue include:

  • "'Having Many Wives' in Two American Rebellions: the Politics of Households and the Radically Conservative." Sarah M.S. Pearsall examines two Native American uprisings against Spanish colonizers: the Guale Rebellion of 1597 and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. She argues that transformative possibilities were inherent in the rebels' conceptions of household and gender.
  • "Freed Serfs Without Free People: Manumission in Imperial Russia." Alison K. Smith discusses practices involved in the freeing of serfs in late 18th- and early 19th-century Russia. She finds that "freedom" had multiple, practical meanings for serfs, their owners and the state.
  • "Becoming Glandular: Endocrinology, Mass Culture, and Experimental Lives in the Interwar Age." Michael Pettit looks at the culture of rejuvenation therapy that developed after World War I. He highlights the publishers, journalists, novelists and readers who spread doctors' claims that stimulating the body's hormone production could renew energy and prolong life.
  • "Drive-In Socialism: Debating Modernities and Development in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania." Laura Fair uses an element of popular entertainment -- the drive-in theater -- to uncover competing visions of modernity, socialism and independence in 1960s and '70s Tanzania.
  • "International Socialism and Decolonization During the 1950s: Competing Rights and the Postcolonial Order." Talbot C. Imlay examines disagreements between Asian socialists, who insisted on the primacy of national rights during decolonization, and European socialists, whose initial support for minority rights morphed to an interest in human rights.

The October issue also includes five featured reviews, an extensive book review section and "In Back Issues," which features articles from 100, 75 and 50 years ago. Additional information, including more complete summaries and JSTOR links to full-text articles, is available on the journal's website.

The American Historical Review is published five times a year by Oxford University Press. Highly regarded among scholars of history, American Historical Review has for several years had the highest "impact factor" among history journals, according to Journal Citation Reports, which measures how often articles in a particular journal are cited by peer-reviewed journals in the Thomson Reuters database.