Letter From The Editor

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So much for our twentieth and twenty-fifth anniversaries. It was once remarked that we might “run out of history,” a suggestion we can only greet with a hollow laugh, for our subject, if anything, is suffering from egregious overproduction. We began operations in the troubled times of Senator Joe McCarthy and his Capitol Horrors; after a brief false dawn under a new Chief Executive we find ourselves still enmeshed in the “White House Horrors.” For whatever reasons, President Ford seems determined to bury by pardons the true story of Watergate and the whole complex of abuses, crimes, and scandals that one mild word has come to symbolize. Leaving aside all other considerations—morality; equality of justice; the battered reputation of our country, once the hope of the world; even simple horse sense—this is a profound disservice to history and ought to be so recorded in that Book of Judgment over which parliaments and princes and imperial presidents have no power.

We do not ordinarily mean to involve ourselves, as historians, in the incomplete events of any given moment. In fact, this is written late in September, two months before readers will see it, a period during which all manner of fresh shocks may be dealt the Republic. But even the euphoria of our personal anniversary cannot relieve our distress at such an assault on history itself, that lamp which all perceptive men and women carry to light their path into the unknown future.