Summary and Info
The history of this encyclopedia is one of the most interesting in American (and German) publishing, with a lineage going back well over a century. My colleagues and I, as editors of this new edition, have been conscious of our responsibility in dealing with probably the most revered reference work in our discipline. I myself knew and used what we called the “Langer encyclopedia,” after its distinguished editor, William L. Langer, throughout my professional education and career. My copy was a gift from my father, and all the more cherished as a result.The present edition takes up the encyclopedias heritage with that combination of change and continuity that any historian will recognize as a standard of human endeavor. We have kept the style of most references, as well as many specific entries from what was a marvelous compendium. We have retained the emphasis on periodization as an organizing device for the historians craft. But in seeking to match the earlier editors commitment to thoroughness and to an up-to-date rendition of history as a discipline, we have also made significant changes. Two of these warrant brief comment by way of orientation, and two others deserve more complete explanation.
More About the Author
Peter Nathaniel Stearns (born March 3, 1936) is a professor at George Mason University, where he was provost, from January 1, 2000 to July 2014.
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