I discovered a new blog today called Lincoln Studies by Samuel Wheeler of Southern Illinois University. A quick perusal through a few posts suggests that this is going to be a good one.
One post in particular that caught my eye was a comment concerning an editorial that appeared in the last issue of North and South magazine which anticipated some changes to the overall focus of the publication. I was also a bit disappointed after reading it as I am a long-time subscriber to the magazine and value its attempt to treat the Civil War in a mature and scholarly fashion. As many of you know Terry Johnston recently stepped down as managing editor to be replaced by magazine founder Keith Poulter. Keith mentioned that there will be less social history and more military history and he has canceled plans for a special issue devoted to Lincoln and Davis.
My guess is that financial concerns are driving this change in focus and perhaps it was always just a matter of time. I had hoped (and still do) that this magazine would continue to stand out as a publication devoted to presenting its readers with first-rate history written by outstanding scholars in the field concerning a broad rannge of issues.
Poulter has also signed a deal with Southern Illinois University Press to have a series of articles published in book form:
In a related development, North & South has reached agreement with
Southern Illinois University Press, whereby the Press will publish a series of
books featuring articles that have appeared in the magazine. The first in the
series, due out in spring 2008, will contian eight of the discussion articles
that have appeared, including such favorites as who were the top ten generals,
and who were the worst ten.
I may be wrong, but I think this is a big risk for SIUP. It seems strange that a university press has agreed to publish what is in essence a top ten list. We shall see.
* FOOTNOTE *: It looks like Samuel’s new blog site is just an extension of his other website, which is also titled Lincoln Studies. Oh well…now we have it in blog form.