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Thanks to the energy and the imagination of Professor Patrick O’Brien, the electronic journal Reviews in History, was launched in 1996. Its aim was to review the major, recently published works of history, in a serious and scholarly way, at greater speed and fuller length than in most printed journals, and to encourage constructive discussion by allowing authors the right of reply. These pioneering aspirations were fully outlined in the journal’s original manifesto, which still stands as the best account of its aims and ambitions, and to which this brief, new updated introduction has been added.

Four years on, Reviews in History is successfully established, as the most reputable and highly-regarded electronic publication in this field. To date, it has made available 113 extended reviews, most with replies by the author; it also carries articles, reappraisals of historians, and an in-progress debate on history and post-modernism; its affairs are overseen by an editorial board whose interests range from medieval Europe, via the British Empire and Commonwealth to modern Latin America; and the site is getting more than five hundred hits a day from around the world, and that number is increasing all the time.

As such, Reviews in History seems to be meeting a global and growing need. But we are anxious to enhance our coverage, to secure our financial future, and to learn from our users how we may serve them (and history) better. Any advice and suggestions from historians, publishers, journalists, friends or critics will be gratefully received. Please send any thoughts you may have to [email protected].

David Cannadine
Editor, Reviews in History
24th May 2000