Publication Date

December 1, 1998

The microphones are ordered and the rooms are prepared for what promises to be one of AHA's largest meetings ever—the 113th annual meeting to be held January 7–10 in Washington, D.C. As in years past, sandwiched between the News and some exceptional essays by James M. McPherson and others are articles and items devoted to making your trip to the meeting as fruitful and productive as possible.

By this time, you should have received your Program, which details the many superb sessions offered for your attention. But the meeting is always about much more than the exchange of knowledge. As the recent boom in job listings reminds us, there is also a good deal of professional work to be done. John Wood Sweet and Lucy Barber offer tips to prospective job candidates on successful interviewing. And the AHA Professional Division’s recently revised “Guidelines for the Hiring Process” are on page 55 together with an outline of how this year’s Job Register will work.

Of course, the meeting also provides the opportunity to see and visit a new locale. This year the Association meets in a city rich in local and national history, as the article by Kathryn Schneider Smith attests. And there is much more to the recent political history of the city than late night humorists might lead many “beyond the beltway” to believe, as LAC co-chair Howard Gillette reminds us in “Washington at 200: An Enduring Dilemma.”

The social aspect is another key element of the meeting, as it presents a rare opportunity to converse with friends and colleagues, often in the many congenial cafés and restaurants of D.C. "A Cosmopolitan Cuisine: Dining in D.C.” provides a compilation of restaurants, complemented with a personal selection by historian and restaurant critic David R. Goldfield.

For the many members who will not participate in the meeting, this issue of Perspectives should not make a quick trip to the circular file, as it offers a wide variety of items of general interest, led by James M. McPherson addressing “Why I Became a Civil War Historian” and David J. Staley discussing the problem of “Designing and Displaying Historical Information in the Electronic Age.” And AHA President Joseph C. Miller and Executive Director Sandria B. Freitag discuss important issues in the structure and management of the Association that affect us all as members.

We look forward to seeing many of you in January!

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