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Historians Take a Stand

To the Editors:

On January 6, 2007, the business meeting of the American Historical Association passed an unprecedented resolution condemning recent government attacks on the free pursuit of historical knowledge. The resolution has been supported by more than one hundred fifty scholars and is subject to ratification by the association’s full membership in electronic voting March 1–9, 2007.

Resolution on United States Government Practices Inimical to the Values of the Historical Profession

Whereas the American Historical Association’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct emphasizes the importance of open inquiry to the pursuit of historical knowledge;

Whereas the American Historical Association adopted a resolution in January 2004 reaffirming the principles of free speech, open debate of foreign policy, and open access to government records in furthering the work of the historical profession;

Whereas during the war in Iraq and the so-called war on terror, the current Administration has violated the above-mentioned standards and principles through the following practices:

  • excluding well-recognized foreign scholars;
  • condemning as “revisionism” the search for truth about pre-war intelligence;
  • reclassifying previously unclassified government documents;
  • suspending in certain cases the centuries-old writ of habeas corpus and substituting indefinite administrative detention without specified criminal charges or access to a court of law;
  • using interrogation techniques at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and other locations incompatible with respect for the dignity of all persons required by a civilized society;
Whereas a free society and the unfettered intellectual inquiry essential to the practice of historical research, writing, and teaching are imperiled by the practices described above; and

Whereas the foregoing practices are inextricably linked to the war in which the United States is presently engaged in Iraq; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Historical Association urges its members through publication of this resolution in Perspectives and other appropriate outlets:

  • to take a public stand as citizens on behalf of the values necessary to the practice of our profession; and
  • to do whatever they can to bring the Iraq war to a speedy conclusion.

Alan Dawley, College of New Jersey

Ervand Abrahamian, CUNY Baruch College

Michael Adas, Rutgers University

Benjamin Alpers, Oklahoma University

David Applebaum, Rowan University

Chris Appy, University of Massachusetts

Armen Baghdoyan, Independent scholar and historian

David Barber, University of Tennessee at Martin

Michael Batinski, Southern Illinois University

Rosalyn Baxandal, SUNY College at Old Westbury

Marc Becker, Truman State University

William Beik, Emory University

Thomas Bender, New York University

Lyn Bennet, Utah Valley State College

Joyce Avrech Berkman, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Ira Berlin, University of Maryland

Magnus T. Bernhardsson, Williams College

Tracey Jean Boisseau, University of Akron

Eileen C. Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara

Constance Brittain Bouchard, University of Akron

Joye Bowman, University of Massachusetts

Renate Bridenthal, Brooklyn College (Emerita)

Ron Briley, Sandia Prep

Joan Louise Bryant, Rowan University

Shefali Chandra, University of Illinois, Urbana

Celia Chazelle, The College of New Jersey

Fredric Cheyette, Amherst College

John H. Coatsworth, Harvard University

Bruce Cohen, Worcester State College

Miriam Cohen, Vassar College

Stephanie Coonts, Evergreen State College

Frank Costigliola, University of Connecticut

John M. Cox, University of North Carolina

Dan Czitrom, Mt. Holyoke College

Robert Darnton, Princeton University

J.D.E. Degroat, St. Lawrence University

Ileen Devault, Cornell University

Charles Dew, Williams College

Gregory Michael Dorr, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jay Driskell, Yale University

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, California State University

Eileen Eagan, University of Southern Maine

Christine T. Ehrick, University of Louisville

Rosemarie Eichler, University of Akron

Carolyn Eisenberg, Hofstra University

Eileen Findlay, American University

John Fitzgerald, Longmeadow H.S., MA (Retired Dept. Chair)

Ian Christopher Fletcher, Georgia State University

Jerise Fogel, Winston Prep. School, NY

Eric Foner, Columbia University

Jeffrey Freedman, Yeshiva University

Tami Friedman, Brock University

Peter Frost, University of Mississippi

Irene Gendzier, Boston University

Marvin Gettleman, Brooklyn Polytechnic (Emeritus)

Nathan Godfried, University of Maine

Janet Golden, Rutgers University

Warren Goldstein, University of Hartford

Van Gosse, Franklin and Marshall University

Greg Grandin, New York University

Ann N. Greene, University of Pennsylvania

Robert Griffith, American University

Richard Grossman, Northeastern Illinois University

Atina Grossmann, Cooper Union

Jennifer Guglielmo, Smith College

Daniel K. Gullo, University of Chicago

Martin Halpern, Henderson State University

Michael Hanagan, Vassar College

John Mason Hart, University of Houston

Carla Hesse, University of California, Berkeley

John Higginson, University of Massachusetts

Reginald F. Hildebrand, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Walter Hixson, University of Akron

David Hostetter, Shepherd University

B.T. Huntlye, Front Range Community College

Maurice Isserman, Hamilton College

Tony Judt, New York University

Tom Kaiser, University of Arkansas

Marion Kaplan, New York University

Michael Kazin, Georgetown University

Kevin Kern, University of Akron

Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University

Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University

Peter N. Kirstein, Saint Xavier University

Janet Klein, University of Akron

J. Morgan Kousser, California Institute of Technology

Michael Kwass, University of Georgia

Vinay Lal, UCLA

Fabio Lanza, University of Arizona

Bruce Laurie, University of Massachusetts

Jackson Lears, Rutgers University

Michael Levin, University of Akron

Nelson N. Lichtenstein, University of California, Santa Barbara

Peter Linebaugh, University of Toledo

Lester Little, Smith College

Jeff Livingston, California State University

Ngo Vinh Long, University of Maine

Thomas M. Luckett, Portland State University

Staughton Lynd, independent scholar

Henry Maar, California State University

Laura Mason, University of Georgia

Elizabeth McKillen, University of Maine

Jeffrey Merrick, University of Wisconsin

Richard H. Minear, University of Massachusetts

Carl Mirra, SUNY College at Old Westbury

David Montgomery, Yale University

Anna K. Nelson, American University

David Newbury, Smith College

Mary Nolan, New York University

Francis Oakley, Williams College

Enrique Ochoa, California State University

Arnold A. Offner, Lafayette College

Grey Osterud, independent historian and academic editor

Mark Overmyer-Velazquez, University of Connecticut

Maria Pascualy, Washington State History Museum

Roger Peace, Florida State University

Carla R. Petievich, Montclair University

Anne E. Phillips, Rowan University

Margaret M. Power, Illinois Institute of Technology

Jean Quataert, Binghamton University

Liam Riordan, University of Maine

Roy Rosenzweig, George Mason University

Peter Sahlins, Social Science Research Council

Neal Salisbury, Smith College

Martha Saxton, Amherst College

David Schalk, Vassar College

Sigrid Schmalzer, University of Massachusetts

Ellen W. Schrecker, Yeshiva University

Jeff Schutts, Douglas College

Joan W. Scott, Institute for Advanced Study

Scott W. See, University of Maine

Martin Sherwin, Tufts University

Sarah Shields, University of North Carolina

Shanti M. Singham, Williams College

Judith Smith, University of Massachusetts, Boston

David Snyder, Grand Valley State University

Hobart Spalding, CUNY (Emeritus)

Carole Srole, California State University Los Angeles

Ted Steinberg, Case Western Reserve University

Eric Strahorn, Florida Gulf Coast University

Lillian Taiz, California State University, Los Angeles

Baki Tezcan, University of California, Davis

Robert Tignor, Princeton University

Dale Van Kley, Ohio State University

William Van Norman, James Madison University

Mike Wallace, Gotham Center for New York City History

Chuck Walton, Yale University

David Watt, Temple University

Peter Weiler, Boston College

Jon Wiener, University of California, Irvine

Jocelyn A. Wills, City University of New York

Lawrence Wittner, SUNY Albany

Andrew Wood, University of Tulsa

John Womack, Harvard University

Marilyn B. Young, New York University

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