A Letter From The Publisher, Jul. 7, 1980

For journalists, caught up in the swirl of fast-breaking events, it is sometimes easy to neglect the longer view, to forget the lessons of history. At TIME, we try to make the past a frequent companion. Every so often the magazine does a cover story on a figure of both historical significance and current concern: Adam Smith (the future of capitalism, 1975), Thomas Jefferson (the nation's Bicentennial, 1975) and, this week, the American past. Our subject, on the eve of Independence Day, is history itself, specifically the growing reappraisal by historians and ordinary...

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