Thursday, October 3, 2019

WILFRED M. MCCLAY

October 2, 2019

Will Fitzhugh, Founder
The Concord Review
730 Boston Post Road, Suite 24
Sudbury, Massachusetts 01776 USA

Dear Mr. Fitzhugh,


        The whole nation owes you a debt of gratitude for the years that you have devoted to the creation and sustaining of The Concord Review. Your achievement is nothing short of heroic. You have almost single-handedly, relying on a tiny sliver of the massive funds we spend on education in this country, fought the good fight against the dumbing-down of American secondary-school education in history, a fight that has not only pitted you against the enemies of history, but also against the enemies of writing. It is a magnificent concept, a publication devoted to recognizing the kind of superior effort that is entailed in producing an extended research project. Formulation of the question, wide research, careful reading, bibliographical discernment, note-taking skills, organizational skills, outlining, writing, revising, refining, and finally with painstaking care bringing everything into final order: there is nothing like a history research paper, to develop every aspect of a student’s mental capacity. It is like the equivalent of an all-body exercise, in which every muscle gets attention. 


        But until the advent of The Concord Review, these student productions were (to use a different metaphor) like plays without an audience. Now they have one, and can find a home in a journal whose very existence will call forth additional such efforts in the years to come, from the most talented students. One can hope that this example will spread, and that the central importance of the history research paper can be restored in American education. If that happens, and one can hope it will, a lot of the credit will go to Will Fitzhugh and his quarterly HS history journal. 


        On behalf of the whole nation….thank you.


Yours,
Wilfred M. McClay
G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty
University of Oklahoma
[Author, Land of Hope, 2019]

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