History is a deeply individualistic craft. The singly authored work is the standard for the profession; only about 6 percent of the more than 32,000 scholarly works indexed since 2000 in this journal's comprehensive bibliographic guide, “Recent Scholarship,” have more than one author. Works with several authors—common in the sciences—are even harder to find. Fewer than 500 (less than 2 percent) have three or more authors.1

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Historical scholarship is also characterized by possessive individualism. Good professional practice (and avoiding charges of plagiarism) requires us to attribute ideas and words to specific historians—we are taught to speak of “Richard Hofstadter's status anxiety interpretation of Progressivism.”2 And if we use more than a limited number of words from Hofstadter, we need to send a check to his estate. To mingle Hofstadter's prose with your own and publish it would violate both copyright...

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