Bringing together government professionals, academics, consultants, students, and citizens interested in understanding federal history work and the historical development of the federal government.




Explorations in Federal History highlights and reviews the broad range of federal history work and nonfederal work that promote the history of the federal government. It is sent to SHFG members three times per year:  April, August, and December.

SHFG members can view all issues at

August 2014

Editor’s Message

Greetings and welcome to Explorations in Federal History, a new online publication from the Society for History in the Federal Government. Explorations is a review publication that will provide in-depth coverage and analysis of the work of federal and non-federal historians that promotes the history of the federal government. It will be sent in April, August, and December, and each issue will explore the historical, methodological, and educational value of federal historical work across a broad range of topical categories. Explorations will complement The Federalist as a review publication by highlighting and evaluating innovative work in the field.

This first issue of Explorations reflects history’s relevance to current policy debates. From the use of drones, internment in Guantanamo Bay, intelligence gathering, and counter-terrorism in foreign policy, to the recent government shutdown, federal historians affect and are affected by the most pressing and contentious issues of our time. Their positions and expertise give federal historians the ability to add critical substance and context to current policy discussions. Please email me questions and comments at, and I hope you enjoy reading the explorations in federal history presented here.

Thomas I. Faith



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