Review Essays

The Journal of the History of Ideas publishes long review essays. The journal does not publish one-page reviews of individual books in the manner that many journals do.  

Review essays are substantial discussions of multiple recent works on a given topic. The word length typically ranges from 5,000 to 9,000 words. Review essays are designed to bring readers up to date on significant developments in the field.  We imagine our ideal audience to be the graduate student embarking on dissertation research and trying to understand the lay of the land ahead. No portion of the review essay should have been previously published elsewhere.

Peer review

Depending on the needs of the author and the expertise of the editors, review essays may or may not be sent out for peer review.

Submitting a proposal

Prospective authors may submit proposals for potential review essays through our web-based submission manager, Scholar One. Proposals should be roughly 250 words, including a list of titles (books and/or articles) to be addressed in the proposed essay. (In the submission portal, please upload the proposal as a Word doc where you would upload a regular article; an abstract is not necessary for the proposal.) If the proposal is approved, the author is expected to submit a draft within about six months.

Recently published JHI review essays

Steven Nadler, “The Many Lives of René Descartes”
Sarah Johnson, “Farewell to The German Ideology”
Alisa Zhulina, “The Tyrant and the Martyr: Recent Research on Sovereignty and Theater”