At this year's extracurricular bazaar, we asked passersby to write down their definitions of history. One response: "history is the long story of the present." There is a relationship between what has happened and what is happening; it is the task of the historian to trace that tangled thread, to tell a fraying story, to be alive to echoes, resemblances, and memories.
The three papers within this issue, all originally senior essays for the Yale History major, demonstrate the urgency and sensitivity demanded by a commitment to the past. In "Romances do Povo: Soviet Socialist Realism in Brazil, 1942-1956," Elise Lieberman '22 argues for the complex, variegated status of Soviet Socialist Realist novels in Brazil. Christopher Sung '22 also traces ideological associations in "The People's Vanguard of 1863: Abolitionists and Socialists in the Civil-War Era." Johnny Gross '22 examines the creation and performance of Jewish identity in Manchuria in "A Fortress on the Sungari: Negotiating, Defending, and Remembering Jewish Harbin, 1898-present."
I am thankful to the robust, diligent, and enthusiastic team of YHR editors and designers who spent many months working on this issue. Most of all, I am grateful to the authors who entrusted us with their work.
Esther Reichek, Editor in Chief