Journal of the American Revolution founder Todd Andrlik has moved on to other pursuits. Some of JAR’s early contributors reflect on his influence:
The number of people who Todd influenced through the founding and management of the Journal of the American Revolution would be hard to guess. I would conservatively estimate it to be in the hundreds of thousands – and that’s in the course of months. But the total number would be huge for sure, and it continues to grow as an online resource for schools, scholars, and just regular people who want to learn more about the Founding.
The introduction of the “miracle” of the American Revolution to the general public through Todd’s unique vision, incredible attention to detail, insistence upon high standards for accuracy, and extraordinary energy set down a site that I’m happy to hear will continue when Todd hands off the liberty baton. Everyone everywhere will continue to benefit from Todd’s idea, hard work and devotion.
On a personal note, I am and very much will stay in debt to Todd for the opportunities, coaching and astonishing patience afforded me in those early days of manuscript submissions. I recall that it came as a shock to me that a Googled article was not considered a sound primary source. But we always shared the fuel which drove both of us, as well as those other assistant editors and contributors. That was the deep mutual interest in the American Revolution. The Journal of the American Revolution was the “glorious glue” that created a community of Patriots and Loyalists alike. It’s a community that still thrives and expands daily and for that, I and so many people sincerely thank Todd Andrlik.
John L. Smith Jr.
Thanks, Todd, for all your efforts. The JAR has given a loud voice to an underappreciated segment of American history. It has provided an opportunity for scores of amateur as well as professional researchers to present their findings on myriad facets of the Revolution from factual recountings to analytical compositions—many of the topics little-known or understood even by students of the period. More importantly, it has given individuals unfamiliar with the Revolution the opportunity to explore the broad range of subjects rendered by those researchers. It is quite likely that numbers of people who had only, at best, a passing interest in the American Revolution are now regular readers of the site’s presentations. John Quincy Adams once wrote, “The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.” If that is true (and I believe it is), you have gained a degree of well-deserved lasting fame.
I remember emailing JAR a few years ago to propose my first effort at an article to see if there was any interest. Todd wrote back right away and was most gracious in explaining JAR’s focus and how my feeble attempt could (read: should) be changed to meet that criteria. Then a series of back and forth emails followed and I can recall being so appreciative of someone whom I had never met before taking the time to help me out this way. Since then, he has remained continually positive and helpful with other articles, introducing me to Don Hagist, another mensch of the highest order. It has been my misfortune to have never met Todd, but I did meet Don at Saratoga a couple of years ago to hear one of his presentations and I look forward to continuing my relationship with JAR, all begun on a positive note because of Todd. I am sorry to hear that he is leaving, but fully expect that he will be as successful in this next phase of his life as he has been to this date.
All the best Todd, I appreciate your help and friendship these past years and wish you all the best.
A little over five years ago my first published article on the revolution appeared in a publication that had originally been known as Patriots of the American Revolution. I was delighted to see my work in print but I couldn’t help but notice that the issue came with an announcement that the magazine would be no more. But then, almost on cue, my friend Hugh Harrington suggested that I might submit something to a new online publication called the Journal of the American Revolution. I was delighted with Todd Andrilik’s work and quickly dug into my research to work up a few articles. Getting rid of all my poorly formatted footnotes was a frustrating process but the result has been very satisfying. I feel indebted to Todd and the editors for providing me with a first class outlet for research on the American Revolution. Wishing Todd much success in his next venture.
I first met Todd Andrlik on December 1, 2012, when Todd was in Delaware for a signing of his then-new book, Reporting the Revolution: Before History It Was News. Named one of the Best Books of 2012 by Barnes & Noble, Todd’s presentation on the book at our Round Table that evening was a smash hit.
Todd was excited about his plans for an upcoming E-Journal that he called “allthingsliberty.com.” He told us his mission was to create an online journal which would become the leading source of fresh, well-written, carefully-documented, and readable information about history of the American Revolution and founding period. JAR was launched a few weeks later, in January 2013. Since that time more than 1,000 articles have been published, and, with Todd’s encouragement, the network of both well-known and emerging scholars has grown into a vibrant and growing community who have come to know each other as friends and colleagues.
It was in 2014 that JAR became “really real” to me. Joseph Manca of Rice University, a speaker at my “George Washington: Man & Myth” Symposium in historic New Castle was thrilled when the talk he had given for Man & Myth, “George Washington’s Mount Vernon: A Landscape for The New Cincinnatus,” was published in JAR on July 2, 2014; and I was no less excited when, with Todd’s encouragement, my own first article for JAR, “Allen McLane: Case Study in History and Folklore” appeared in the October issue, just in time to help promote another symposium I was coordinating at Wesley College in Dover.
The subsequent articles I wrote for JAR resulted in a call from an editor at History Press who told me she had heard I was doing a lot of work on Delaware in the American Revolution. Would I be interested in writing a book for them on that topic? Why yes, I would! And I not only thank Todd for opening that door, but also for getting Don Hagist to proof-read and edit my book.
Looking back on Todd’s talk in 2012, and watching how fast JAR has grown, and how well-respected it has become, I am mind-boggled by how much one man with a clear mission and vision statement can accomplish.
Todd Andrlik, his colleagues, and their love and enthusiasm for the Journal of American Revolution, have had a very important impact on my own career. I wish Todd all the best in his future endeavours and hope he will keep in touch throughout the coming years.
I, as do so many in the field, appreciate greatly Todd’s infectious enthusiasm for the Revolutionary era. Leveraging his deep knowledge of period newspapers into a successful book, he has realized via the creation of the Journal of the American Revolution and encouragement of Westholme micro-histories, a vision for bringing the immediacy, contingency, and meaning of Revolutionary events and people to new and wider audiences. Todd has set a high bar for JAR contributions to be built forthrightly on primary sources and often new scholarship, while eschewing opaque jargon sometimes associated with the academy. In so doing he has added to renewed popular interest in the foundational American Revolutionary and Early Republican eras.
Samuel A. Forman
My first experience with Todd Andrlik was probably not what you would call an auspicious beginning. Todd was a stranger who contacted me concerning what would become his signature volume, the highly successful, award-winning Reporting the Revolution. My ever-keen judgment told me to pass on helping him. That was the last time I said no to Todd. Since then, Todd has brought together the best of the Revolutionary War community and introduced them to the broader public in a way I never thought possible. Journal of the American Revolution has been read and enjoyed by countless thousands of people, many new to the period. It has been unique by giving researchers, the folks in the trenches of the archives and libraries, an opportunity to publish and reach a wide audience that otherwise would not exist. And it has been free to the public, making it available to anyone with access to the internet. Todd will always hold a very special place with me for the opportunity to expand JAR into a series of books. My own book Grand Forage 1778 would not have been possible without Todd, JAR and all that went with that. I wish Todd every success in his next endeavor, knowing that whatever it may be, it shall surpass even his expectations.
Todd W. Braisted
Todd Andrlik has given to those of us who are passionate about researching and writing on the American Revolution a wonderful gift —the Journal of the American Revolution.
It’s a quality endeavor. I’ve found my query letters to the Journal answered quickly, any questions I have asked taken seriously, my accepted articles published soon after submission. The Journal of the American Revolution presents fresh, lively material, often introducing topics I had never before considered. The website, with its archive section, is easy to navigate and thoughtfully designed. And I also love the handy bound annual Journal (it is a great gift, too).
In May, 2016, Todd traveled to Valley Forge National Historical Park to present a talk that featured his award-winning book, Reporting the Revolutionary War. That night he wowed the audience with his knowledge of newspapers and the part that they played in the American Revolution. Todd even brought with him some eighteenth century newspapers as a sort of “show and tell.” What a memorable evening!
Todd, it was an honor and a pleasure to meet you that May night. Thank you, too, for allowing me and other writers like me to tell the untold stories of the founding of our country through your gift to us, the Journal of the American Revolution. The popularity of the Journal proves that readers like it, too.
Nancy K. Loane
Since I first worked with Todd on his important book, Reporting the Revolutionary War, it has been a pleasure to deal with a knowledgeable historian committed to promoting interest in the American Revolution. I’ve enjoyed writing for JAR and serving as an associate editor, and I’m grateful to Todd first for providing a forum where historians like myself can publish, and also for the opportunity to be a part of the JAR editorial team. Todd has done an outstanding job with JAR and I’ll miss working with him.
With all the noise in the world today, it becomes harder and harder to have a voice. Among many people, history remains a love, especially the lost stories that need remembering. The Journal of the American Revolution fills that need spectacularly. I only wish that similar efforts become available in other areas.
Robert Scott Davis
Thank you, Todd, for providing a scholarly magazine for those of us interested in the Revolution. Those first couple of years it was your personal touch, the e-mails back and forth to edit and improve, that made it possible to produce a site that was much more than just a blog.
Your book Reporting the Revolution brought focus on a new area of scholarship. It is an important tool for any researcher on the Revolution.
Fair winds and following seas,
It is with a heavy heart that I speak of the retirement of my friend, and mentor, Todd Andrlik from the Journal of the American Revolution.
Todd has written that I was the reason JAR came into existence. Not so. It was Todd all the way. I was just along for the ride. He provided the brains. He is a dynamo – without him there would be no JAR. Todd worked forty-plus hours per week, week in and week out, plus working his own full time job.
In an August 2012 phone call Todd and I were discussing the problem of finding a suitable venue that would publish our history articles. Paper journals usually were published quarterly, carried few articles per issue and were geared toward an academic audience. Realistically, our articles would not see the light of day for years, if at all. The insurmountable problem was that we wanted to generate articles far faster than print publications could manage. There was no online market for our history output.
Todd had a solution. He conceived the idea of creating our own online journal. He spent several minutes explaining the master plan that would become JAR. He told me he could make it all happen in a short amount of time. I had no idea how such a platform would be made, how we would find quality historians or convince them to submit their work to us. Todd assured me that he could handle the technical aspects as well as attract excellent historians to write for us. The scheme evolved rapidly and almost immediately we knew there was great potential for both writers and readers. From August through December 2012, Todd’s sketch of allthingsliberty.com was brought to life. To paraphrase Thomas Paine, we had it in our power to begin the history-article publishing world over again.
Todd, the mastermind and whirlwind behind the Journal, more than made good on his predictions. He created a place where high quality, peer reviewed articles appear on an almost daily basis. The articles are lively, readable and often break new ground. The online journal provides for instant discussion and interactivity among readers, writers and editors, which is vital.
JAR has grown beyond my wildest imaginings, but not beyond Todd’s. It is now the source for the history of the American Revolution. The Journal fills a much needed chasm (not to be confused with a niche) in the presentation of the American Revolution to the world.
Of all the activities in my life the one I’m most proud of is my association with the Journal of the American Revolution. For that, I am indebted to Todd Andrlik. It is a debt I can never pay. Come to think of it, the debt owed to the creator of JAR by all those who enjoy and study the American Revolution, now and in the future, is one that can never be paid. Thank you, Todd, I’ll never forget.
Hugh T. Harrington