I am pleased to introduce the first number of the Quarterly’s 97th volume, which showcases an exceptional selection of scholarship on the history and cultures of business in New England from the Revolutionary period to the technology boom. We begin with Sarah Crabtree's essay on Nantucket shipping magnate William Rotch, whose Quaker principles and mercantile aspirations dovetailed in his innovative use of a transnational business model. Robert Forrant takes us to the harrowing scene of the 1860 Pemberton Mill collapse that killed hundreds of textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, shedding light on a key moment in the history of industrial labor and corporate accountability.

We feature here as well the final installment from our American Political Cultures Forum, co-sponsored with the Massachusetts Historical Society. We are honored to bring you new work on twentieth-century Massachusetts from two leading historians. Lizabeth Cohen presents a study of Fitchburg and Leominster, Massachusetts, as examples of the region's adaptation to a postindustrial economy. Margaret O'Mara reveals that for forty years, New England was home to the nation's burgeoning high-technology industry, only to be eclipsed in the dot-com era by Silicon Valley, a region framed pointedly as “the anti-Boston.” Taken together, these four compelling essays reveal an array of factors that have shaped the evolution of New England cultures of commerce for over 250 years.

Our reviews include timely discussions of interest both to the profession and the nation at large. In her consideration of Stacy Schiff's recent biography of Samuel Adams, Serena Zabin reflects not only on the historiography of the Revolution but also the relative merits and limitations of scholarly and trade books for engaging it. Andrew McKevitt reviews Carl Bogus's book on the origins of the Second Amendment in the context of slavery, crucial context for understanding American gun culture today.

Thank you for reading.