This collection of essays is a product of the research seminar of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University. During the academic years 1978-79 and 1979- 80, the Davis Center seminar focused on the history of the professions. Over that period, more than a hundred scholars participated in the seminar, including visiting fellows of the Davis Center, faculty at Princeton or other nearby institutions, invited speakers, and graduate students. More than forty speakers presented papers for discussion and criticism, including the five contributors to this volume. Three of the contributors (Professors Bonomi, Botein, and Scott) were visiting fellows at the Davis Center for a full academic year. Professor Gordon's essay is a revised version of the paper he presented as an invited speaker to the seminar. I participated in the seminar as a member of the faculty of the history department at Princeton.
On behalf of the other contributors, I thank the dozens of seminar participants who responded with useful criticisms and suggestions to earlier versions of the essays now gathered together here. The finished product has benefited immensely from the collective discussions of the Davis Center seminar. Special thanks are due to Professor Anthony J. LaVopa for his penetrating analysis of a larger collection of essays from which these four have been selected for publication in this format. By dedicating this book to Lawrence Stone, I seek to acknowledge his close and supportive participation in every phase of the enterprise, including the selection of speakers and essays, the editing of chapters, and the process of securing a publisher. My introduction has also been improved by his valuable suggestions. The Davis Center, which he directs, not only served as the forum in which these essays took shape but also provided financial support to the visiting fellows and other speakers, to me in the form of released time from teaching during one semester to edit this volume, and to the publisher in the form of a subsidy to cover a portion of the production costs. As anyone who has been to the Davis Center knows, its success owes much to Mrs. Joan Daviduk, its efficient and personable secretary. Finally, my thanks also