While it is not the practise of the Journal of American Studies to have editorials, this issue marks an exception. We celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the British Association for American Studies (BAAS), the academic organization which sponsors the Journal, and whose members receive the Journal as one of the benefits of membership. Most practitioners of American studies in the United Kingdom belong to the BAAS, giving it a truly interdisciplinary membership united by interest in the United States as a site of academic study. Members are drawn principally from the ranks of historians, litterateurs, political scientists and analysts of popular culture, along with some geographers, sociologists and economists. Its annual conference draws participants from many nations and at all levels of the academic hierarchy.