Every sub-field has its classic books. It should not take long for most of us to rattle off a couple of titles. In my field of church-state relations in the early American republic (particularly in the upper South), few books tower over the field more than Thomas E. Buckley’s Church and State in Revolutionary Virginia, 1776-1787. Despite being published thirty-six years ago references to this classic litter the footnotes of subsequent books from fellow classic histories like Rhys Isaac’s Transformation of Virginia to more recent works such as David Sehat’s Myth of American Religious Freedom. Anyone grappling with the politics of religion in early national Virginia, that overheated cauldron of disestablishment, must grapple with Buckley’s work. But this great historian did not stop there; in a series of articles Buckley expanded his analysis to include much of the evolution of religious freedom in the Old Dominion over the nineteenth century.
Church and State in Revolutionary Virginia has aged well. The historiography of church-state relations in Virginia is fraught with analytic potholes that Buckley ably avoids. While many works that touch on this era end up more than a little teleological–with the enactment of Jefferson’s Statute on Religious Freedom or the First Amendment looming in the background–Buckley is sensitive to contingency. Where other historians get bogged down trying to vindicate or celebrate the role of this or that particular denomination, Buckley maintains a balanced approach. His prose is sharp and he has a great eye for a telling quotation. The historiographical ground, of course, has shifted since 1977 leaving Church and State in Revolutionary Virginia a great example of the new (but not New New) political history.
The main problem? Church and State in Revolutionary Virginia is very much out of print—to the point that it isn’t even listed on the University of Virginia Press website.
This sad state of affairs creates other problems. While it is possible to acquire a copy of this classic work, the premium price for a thirty-six year old hardcover book prevents its assignment to students, at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Such a high price for this text leaves it unattainable for poor graduate students desperate for a desk copy. This leaves access to this classic book at the whims of the availability the single copy possessed by most university libraries.
I’d like to conclude with a call to action and a question for my fellow historians. I would like to call for the University of Virginia Press to reprint Church & State in Revolutionary Virginia. The Press is a significant publisher of academic history that puts out a lot of interesting works and reprinting Buckley’s classic book would strengthen their already formidable backlist.
For my fellow historians I’d like to ask: what out of print classics in your field would you like to see back in print?
 Thomas E. Buckley, Church and State in Revolutionary Virginia, 1776-1787 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1977).
 See: Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982), 401n1; David Sehat, The Myth of American Religious Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 307n13.
 See among other works see: Thomas E. Buckley, “Evangelicals Triumphant: The Baptists Assault on the Virginia Glebes, 1786-1801,” The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series 45, no. 1 (January 1988): 33-69, Thomas E. Buckley, “After Disestablishment: Thomas Jefferson’s Wall of Seperation in Antebellum Virginia,” The Journal of Southern History 61, no. 3 (August 1995): 445-480, and Thomas E. Buckley, “Establishing New Bases of Religious Authority” in From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia, ed. Paul Rasor and Richard E. Bond (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012), 138-165. Buckley also later published a study of divorce in the early national Virginia: Thomas E. Buckley, The Great Catastrophe of My Life: Divorce in the Old Dominion (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002).
 For a recent study in this vein see: John A. Ragosta, Wellspring of Liberty: How Virginia’s Religious Dissenters Helped Win the American Revolution & Secured Religious Liberty (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).
 i.e. me.