The Education of John Randolph

By Robert Dawidoff | Go to book overview
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Leonard Levy has told me that the publication of this, my first book, will not change the world, but since we both know that it will, I want to acknowledge my debts to those many people who have helped me in the writing of it.

I remember encountering John Randolph in my brother's copy of Roger Butterfield's The American Past when I was a little boy; I owe my brother Donald this, as I do so many of my tastes and ambitions. At Cornell, James Morton Smith first encouraged me to work out my interest in Randolph in an essay. David Brion Davis, who had first given me the heart to abandon myself to Randolph and notions of his eccentricity, made his inspiring and roomy judgment that since I wanted to write about Randolph, why didn't I just. Michael Kammen took me over as a student, kept a watchful and shrewd and a tolerant eye on me, and time after time intervened to help me keep to my work, to help me get a paying job, to brace me with some advice and attention, to send me a printed version of some favorite Randolph speech, in short to help me on my way to becoming a historian. He never got much in the way of pleasantry out of it before, and I am happy to thank him here. Many others of my teachers, associates, and friends at Cornell contributed to this study, and I am mindful and


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