A National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar in rhetoric and public address gave me the impetus to undertake this project. I am deeply grateful to the director, Edward P. J. Corbett, and to my fellow seminarians for their encouragement. Indiana University—Purdue University at Fort Wayne and Iowa State University also provided grants of time and funds for research for the first edition. Special thanks are due to the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines at Cornell University, which provided me with a semester to work on the second edition.
Portions of this study benefited greatly from criticism, at various stages, by Wallace W. Douglas, Richard N. Ramsey, James E. Porter, Michael Feehan, Anne Ruggles Gere, Toby Fulwiler, Tori Haring-Smith, Michael Mendelson, Dorothy Grimes, Michael Flanigan, Elaine P. Maimon, Avon Crismore, and Christopher Thaiss. I am especially indebted to James A. Berlin, Sharon Crowley, Charles Bazerman, David B. Owen, and to the three anonymous reviewers from Southern Illinois University Press for their comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. They are deserving of much praise but of course share none of the blame for what is infelicitous, inaccurate, or downright wrong in this account.