I have been enslaved to this book for a very long time. Since its inception, I have also accumulated a tremendous number of debts. For putting me on the path of Mediterranean captives and corsairs, I credit a conversation with Daniel Gordon. For steering me toward rich sources, fruitful questions, and sharper arguments, I owe my advisors and mentors in the Bay Area. Dena Goodman helped me shape the project in its initial stages and has been generous with her time and intellect ever since. Keith Michael Baker offered support and erudition. Paula Findlen, a marvelously attentive reader, gave encouragement and criticism in equal measure. Peter Sahlins shared archival wisdom and astute suggestions. Aron Rodrigue provided pragmatic advice, both academic and culinary. I am also deeply grateful to my undergraduate professors, particularly Robert Shell, whose seminar first introduced me to the topic of comparative slavery and to the rigors of historical research and writing. Natalie Zemon Davis remains a tremendous inspiration.
Numerous institutions funded my research in France: the Bourse Chateaubriand, the Lurcy and Newhouse foundations, and the Dean’s Office at Stanford University; as well as the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities and the W. P. Jones Presidential Faculty Fund at Case Western Reserve University. Fellowships from the Stanford Department of History, the Mellon and Camargo foundations, the Rock Island Arsenal Historical Society, and the Geballe Family gave me four idyllic places to write: San Francisco, Paris, Cassis, and the Stanford Humanities Center. Afterward, support from the Case Western Reserve University History Department, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress allowed me to complete the manuscript in snowier but no less congenial climes.
At Case, I am extremely fortunate to have a coterie of fantastic colleagues. Their camaraderie and intellectual dynamism have contributed immeasurably to this book, and I want to offer particular thanks