Ever since I discovered the "community of scholars" as an undergraduate at Yale, I have been a firm believer in that international, mutual-aid society of lifelong learners. Without the example, stimulation, constructive criticism, tolerance, and generosity of their colleagues, most scholars would cease to function, and all but the most reclusive would take much less pleasure from their work (which, in their company, becomes well-disguised but veritable play).
The community of scholars is responsible for this book. They invited me to speak its chapters, economically and emotionally supported its research and writing, applauded, criticized, and supplemented its oral and written results, and inspired its publication. So, with sincere thanks, I return it to them. But I also offer it to the larger community of readers often described as "general" but whom I prefer to regard as "ideal." I share Margaret Atwood's image of the ideal reader: someone "intelligent, capable of feeling, possessed of a moral sense, a lover of language, and very demanding."* If I could meet the high (often overlapping)____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Beyond 1492:Encounters in Colonial North America. Contributors: James Axtell - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1992. Page number: xiii.