During my years of work on this project, I have acquired a number of debts, which, upon reflection, serve as a pleasant reminder of the generous assistance and encouragement I received. My oldest debt is to Joseph L. Arnold, who provided direction for my vague interests in voluntarism and the Great Depression. I am fortunate to be able still to profit from his advice and support, now as a colleague. I am particularly indebted to Leo P. Ribuffo, who guided the research as a dissertation. My work has benefited from his unusual sensibilities, probing criticisms, and skillful editing. His irreverence offered a healthy antidote to the seriousness with which I approached my work as a graduate student.
A number of friends and colleagues offered advice and support throughout the various stages of this manuscript. Peter P. Hill, James O. Horton, Linda Lear, Lonna Malmsheimer, and Kathy L. Pelss made the process more stimulating and enjoyable, and for that I am grateful. Charles H. Trout read and commented on different versions of this study. His efforts-- marked by skill and precision--were instrumental in my revisions and his own work served as a model of scholarship and intellectual clarity. I am also indebted to Richard Lowitt for sharing his criticisms and insights; my work benefited greatly from his careful reading. Finally, Otis L. Graham, Jr., and his NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers in 1986 stimulated my thinking and offered many useful suggestions.
At the University of North Carolina Press, Lewis Bateman merits high praise for his encouragement and guidance. Ron Maner assisted me as my study became a book; he was always gracious and generous with his time and support. And Julia A. McVaugh demonstrated the value of a fine copyeditor.
Librarians and archivists at a number of institutions offered invaluable assistance. The staff at the National Archives was especially helpful, as were those at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, the Martin P. Catherwood Library of the New York State School of Industrial and La