THIS BOOK began when I was a graduate student at Yale University, and I owe a great debt to many people there. David Mayhew went above and beyond a dissertation adviser's call of duty in sharing his many insights into Congress with me and in spending numerous hours commenting on chapter drafts, suggesting sources, and discussing the project. I have also learned much from Donald Green and Stephen Skowronek, each of whom served on my dissertation committee and provided advice and support at every stage of the project. Several other Yale faculty and graduate students also gave much-needed help along the way, including Alan Gerber, Andrew Rich, Michael Ebeid, and Terri Bimes.
Since leaving New Haven, I have received considerable help from numerous individuals. Special thanks are due to David Brady, Joe Cooper, Larry Dodd, Bryan Jones, and Steven S. Smith, each of whom provided extensive comments on the entire manuscript. I also would like to thank Chris Ansell, Doug Arnold, Bruce Cain, Jack Citrin, Jon Cohen, Rui de Figueiredo Jr., Steve Finkel, Brian Humes, Scott James, Sam Kernell, Keith Krehbiel, Eugene Lewis, Karen Orren, Kathryn Pearson, Paul Pierson, Nelson Polsby, Brian Sala, Pablo Sandoval, Ken Shotts, Charles Stewart, Kathy Thelen, and Ray Wolfinger for their comments and encouragement. I also benefited greatly from the help of David Rohde, Jeffery Jenkins, Thomas Hammond, and the other participants in the Political Institutions and Public Choice seminar at Michigan State University, who provided many valuable suggestions. At Princeton University Press, Chuck Myers, Anne Reifsnyder, and Richard Isomaki were invariably supportive and helpful.
Special gratitude is owed to John Sides, who provided exceptional research assistance from the moment I arrived in Berkeley. I also thank Eric McGhee, who joined the project later and provided critical help revising the manuscript. The financial support of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is also gratefully acknowledged.
Finally, I would like to thank my parents, Sonya and Abraham, my brother Eliot, and Terri for their love and support over the years.