This book is a revision of my dissertation and, as such, my first thanks must go to my thesis committee: David Montgomery, David Brion Davis, Melvin Ely, and Adolph Reed Jr. They each brought unique insights to this project and were close and critical readers. Their suggestions on how to make the transition from thesis to book were invaluable.
Elliott Gorn, Cecelia Cancellaro, and Harvey Kaye were early and supportive readers of this work as it journeyed from dissertation to completed manuscript. They intervened in my revisions at a critical juncture and gently redirected them in a much more profitable direction. Elliott Gorn, in particular, was a constant booster. He teased me mercilessly about everything under the sun except the manuscript. In so doing, he instilled in me a confidence about this project and my skills as an historian. For that I am ever grateful.
Since I joined the unc Press family I have worked with Sian Hunter, Kate Torrey, and Lewis Bateman. They are all decent people with keen editors' eyes. I have worked most closely with Sian Hunter. I thank her for her patience and her unyielding encouragement. My thanks to Ron Maner for shepherding the manuscript through the editing and production process and to Julia Ridley Smith for her skillful copyediting.
I am fortunate to count among my closest friends Raúl Ramos, Elizabeth Chiao, Patti Staubs, Arnon Friedmann, and Sonia and Pablo Waisman. They, along with their best friends—Josie, Buddy, Pepper, Nestle, and Mooki—helped me through difficult times and celebrated with me during better ones. They have been, are, and always will be close to my heart. I know I am a better person and scholar for having met and befriended Barbara Savage, Mia Bay, and Dwight McBride while I was in graduate school. Through our mutual and intersecting scholarly projects I have matured intellectually.
More often than not, long discussions with Jeffrey Stewart, Robert Stepto, Walter Jackson, Pat Sullivan, Waldo Martin, Eric Monkkonen, Lee Baker, Daryl Scott, Jerry Watts, Ben Keppel, David Levering Lewis, and Michael Winston led to conceptual breakthroughs. Let me offer special