There are a great many people who helped me through the long process of writing this book. My first thanks are to my advisers, who read this study in its earliest forms and encouraged me to keep on going. I was blessed to have worked with three superb historians at Brandeis. For five years, Morton Keller provided exceptional commentary. Even more important, he helped reframe my thinking on issues of periodization in American history and encouraged me to work on a much larger playing field, with many more actors, than I had been prepared to do when I first arrived in Waltham a decade ago. Jacqueline Jones's solid support and critical readings were invaluable, and I've tried to follow her great example as a plain-speaking social historian. To Jane Kamensky I owe a huge debt. She made the publication of this book possible, and her excellent advice, sharp wit, and keen commentary on making the most of primary sources were a constant source of inspiration.
I was also very fortunate to have several careful readers. Christian Warren has been a terrific friend and colleague through it all, and I have benefited tremendously from swapping chapters and papers with him, unfortunately most of it long distance. Peter Carroll, Marjorie Feld, Lawrence Fuchs, Martha Gardner, Steve Lassonde, Ted Liazos, Wes Montgomery, Stephen Rice, Jonathan Sarna, and Stephan Thernstrom all provided helpful comments and criticism. I am deeply indebted to Martin Sklar for his many years of thoughtful and encouraging commentary on my work, as well as for his inspiring scholarship, which had a major influence on the shaping of this project. Susan Ferber at Oxford deserves special praise for her extremely thorough editorial guidance on the book. I would also like to thank the editors and reviewers of The New England Quarterly and the Journal of American Ethnic History, where portions of this manuscript have previously appeared as articles. Several other teachers and scholars have been important in helping me to shape the project, even if they did not advise me on the