Over the years, numerous institutions, individuals, accidents, and an act of nature have assisted, compelled, and unwittingly guided my steps down the long pathway traveled to complete this work. Some of the most important individuals that I have not sufficiently thanked are the benefactors and staffs of the libraries at the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, The Catholic University of America, the University of Chicago, and the Library of Congress. They were the silent but active partners who made everything good in this work possible. Indeed, it is no overstatement to say that without their long-term vision, their professional care, and their personal diligence this book could have been conceived but it certainly could not have been initiated or finished.
Many others deserve public praise. Three invited lectures at critical points along the journey allowed me to present various parts of this work before inquisitive and thoughtful audiences of political scientists, historians, and economists. For these opportunities, I would like to acknowledge Jac Heckleman and the Economics Department at Wake Forest University, Beth Dougherty and Beloit College, and Norman Schofield and The Center in Political Economy at Washington University in St. Louis.
I am equally as grateful and indebted for the careful comments, suggestions, and encouragement offered by the following individuals on parts or earlier drafts of this work: Henry Abraham, Janet Adamski, John Aldrich, Richard Bensel, Vernon Burton, Michael Cain, James Ceasar, Joe Cooper, Martha Derthick, Keith Dougherty, John Echeverri-Gent, Scott Gerber, John Gerring, James Fearon, Charlie Holt, Sam Kernell, George Klosko, Margaret Levi, Carol Mershon, Sid Milkis, Douglass