I started writing the first draft of this manuscript toward the end of the second term of Ronald Reagan's presidency. As I type these words, Bill Clinton is nearing the end of his own tenure. A number of people have helped me make it from then to now, from there to here.
The dissertation on which this book is based benefited from the advice and support offered by Germaine Hoston, Milton Cummings Jr., Richard Katz, Ronald Walters, and Matthew Crenson while I was a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins University. Harold Waller played a comparable role during my various stays at McGill University (as an undergraduate, graduate student, and instructor) and has been a major source of assistance throughout my academic career. Similarly, Mike Grossman has been a reliable and enthusiastic adviser, besides being a close family friend. Howard University's Joseph McCormick was willing to make time for a graduate student from one of those "other" universities (the fourth chapter in this book grew out of one of those conversations), a gesture I appreciate to this day.
There is a full crew of friends and associates who have helped me maintain my sanity, providing me with strategic support, feedback, and encouragement, if only by making fun of my rate of progress with this labor of love over the last decade or so. Sibyl Anderson, Marvin Ashford, Dave Austin ("Do I make the cut?"), Cameron Bailey, Kim Bailey, Maxine Bailey, Joan Bramwell, Joe Brewster, Jan Campbell, Lloyd Charlton (S/14), Craig Christopher, Perryne Constance, Warren Crichlow, Gary Dennie, Pat Dillon, Heather Dryden, Emile Frazier, Kevin George, Kevin Gilbert, Julian Gordon, Ernest Guiste, Mike Hamilton, Rick Harris, Wayne Harris, Kingsley Henry, Patrick Bernard Hill, Dwayne Hopkinson, Deborah Jordan, the "Karens," Helen Lee, Judy Mapp, Randy McDowall, Dave Messam, Ron Nash, Ron Nazon, Jacqueline Nichol-Hamilton ("Are you still working on that thing?"), Janett Nichol, Sharon Othello, the Pearson family, Ron Peters, Noi Quao, Michelle Ray, Dean Robinson, Dierdre Royster, Martin Ruck, Gary St. Fleur, Kerri Sakamoto, the Saunders family, Michèle Stephenson, Dalours Thornhill, Clement Virgo, Rinaldo Walcott, Ignatius Watson, Shirleen Weekes, Ruth White, Monica Williams, Dulcina Wind, Adrian Worrell, Akhaji