Though it might seem like a solitary endeavor, writing a book is made possible only with the help of a great many people. I want to acknowledge my friends, colleagues, and family members who listened to, read, and commented on various portions of this work, even when it was rough and incomplete.
First, I thank Nancy Bermeo and Jennifer Hochschild, who in conversations over the years always provided sorely needed perspective, encouragement, advice, and friendship. My deepest thanks as well to Michael Danielson, Jim Doig, Fred Greenstein, Rodney Hero, Bonnie Honig, Peter Johnson, Michelle Lamont, Peggy Levitt, and Sidney Verba, who kindly read versions of many of these chapters and provided many insightful comments and much support. As this book took form, it was aided by my editor at Cornell University Press, Peter Agree, who expertly navigated through the shoals of publication, and by anonymous readers who gave careful and helpful comments.
In the course of completing this project I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by many people who have been both good friends and good critics. I hope I have made good use of their advice. Among them are Dana Ansel, Judith Barish, Jacques Bertrand, Meena Bose, Katrina Burgess, Keith Bybee, Deborah "Cricket" Cohen, Matthew Dickinson, Joshua Dienstag, Rafael Hernandez, Solomon Karmel, Michelle Mulder, and Andrew Richards. Bert Johnson deserves special mention for his help in putting together the maps and the index.
I want especially to express my gratitude to all the people who gave me their time and their trust during my fieldwork in Queens. I cannot thank