Rhode Island politics offers one fascinating variant of politics among the fifty American states and we thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of trying to provide a coherent overview of the political life of the state. It is our good fortune that thinking and writing about Rhode Island has provided us, as political scientists, with a wonderful opportunity to connect the outstanding theoretical and research efforts of scholars to one of our fondest interests— the history, development, and day-to-day activity of politics in the Ocean State.
Any endeavor of this sort involves considerable intellectual debts and we are delighted to acknowledge those who contributed to our efforts. First we want to recognize the late Daniel J. Elazar, not only for his research on political culture (which helped transform the study of state politics and certainly informs our study), but also for his initiation of this series. We also are indebted to many outstanding political scientists, most of whom are cited in this book, for providing the intellectual framework for the study of state politics. Their research efforts have contributed to the growing recognition of the importance of the role of states in the American political system. We also drew on the work of some outstanding historians, also cited, whose work helped us to link the present with the past.
Special recognition should go to Thomas Anton of the Taubman Center a Brown University, who took the time to read an entire draft of this book and provided insightful comments and suggestions as to the revisions. Also, John Kincaid, the series editor, read, critiqued, and edited the manuscript and provided invaluable help for the final revision. Because of the efforts of these two outstanding scholars and colleagues this is a much better book. Colleagues at the University of Rhode Island, including Al Killilea, Joel Cohen, and Norman Zucker read and commented on various parts of the