I owe a debt to those scholars who have written the best books on one aspect or one era of affirmative action. Their labor and research in presidential libraries paved the way for this study and although their books appear in the notes and bibliography, they deserve special attention: Gareth Davies, Paul D. Moreno, John David Skrentny, Dean Kotlowski, Nicholas Laham, and especially the late Hugh Davis Graham. Their research pinpointed key documents at various presidential libraries and allowed me to make quick visits or simply order the appropriate primary documents.
I would like to thank those archivists who were helpful. Allen Fisher at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, Kelly D. Barton at the Ronald Reagan Library, and Robert Holzweiss and Stephanie Orial at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library.
I would also like to thank those friends and scholars who read individual chapters of the manuscript: Dean Kotlowski and John David Skrentny. Hugh Gordon educated me on the Lockheed Corporation and other business practices. My friend and colleague Al Broussard read the entire manuscript keeping me on track on African American history, and as usual so did my finest critic, Rose Eder.
To help in this endeavor I hired my finest senior history majors to scramble over to the library and locate several thousand articles. Those research assistants included Kristie Smedsrud, Trish Rohde, Mike Police, and especially Steve Smith, who even supplied me with vital documents while I was teaching in Ireland as the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History. Steve and Mike also read the entire manuscript, forcing revisions for clarity.