I sat down at my desk on September 10, 2001, to begin a year's sabbatical leave with a brief to write a history of American foreign policy. The changes that the following day brought to my life were minute compared with those experienced by numerous others inside and outside the United States. This book, nevertheless, is the result both of that shock and of reflection upon it. The UK Government Department of Education and Skills, in the form of the Arts and Humanities Research Board, and the University of East Anglia not only provided the funds that enabled me to take a sabbatical year but responded quickly and positively to my request to change the focus of my research and writing. Warm thanks are due to both institutions. Over the years, furthermore, the University of East Anglia has provided me with an opportunity to teach both American history and international relations, without which a venture such as the present one would not have been possible. I am grateful also to Craig Fowlie at Routledge who helped to push me in the direction I wanted to go. His advice and support have been of great help throughout. Three anonymous referees of the original proposal gave encouragement and useful advice.
At an early stage, conversations with a number of individuals were instrumental in helping me to get started. These include Chris Bigsby, Mike Bowker, Mick Cox, Adam Fairclough, and John Thompson. Vivien Hart, David Corker, Jacqueline Fear-Segal, Adam Fairclough, and Eric Homberger passed on references or provided answers to questions. Several conversations with Tim Lang helped to clarify my ideas. Joe Illick, Roger Thompson, and Jim Sumberg each read one or more chapters, and their responses were of enormous help. Regular conversations with Jim Sumberg and Roger Thompson were invaluable supplements to their reading of various chapters. I am extremely grateful to Fred Halliday and Avi Shlaim for reading and commenting on the Middle