Acknowledgements may be traditional in book publishing, but they are nonetheless heartfelt on my part. This book has been part of my life for some time, and that life includes people who have helped me make it happen. So I want to thank colleagues in Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England for providing me with an eclectic intellectual atmosphere and with friendship. In particular, I want to thank Stuart Allan, who has been patient and helpful, not least when I have been anxious and doubtful. My thanks to people at the Open University Press, especially Chris Cudmore and Hannah Cooper, who have kept the faith and helped me keep up the pace of production. And a thank you to my family, especially my wife Judy, who has been supportive in times when I was suffering from doubts and lack of vision. Thanks to all of you. This book will not be perfect, but I hope that you feel it has been worth it, and that my readers will feel, to a fair degree, informed, interested and illuminated.