This book is much better than it would have been without the aid of several people over the course of several years. I assume no one in their right mind would charge them with any of the errors or infelicities that may remain in it, so I will offer no long disclaimer to that effect.
In addition to receiving invaluable financial support, I have benefited from the encouragement and criticisms of generous colleagues and mentors in three different home institutions. At the University of Maryland, I had a wealth of faculty strength on which to draw, and I drew liberally. Thanks to the critiques of these faculty members of the dissertation I wrote there, this book is substantially different—and, I'm confident, in a good way—from what they read then. Two members of my dissertation committee were of particular help: Leslie Rowland's conscientious reading and stylistic suggestions made later revisions easier. And James Henretta offered helpful comments, especially on the new and improved chapter 1 here. At Eastern Michigan University, Richard Nation in particular was a wonderful colleague, and he offered comments and source material that aided greatly in the development of chapter 6. At Brigham Young University, I am surrounded by talented peers, many of whom share my interests and have been a great help to me. Jenny Hale Pulsipher helped make chapter 1 better, as did Susan Sessions Rugh with chapter 6. Neil York offered insightful critiques on various portions of the manuscript, with such quick turnaround time as to shame us all.
Nor have colleagues in my home institutions been alone in their helpfulness. I am grateful to the University of North Carolina Press for arranging for two such generous and perceptive readers as James Brewer Stewart and Richard Newman. Their wise suggestions and the collegial spirit of our give-and-take concerning the manuscript rendered the final stages of revisions a relative pleasure as well as a useful process. Donald R. Hickey graciously read and offered valuable comments on the first few chapters. And I have benefited from presenting earlier drafts of material here to various conferences and seminars.