THE acknowledgments that accompany a book whose focus is appropriation and misinterpretation are in some fashion scripted, for it could be imagined that I would merely need to list the names of individuals from whom I have received an archival find, an argument, a diagram, or opportunity and encouragement, and to follow up with the ritual insistence that the errors and distortions that result from such generosity are wholly my own. Though these two steps seem to me correct, their formulaic nature masks the scope of my gratitude to those who have helped me finish this work.
I would like to thank first of all Noel Swerdlow, for his laconic suggestion some years back that I “stick with Galileo,” for his interest in this new narrative, and for his patient last-minute advice about the diagrams that accompany the work. I am also very grateful to a number of early modernists who have made it possible for me to “stick with Galileo,” especially Raz Chen, Rivka Feldhay, Paula Findlen, David Freedberg, Michel Hochmann, Sachiko Kusukawa, Pamela O. Long, A. Mark Smith, Pamela Smith, Lucia Tomasi Tongiorgi, and Alessandro Tosi. Their queries, suggestions, corrections, and accommodation—