Faithful to Fenway: Believing in Boston, Baseball, and America's Most Beloved Ballpark

By Michael Ian Borer | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Studying the ways that people make sense of the world is impossible to do alone. We might assume that writing is a solitary act that we do sitting alone in our offices late at night, staring at our computers, spending too much time scratching our heads. But no one ever writes alone. We are social beings, even when we’re by ourselves. Not only are the words we use somebody else’s; most of our thoughts are too. Regardless of whether we’re writing a novel, a poem, or a sociological study, there’s always an audience. And when you’re writing your first book, which is how this project was conceived, that audience holds a particular and somewhat daunting level of importance. My academic mentors provided a complicated mixture of leadership and evaluation, guidance and judgment. They are certainly a rare mix of academics who are not only challenging and tough, but kind as well.

This project would not have been possible without the guidance and red ink from my adviser, Daniel Monti. He pushed me to ask the question behind the question (and answer it) and not be afraid to take myself less seriously and draw outside the lines. Though John Stone spent a good deal of time trying to convince me that I should give up this baseball thing and study a real sport like cricket, he also spent a lot of time talking to me about this project. Our talks about sociological theory provided me with a strong base to compare and judge my interpretations and theories about civic culture and urban life. Nancy Ammerman’s willingness to approach Fenway Park as a sacred site endeared me to her immediately after I first told her about the project. I am thankful for the questions she asked me, the suggestions she made, and the references she thought were crucial for my analysis and interpretations; they all improved the quality of the work. As an anthropologist who has studied the civic culture of the United States as well as

-vii-

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