“Writing a book,” according to Winston Churchill, “is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress; next it’s your master; then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”
A chronicler less succinct than Churchill might add that a book never comes from its writer alone but is an outgrowth of experiences and detail being gathered since infancy, though only a few of these outstanding relatives, friends, students, teachers, writers, and colleagues who have shaped my thinking can be suitably credited in these few pages.
My teaching career spanned several generations of students who challenged ideas and freely pitched in worthwhile ones of their own. Additionally, notable colleagues were Keith Huntress, Clarence Mattterson, and Kelly Kehlenbeck— all Iowa Staters
Librarians ought to be listed as associates among authors, and I have been helped immeasurably by librarians at several institutions: the Franklin Delano Library at Hyde Park, the Harry S Truman Library at Independence, and the Herbert Hoover Library at West Branch. In addition to these Presidential Libraries, I’ve drawn on works at the Deering Library at Northwestern, the Harper Library at the University of Chicago, the Parks Library at Iowa State University, and the Ames Public Library.
Like most scribes, I’ve tried out on friends and relatives sample phrases, anecdotes, and instances gleaned while building pages in my manuscript. Friends and readers like Fred and Terry Schlunz, Margaret Maitland, and the eight members of an informal book club have been innocent and especially patient in listening to my spiels and test runs.
This is not my first book, so computers are not entirely new to me. Nevertheless, at least mine baffles consistently. Without my friend and computer guru, Professor Herb Harmison, my computer would be useless.