I have lived in a good number of different places in the past few years, and I have collected a wide-ranging group of institutions, fellow scholars, friends, and family members to thank along the way.
I would like to thank the University of Virginia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Corcoran Department of History, the American Heritage Center, and the Social Welfare History Archives for their early financial support of this project. Equally important during my time in Virginia was the friendship and job opportunities provided by Holly Cowan Shulman and The Dolley Madison Project. For more recent support, I am deeply grateful to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and particularly to Bradd Shore, the director of the Emory University Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life (maRiaL), for providing me with a year-long fellowship and a warm academic environment for completing the revisions for this book. Theresa Lafer did some helpful last-minute research on my behalf and found some great material at the Penn State University Archives. I also owe a large debt to the interlibrary loan staffs at a variety of institutions, especially the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan, the University of Waterloo, and Emory University, for tracking down endless magazine articles for this project.
I am also grateful to a number of scholars who inspired me and who believed in this project even before I could imagine it as a finished work. Simone Caron at Wake Forest University introduced me to women’s history and encouraged me to pursue my graduate work. Eileen Boris has been a constant advocate, making sure that I was on top of the literature and on contemporary debates about