I have incurred numerous debts in writing this book. Needless to say, any book that begins as a doctoral dissertation and then transforms into a rather different work invariably takes several years and depends heavily upon people's generosity in the process. Brothers among Nations has benefited particularly from the intellectual interest and assistance of many people, so many, indeed, that I fear it will be impossible to thank them all.
A research support grant from the University of New Hampshire vice president for research and public service, as well as a grant of leave, helped to make it possible for me to conduct additional studies during a crucial period. I am grateful to Dean Marilyn Hoskin and to the History Department for the necessary leave time to carry out further research. In addition, the American Antiquarian Society granted a Stephen Botein Research Fellowship and made available the society's expertise and resources as I delved deeply into seventeenth-century printed works on navigation, society, politics, and intercultural relations.
Many colleagues read portions of the manuscript at various stages of the writing. I am particularly grateful to the anonymous readers for Oxford University Press, who provided a close reading of the manuscript and an extremely helpful critique. I have no doubt that this is a better book as a result of their suggestions. And if I have stubbornly failed to follow some of their very good advice, they are certainly not to blame.
In addition, a number of other colleagues provided both tangible and intangible assistance. Brendan McConville, Walt Woodward, Karen Kupperman, Richard Johnson, and Daniel Richter offered helpful ideas along the way.