Healing Traditions: Alternative Medicine and the Health Professions

By Bonnie Blair O’Connor | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Suppose a book appears, as this one does, under the name of a single author. This curious selective recognition of one person who happened to put together a number of ideas and write them down in a certain way obscures the efforts and contributions of many others. It conjures images of the lone scholar diligently producing “a work.” But, while many aspects of the production of a book are quite solitary, it is fundamentally a social operation, actively involving many people in many processes: providing information, generating and recombining ideas, stimulating thinking, offering critiques, managing the logistics, and providing the degree of exemption from other social obligations that the one who writes requires.

My greatest debt of gratitude is to my husband, Mal O’Connor. My intellectual companion as well as my sweetheart and my friend, he has had an incalculable and sustaining role in this enterprise. He has listened and discussed endlessly, contributing many insights and refinements. An amazing organizer, he often jotted notes as I poured forth confusion; these he crystallized quickly into cogent outlines that furnished me the framework of my arguments and enabled me to write through them. He claims he only gave back what he heard, but what he heard was always honed by his keen analytical abilities on its way to the note page. He has shown amazing grace and patience throughout this project, and often had more fortitude than I. During the three-month “home stretch,” while I did nothing but go to work and write, Mal did literally everything else it takes to run a house and keep a life together. I am dearly beholden to him for all of his love, participation, support, and unstinting generosity.

My intellectual debt to Dave Hufford is apparent throughout the book. For years I have benefited from his pioneering approach to this subject matter, his rigorous logic, his careful concern with definition, his astute and constructive criticism, and his warmly collaborative na-

-xi-

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