I could never have completed this project if it were not for the assistance and support of others. I am very fortunate that they are so numerous and that each individual has made a unique contribution to my life and work. Unfortunately, there is not enough room to list them all here, so I must limit myself to recognizing those who have made an extraordinary contribution.
Graham Wilson and Barbara Hinckley provided thoughtful suggestions when this project was in its infancy. Special recognition should also be extended to Charlie Euchner, Tony Corrado, and Julie Drucker for their meticulous critiques of the early chapters and for suggestions regarding the themes of this book, and to Daniel Matthews for sharing his natural editorial skills. I also want to thank Lyn Ragsdale for taking the time to review the manuscript. I am grateful to John Harney and James Sabin of the Greenwood Publishing Group for their professional courtesy and appreciation for this topic. My students also deserve a big thank you for cultivating my knowledge of the American presidency with their endless questions and comments.
I am most indebted to my family. As usual, my parents and brother sustained me with their unyielding curiosity, affection, and encouragement. My in-laws and friends renewed my enthusiasm for this project by following my progress and initiating stimulating conversations about my work. My wife was an active intellectual and emotional partner in the construction of this book. Although I could never adequately thank her for her love, patience, and encouragement, I consider it a privilege and a pleasure to spend the rest of my life trying to do so.