These essays comprise about half the ones I would like to have seen reprinted. However, they are a generous selection. What they may not fully reveal is the extent of my interest in the uniform-wearing Americans, professional and amateur, of the nineteenth century; in the evolution of the presidency; in certain cultural-literary-intellectual issues (touched upon most accessibly in the 4th, 1986 edition of my Penguin Literature of the United States, which Einaudi has brought out in a felicitous new translation [ 1990] by Massimo Bacigalupo and others); and in a quantity of material, still awaiting final form, on the history of the idea of private property in America. Otherwise I feel well represented, and am beholden to Greenwood Press for not grumbling at the largeness of the manuscript, as well as to the Greenwood series editor, Robert H. Walker, having first met him in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1958, when the United States and ourselves all seemed much younger.
Over such a span of time I have incurred hundred of debts, personal and institutional. I ask my innumerable benefactors will take the gratitude as read. Apart from Phyllis Palmer, to whom the book is dedicated, I must also pay special tribute to Nan Thompson Ernst. Without her editorial talents and sustaining good sense, In Search of America would have remained a jumble of papers, lacking order, bibliography or index.