My fascination with millenarianism and political violence began long before I considered writing this book. Both subjects have been, and remain, sources of profound interest and curiosity to me. In some small way it is my goal that this text will assist in furthering our understanding of the relationship between these profound sociopolitical phenomena.
I owe many thanks to a number of people who have contributed to the creation and preparation of this volume. Louis Kriesberg and John Nagle assisted me in the very early stages of my research and writing. Their comments and suggestions were both significant and invaluable. Susan Borker and Mehrzad Boroujerdi also read an earlier version of the manuscript and offered helpful suggestions that I have incorporated in the final text.
I am especially indebted to Michael Barkun. Without his encouragement, suggestions, patience, and valued counsel this book would not exist. It was a privilege and a pleasure to study with him at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. In addition, it is an honor to call him a friend.
Much thanks goes to my loving wife, Betty, and our children, Erica and Andrew. Their sacrifices during the years while I researched and wrote the book were immense. I will be forever grateful.
Finally, I want to thank my mother and father, Eleanor Louise Lane Rinehart and Kenneth Perry Rinehart for all of their contributions. Although neither one lived to read the manuscript, they were never far from my thoughts during its writing. It is to their memory that I dedicate this work.