David L. Szanton
At the time of Paul Riesman's death in June 1988, he was working on a book-length manuscript growing out of his long-term research among the Fulani of Burkina Faso. Pained by his loss, and the potential loss of his work to the field, a small group of friends, colleagues, and family members formed an ad hoc editorial group. Our purpose was to complete Paul's 320 + -page manuscript as best we could and ready it for publication. Paul had essentially completed the present chapters 2 through 8, part of the Introduction, and several outlines of the book which indicated its intended shape and conclusions. He had also written several essays in recent years that suggested the nature of the analysis he was bringing to the ethnographic data.
With this material in hand, the editorial group met for a day in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in May 1989. It was evident that Paul had already produced an extremely rich and provocative document that, even in its unfinished state, made a major contribution to several domains of anthropology and African studies. A number of questions remained, but Paul had done enough and left enough clues so that we felt we could bring the volume to closure.
To transform the manuscript into a book, a number of tasks seemed essential. The Introduction was incomplete; what Paul had written for it was supplemented by Lila Abu-Lughod, a past student of his. In addition, Paul Stoller (whose own anthropological