Our investigation of the impact of social cleavages on voter alignments and party coalitions in the United States has been several years in the making, and we have benefited from the help of many people along the way. Our most profound debt is to Michael Hout, who has been a source of advice and inspiration throughout this project. We began our collaboration as first-year graduate students in Mike's course on statistical methods at the University of California-Berkeley a full decade ago. Over the years Mike has been a wonderful teacher, mentor, collaborator, and friend. We hope the final product lives up to the high standards upon which he has continually insisted.
A number of friends and colleagues have given us valuable advice on this project. As we began our work, Philip Converse and Paul Sniderman usefully advised us to limit the project into something more manageable than called for by our original ambitions. We received useful advice concerning specific parts of the manuscript from (in alphabetical order) David Brady, Ann Branaman, Steven Brint, Terry Clark, Geoff Evans, Bill Form, Joseph Gerteis, Andrew Greeley, David Grusky, John Goldthorpe, John R. Hall, Jerome Karabel, Kevin Leicht, Scott Long, Paul Nieuwbeerta, Eric Plutzer, Whitney Pope, Robert Robinson, Art Stinchcombe, Laura Stoker, David Weakliem, and Richard Wood. Bill Domhoff kindly read the penultimate version of the manuscript on short notice and provided his usual generous and incisive comments. We received research assistance from Marcus Britton, Roblyn Rawlins, Quynh Tran, and Michael Sauder. Our thanks to all.
We have presented versions of various chapters to a number of scholarly audiences. Early versions of Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 7 were presented to audiences at three different meetings of the American Sociological Association in 1994, 1996, and 1997. Chapter 3 was presented to the 1995 meetings of Social Science History Association. Chapter 6 was presented to a conference on Class and Politics at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, organized by Seymour Martin Lipset and Terry Clark in April 1996. A version of the entire argument was presented to colloquia at the Survey Research Center at the University of California-Berkeley and the departments of sociology