This research is dedicated to the hundreds of women who are making a difference in political life. Being there matters. Articulating a vision of care, compassion, and community is, at this moment, the most important women's work to be done.
A book represents a journey that one does not travel alone, and I have accumulated many intellectual and personal debts along the way. First, I thank Ronald M. Peters Jr., director and curator of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma and chair of Department of Political Science. He has been a thoughtful guide and mentor, a challenging intellect, and an insightful reader. I appreciate the intellectual contributions and professional advice of many at the University of Oklahoma, including Gary Copeland, Dave Morgan, David Carnevale, Craig St. John, Allen Hertzke, Ralph Hummel, Sally Coleman Selden, Larry Hill, and most especially James Rosenthal.
Over the past five years, I met a marvelous network of scholars engaged in research on women and politics. They have given freely of their time and ideas, have welcomed my questions, and have offered encouragement. I look forward to reciprocating in some small measure the intellectual support they extended to me. In particular, I am indebted to Rita Mae Kelly, Georgia Duerst- Lahti, Sue Thomas, Lyn Kathlene, and the staff and faculty at the Center for the American Woman and Politics.
In completing the manuscript, I am grateful to Jana Vogt who provided hours of valuable and competent research support in finalizing the notes, reading the manuscript, and assisting with the focus groups. Kellye Walker alleviated many administrative headaches by her able assistance. At Oxford University Press, I appreciate the encouragement and assistance of Thomas LeBien, Jessica Ryan, Susan Ferber, and Kathe Sweeney.
This project would not have been possible without the financial support of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma and the National Science Foundation, which provided a