A cooperative enterprise such as this book succeeds because many hands help the editors and authors. Our effort received immediate support from the department of history at Ohio State University, especially Warren Van Tine, who, as departmental chair, encouraged the project when it was proposed in 1991, and Janice Gulper, who, as departmental secretary, responded promptly and kindly to our requests for information. At Saint Joseph's University, Stephanie McKeller-Auer smoothed the administrative process with her usual intelligence and efficiency.
The idea for the book received support from Betty Fladeland, David D. Lee, Patricia W. Romero, Richard H. Sewell, and Robert Sayre. The book itself profited from a close reading by Paula Benkart, who made numerous useful criticisms about content and style in the introduction and several of the contributions.
Special thanks are due to Cynthia Harris at Greenwood Press for her constant nudging us along and for believing in the project from its inception. Thanks, too, to Jon Wakelyn for seizing on the suggestion of a collection of essays on "the moment of decision" and inviting us to include the book in his series at Greenwood Press.
Finally, thanks are due to Merton L. Dillon, whose own work as a teacher and scholar inspired so many of us and taught us so much about the importance of argument and narrative in writing history. Although Merton Dillon knew nothing about this book, written to honor him, his presence is everywhere in it. We dedicate this book to him.