This work has been shaped by the many communities of which I have been a part. I am indebted to those institutions that have provided essential financial support at various stages of the work's development: Johns Hopkins University and the Smithsonian Institution provided graduate fellowships, and Villanova University a faculty summer research grant. Other institutions have ensured access to the materials essential to historical research. The librarians in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, the Kansas Collection of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, the Lilly Library at Indiana University, and Special Collections of the William Allen White Memorial Library at Emporia State University and at Grinnell College and Villanova University were gracious and helpful. The staff of the Lyon County Historical Museum in Emporia greeted me with professional assistance and genuine friendship during my visits to Emporia. None of this work would have been possible without the support of the White family, Mrs. William L. White and Mr. and Mrs. Paul David Walker, who allowed me access to materials in their possession and generous permission to quote widely from William Allen White's writings. At Oxford University Press in New York, Sheldon Meyer was consistently encouraging and Gilda Abramowitz's editing was admirably alert and sensitive.
The weekly seminars of the history department at Johns Hopkins University when I was a graduate student created a challenging yet congenial environment in which to develop as a historian. No doubt, many of my ideas were shaped there in exchanges that I have long since forgotten. All of the Hopkins history faculty contributed to my education to some extent, but my teachers, Louis Galambos, John Higham, Vernon Lidtke, and Kenneth Lynn, contributed most through their knowledge and their commitment to the collective scholarly enterprise.
This work evolved through countless retellings of White's story, in informal conversations and at scholarly conferences. Each telling before a different audience added to my understanding, but I have benefited most from the responses of those who read part or all of the work at different stages in its long development: James L. Baughman, James Bergquist, John Milton Cooper, the late Catherine L. Covert, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, David Glassberg, Richard L. McCormick, William S. Pretzer, James K. Pringle,