When I think of how long it has taken me to write this book, I am doubly grateful to the many excellent colleagues, friends, and relations who have managed to stay interested in the outcome. The project began as my dissertation, and I would like, first of all, to thank my committee: Christine Froula, for good-natured support and salutary skepticism; Michael Warner, for being the first to think my "minor women" were worthy of critical attention, for teaching me so much, for unwavering enthusiasm, and for friendship; and John Brenkman, my director, who from my first day of graduate school provided me with the kind of intellectual guidance most people only dream of getting and the sense of why academic work is important and what responsibility it carries.
I had wonderful early readers in Nancy Ring and Glenn Hendler (the dissertation group), who comprised my first, best, intellectual community and without whom I would still be ABD. Doug Payne was an astute and enthusiastic reader of the early chapters. Ken Wissoker gave me critical feedback for what would be the final shape of the book. My father, Donald Miller Jr., read much of the material and kept me honest and moving toward clarity (at least, he tried); thanks for unfailing interest in all my endeavors. Kristen Mahlis and Brenda Daly gave useful feedback on key sections and very welcome support. Jackie Litt and Jim McGlew dropped everything to render me sage advice at a critical juncture. Fern Kupfer and Ruth Yasser answered my endless Yiddish translation questions with perfect good humor and generosity; I thank Ruth in particular for taking the time to read the Dorothy Parker material and encourage me in my efforts.
Al Clarke was a remarkably efficient research assistant, scrounging up last-minute citations on slim leads; for that and for genuine interest in the material, thanks. Thanks to Sheryl Kamps for last-minute typing; Courtney Peterson and Andy Swan for computer support; and thanks to my daughter,