I owe a special debt of gratitude to the undergraduate students at the University of Michigan, who took my courses on American masculinity and became willing collaborators in this project. The excitement that these students brought to the enterprise of interrogating dominant masculinity fueled my own engagement with the project, and this is a better book than it would have been without these students' willingness to challenge their assumptions and my own. For their intellectual generosity and their feminist acumen, I thank Anne Herrmann, Patsy Yaeger, and Valerie Traub-all of whom helped me to see how work on masculinity fits into feminist scholarship. For much-needed encouragement in the later stages, I thank Tobin Siebers and the writing group he organized in Ann Arbor. Rei Terada read key parts of the manuscript at a critical point, and her astute comments helped my argument crystallize into its final form. Sandra Gunning read and reread much of the manuscript, often on short notice and always carefully, and brought me tales of what was happening at the movies when I couldn't go myself. I thank Marlon Ross not only for his reading, his ideas, and his conversation, but for telling me that he found himself laughing out loud at certain points in the manuscript-a comment that buoyed me at a moment when I was having a bit of a crisis over what audiences this book might be appealing to, and what audiences it risked alienating. For their help and support during a difficult time, I thank Suzanne Raitt, Sid Smith, and Rafia Zafar. To certain members of the Michigan English Department, thank you for convincing me I was really onto something and reinforcing my desire to see these ideas in print.
Ann Miller, my editor at Columbia University Press, has been a delight to work with on every level. Peter Lehman, who twice read the manuscript for Columbia, was enthusiastic, encouraging, and incredibly generous. Other, anonymous, readers also helped me to tighten up the argument. Thanks, also,