We feel both enlarged and implicated by our families. A child’s
sartorial choices, a parent’s embarrassing outburst, a partner’s
professional reputation: we instinctually feel that each reflects
on ourselves as members of their families while being in many
ways outside of our individual control. A book’s authorship
has the same complexity of commitments and responsibilities,
since we each exist in composite networks of influence, usu-
fruct, conversation, contestation, and glad handing. The cus-
tomary apologia about those acknowledged, that “their con-
tributions are substantial while the mistakes are my own,”
is such an overt lie that it invites the more psychologically
minded to inquire into the roots of such denial.
So my acknowledgments here are as much an indictment as
a recognition of gratitude. The following people are respon-
sible for this book in much the same way as family members
are responsible for one another: thus the admixture of pride,
embarrassment, resentment, requital, and possibly rage they
will no doubt feel at being included in such a motley and ex-
tensive community. And, as with any extended family, others
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