I'm extraordinarily grateful for fellowships from the John Simon
Guggenheim Foundation, and from the Rockefeller Foundation,
which partly supported the writing of this book, and for a
research grant from the Northwestern University Center for the
Humanities, and for research support and leave from North-
western's School of Speech. Thanks also to the Chicago
Humanities Institute at the University of Chicago, where I was
installed during the Rockefeller fellowship.
My biggest intellectual and personal debt is to Lauren
Berlant: her own brilliant work on national culture and her laser-
like, penetrating comments on the manuscript had enormous
impact on my thinking, her friendship sustained me through vari-
ous dark moments, her community standards are ones I aspire to
emulate, and we've spent so many years discussing these things
that I'm not sure where her ideas leave off and mine begin. Let
me also thank people who kindly read and hashed over various
parts of the book with me: Jonathan Black, Michelle Citron, Scott
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