Over the years this book has been in preparation, I have accumulated a large
debt of gratitude to many friends and colleagues who have provided encour-
agement, assistance, conversation, and critique along the way. I have been
especially fortunate to benefit from the generosity of librarians and archivists
in Paris, who made the task of research a pleasure. At the Bibliothèque du
Musée Social in Paris, Collette Chambelland and Françoise Blum generously
shared their knowledge of aspects of my topic, as well as their own work, and
graciously accommodated yet another request for yet another dusty volume.
Brigitte Lanay, archivist at the Archives de la Ville de Paris, provided invalu-
able assistance directing me to relevant materials in the archives’ branch at
Villemoisson-sur-Orge. Others at the Archives nationales and the Biliblio-
thèque nationale in Paris likewise provided essential research assistance as
did the sta√ at the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand, a treasure trove of
material on women’s and gender history. The sta√s of the Confédération
générale du travail (cgt) archives in Montreuil tirelessly lugged boxes of
materials for me up from storage, as did those of the Archives départmen-
tales du Nord in Lille, and the librarians at the library of the Musée de la
Poste in Paris. Françoise Cribier, director of the project ‘‘Jeune provinciaux
d’hier, vieux parisiens d’aujourd’hui,’’ at the Laboratoire d’Analyse stati-
stique et méthodologique appliqué à la sociologie (lasmas), turned me
loose in her o≈ce at the Institut de Recherches sur la Société contemporaine
(iresco), where I was able to use her collection of interviews for the project,
and generously provided me with a massive volume of data analysis.
In addition to librarians and archivists, over the years, the Center for
European Studies at Harvard, where much of this book was written, pro-
vided me with as stimulating an intellectual environment as one could hope
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