If anything tests your ideas, it is teaching, which affords you the sound-
ing board of colleagues and students. In retirement you have no such
sounding board, and it was for this reason that I floated the idea for Cruel
Modernity to a group of colleagues and friends at New York Univer-
sity, among them Sybille Fischer, Ana Dopico, Mary Louise Pratt, and
Gabriela Nouzeilles, to all of whom I owe a debt of thanks. I thank
Patrick Deere for his technical help that was so necessary given my de-
plorable Luddite approach to machines. I thank Ruth Formanek for her
generous comments on photography, Diamela Eltit and Catalina Parra
for their valuable suggestions on Chile, and Marta Lamas for supplying
me with information on feminicide in Mexico. The book owes much
to the work of Ileana Rodríguez and María Saldaña and to the support
of Ed Cohen, who helped preserve my sanity. Thanks also to Christi
Stanforth, the production editor, and to April Leidig, the designer and
I owe a special debt of gratitude to Cristina Camille Pérez Jiménez,
who helped prepare the manuscript for publication, and to the Mellon
Foundation for financial support toward the manuscript’s completion.
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