acknowl edgments
These essays have been presented in a variety of venues, discussed and criti-
cized by colleagues across several continents and around the United States,
and improved considerably in this pro cess. For their help in conceptualizing
these studies, I thank audiences and discussants at conferences in England,
Japan, Poland, China, and Australia, as well as those in Detroit, Chicago, Pitts-
burgh, Boston, and Urbana. Spread out over most of a scholarly lifetime, they
have also benefited from the personal and intellectual support of family, friends,
and colleagues. My oldest intellectual debts are to teachers and mentors who
encouraged me in my work over many years. These include the following
people and many others: the late David Montgomery, Al Young, Gilbert Osof-
sky, E. P. Thompson, Royden Harrison, Steve Nelson, Tom Barrett, Joe Hobbs,
and Steve Sapolsky.
I have far too many people to thank properly in such a small space, but
a number of individuals have been particularly helpful and supportive: As
usual, Jenny Barrett was the key influence and provided the most support of
all kinds, including help on the index. She helped with many technical aspects
in the preparation of the essays, and she also read and commented on most
of them in their original and revised forms. More importantly, her consistent
love and support helped me get through a difficult period while I was prepar-
ing the manuscript for this book. Xian (Sean) Franzinger Barrett inspired
much of this work by the way that he has lived his life and by the community
of teachers and activists with whom he surrounds himself in the Chicago
public schools, neighborhoods, and labor movement. Erin Franzinger Barrett
has become vital to Xian and to this group in the past few years, and I am
grateful to have her in our family. Xiobhan (Siobhan), the most recent and
loveable addition to the family, has brought great joy and even inspiration.
May she inherit and help build a better world.
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