This book has come into existence as a result of enormous intel-
lectual and emotional support. It evolved from my doctoral dis-
sertation at Columbia University where James P. Shenton pro-
vided mentoring that was crucial to my continuation there. He, Elizabeth
Blackmar, Eric Foner, and Joshua Freeman gave me critical guidance
through the completion of the dissertation. I am immensely indebted to
Elizabeth Blackmar, who has read countless manuscript revisions and
never wavered in her belief that this book would come to fruition. Her
support and criticism have been essential. Among the many friends and
colleagues who have read either the entire manuscript or various chapters
and given valuable suggestions, criticism, and ideas are Susan Porter
Benson, anonymous Duke University Press reviewers, Ula Y. Taylor,
David Montgomery, Bruce Sinclair, Joe W. Trotter, and Ilene Winkler.
Before her unfortunate death, Sally L. Hacker gave me advice and encour-
agement to continue working on this subject. I want to express my un-
limited gratitude to all of these scholars as well as to the numerous un-
named scholars and workers with whom I have discussed many of the
ideas presented in these pages.
Distance and time constraints arising from my work schedules have
made the cooperation of archivists and librarians pivotal to the comple-
tion of this work. I am particularly grateful to the ones I encountered
during the course of my research. Mildred Daghli tirelessly assisted me in
locating materials at the at&t Archives when they were in New York City.
Simultaneously, conversations with Alan Gardner helped me clarify the
early history of telephony. More recently, at&t Archivist Sheldon Hoch-
heiser (at the Warren, New Jersey site) has made it possible for me to
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