a c k n o w l e d g m e n t s
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T
his volume has been long in the making. The project has its roots in two
panels on the history of the middle class organized by Robert Johnston
and Iñigo García-Bryce for the 2004 annual meetings of the American Histori-
cal Association and the Conference on Latin American History. Those two
stimulating panels on the middle class around the world made it evident that
there was a pressing need for a deeper and wider scholarly conversation about
the history of the middle class.
With this concern in mind, we organized a conference at the University of
Maryland’s Miller Center for Historical Studies, in the spring of 2006, that
brought together scholars from a variety of locations and specializations. Ti-
tled ‘‘ ‘We Shall Be All’: Toward a Global History of the Middle Class,’’ this
three-day symposium extended and amplified the conversation begun by the
previous panels as scholars researching a variety of historical contexts re-
flected on the ways in which members of the middle class have shaped—and
been shaped by—the historical construction of modernity. Since then there
has been a steady stream of publications about the middle class, and we can
now say with confidence that it has become a central part of scholarly dis-
course and political debate. As is argued in the introduction to this volume, so
many of the political, social, and economic hopes associated with modernity
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