Books are never written alone. No lonely author scribbling away undis-
turbed. No room of one’s own but then, that room would make intellectual
work very lonely, and not very interesting. Also there would be little at stake
in such an endeavor. It is because I have been so fortunate to have many
insightful people to talk and think with that I can write. And because there
are communities to care about, there is something I care to write about. The
hours of writing were all the more precious because they were often di≈-
cult to come by and there was so much to write about. My thanks to all those
whose inspiring work I heard, read, saw, and listened to all through the
years. Some of those I have lost touch with or see only occasionally and
some I talk to every day. But they are all remembered and valued.
First of all my thanks to my dear friend and co-author, Caren Kaplan. So
much talking, thinking, debating went on all of these years since our first
jobs in D.C. This book could not have been written without the discussion
and writing and work that went into our writings together and without the
important theoretical work on mobility and travel and feminism that she
continues to produce. Thanks to Caren also for reading so many versions of
this book and for helping to nurture it over the years. My thanks also to Eric
Smoodin for reading versions of this book, as well as for friendship and
humor that enlivened many a discussion. His work in American history
was invaluable to this book, and no one can surpass that fine ability to make
chai. I am similarly indebted to Minoo Moallem for so much a√ection,
collegiality, insights, discussion, and all the enjoyable times spent in her
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