This book, like the revolutionary process it documents, would not be possi-
ble without the blind faith and irrational support of many. My dissertation
committee—Wendy Brown, Mark Bevir, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Kiren
Chaudhry, and Pheng Cheah—let me make what must have seemed like
two terrible decisions: to move to Venezuela for no apparent reason and to
write a book while also writing a dissertation. I am grateful for their pa-
tience and unflagging support. Similarly, my editor at Duke University
Press, Valerie Millholland, responded to my proposal with encouragement
from day one, despite the fact that it had sprung, only recently and partially
formed at best, onto a restaurant napkin. Gisela Fosado has helped to carry
the project forth as it ascended from the abstract to the concrete. My thanks
go out as well to two anonymous reviewers for Duke University Press, who
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