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ix Acknowledgments This book has been in the making for a long time. I tried to do something that I had no model for, and therefore I am indebted to many people who not only found the development of a social theory of waste worthwhile but also encouraged me and lent their support in various forms over the years. I am first of all grateful to my mentors at UC Santa Cruz—Ronnie Lipschutz , John Brown Childs, Andy Szasz, James O’Connor, Anna Tsing, Mark Cioc, and Ravi Rajan—for teaching me critical views of society and environment and for their encouragement in sticking with the seemingly idiosyncratic topic of waste. For help in quantitative analysis I am indebted to Hiroshi Fukurai. I am grateful to James Clifford for showing me the difference cultural studies can make, and to Martha Lampland and William Cronon for thinking with me about how the interaction of culture and economy could be conceptualized in my research design. It was however mostly the one and only Michael Burawoy who nurtured my inner ethnographer and who taught me so much about the emancipatory potential of theoretically infused fieldwork. I am forever in his debt for his believing in me, for his generosity with his time, and for his consistent critical advice. I thank Michael Goldman, David Sonnenfeld, John Gulick, Alan Rudy, and the collective of the Global Ethnography book project for reading very early interpretations of my data and for giving me constructive feedback. Peter Evans and David Stark boldly compelled me to try out theoretical perspectives that I would not have risked on my own, especially in rethinking the role of the state in my history. I am grateful to my colleagues at the University of Illinois–Urbana Champaign—Matti Bunzl, Michael Goldman , and Andy Pickering—whose advice propelled this project to new, exciting directions. I thank Martha Lampland and anonymous reviewers of my manuscript for insisting on mobilizing my somewhat hidden ethnographic voice. I have tremendous appreciation for my graduate students who have given me feedback on my theory of waste: Annie McCloskey, Lisa Asplen, Keith Guzik, and Jong-Young Kim. This research however would not have been possible without the con- fidence and generosity of my informants, primarily the residents of three villages, Garé, Bosta, and Szalánta. I am also humbled by the trust the leaders of the Budapest Vegyiművek and Hungaropec had in me, and their Acknowledgments x generosity in opening their doors and archives to me. But fieldwork was only one source of the history I am retelling in this book. Without the incredibly professional and mostly unappreciated labor of the archivists in the archives of Hungary, of the Communist Party, and of Baranya County I would not have been able to reconstruct either the story of Garé’s dump or the changing concept of waste in Hungary. I am also grateful to the Országos Széchenyi Könyvtár for allowing me to use illustrations from their poster collections. Finally, I would not have been able to finance this immense research project on my own. The International Exchanges Board, the Fulbright Commission, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the American Council of Learned Society, and the University of Illinois have given me generous financial support in these last ten years. Most importantly, I would not have accomplished much without the warm support of my husband, Rick Esbenshade, and my two children, Shara and Abel, who faithfully accompanied me on my many research trips leaving friends and home behind. Rick not only has shown patience and empathy toward my daily ‘‘paradigm shifts’’ and intellectual crises but also has been a keen and critical reader of my manuscript. Since I embarked on this journey I lost many of my loved ones, including my parents, and I myself went through a life-threatening illness. I don’t know how I would have survived without the emotional sustenance I received from my Hungarian family, especially my two aunts and three cousins, among whom Zoltán Balogh also lent generous help with digitalizing my illustrations . This list is far from complete, and in closing, all I want to emphasize is that I hope to return the kindness of all the people who helped me turn this project into the book I always dreamed about writing. From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History ...


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