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ix Acknowledgments This book has been in the works for far too long. It bears little resemblance to my initial attempt to make sense of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission (MSSC), and I hope in that regard the intervening years of thinking, reading, and writing have greatly improved that first stab. I was initially drawn to study the organization just after the files were opened in 1998. At the time, I was particularly interested in thinking about the process of racial state formation, and my subsequent focus on white state actors reflects my concern with the question of why racial inequality persists despite change. My initial interest in the civil rights movement was sparked when I was a student at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and I have Andy Andrews to thank for that. He remains my academic role model. Andy, George Bey, Ming Tsui, and Frances Coker were amazing professors. Their passion for teaching and their enthusiasm for social scientific research led me to pursue a PhD in sociology and then to search hard for a job at a place just like Millsaps. At the University of Arizona, I was fortunate to connect with faculty and peers who were supportive of research that was in some ways a little bit outside of disciplinary boundaries. I feel lucky to have entered graduate school with a cohort of people who made the experience fun and who were generous with feedback and encouragement. Carmen García-­ Beaulieu helped me survive my first two years, and Dina Okamoto got me through the last few. Jenn Earl was and still is one of my most supportive friends and colleagues, and I am fortunate to have begun my career with her. Outside of the sociology department, Scott Hendricks was a great friend and intellectual inspiration. Among the faculty, Sarah Soule, Doug x Reconstituting Whiteness McAdam, Dave Snow, Yvonne Zylan, Steve Cornell, and Kieran Healey played important roles in shaping my work and the way I think about sociology. And finally, how can I thank Lis Clemens enough? She was generous to take me on as a student when her plate was already overflowing , and she was endlessly patient as I tried to figure out my motivating question. Since then, Lis has always pushed me to more sharply articulate my ideas and my writing, and I thank her immensely for her time and support. Her intelligence is still daunting to me, and I am fortunate to have benefited from it. Hamilton College provided me with my ideal job, and I feel privileged to work here. I thank Robin Vanderwall for making my job easier and for always being generous and kind. My senior departmental colleagues, Dan Chambliss and Dennis Gilbert, have been extremely supportive of me from the beginning. They were right to insist that I take a full-year sabbatical, even at the expense of being broke. Steve Ellingson has always offered constructive feedback of my research, and I thank him immensely for his generosity and support. I will be eternally grateful to Yvonne Zylan for mentoring me at Arizona, for joining me at Hamilton, and for being an invaluable colleague and friend. Snowshoe outings, drinks on the porch, and countless dinners with my good friends in Clinton have made the winters bearable and the work easier. Early data collection for this book was supported by a small grant from the University of Arizona sociology department and a National Science Foundation Grant (SS-0101092). During my junior sabbatical leave, Hamilton College supported a return trip to various archives in Mississippi , a crucial last leg of research and writing that pushed the manuscript into its current form. Over the years, archivists at multiple libraries were helpful and knowledgeable . I thank the staff at the McCain Library at the University of Southern Mississippi and the Mitchell Library at Mississippi State University . Most of all, I have nothing but gratitude and admiration for the staff at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), where I spent many months before the MSSC files were made available online. I recall Susan Johnson and Anne Webster with particular fondness. Susan always greeted me with a smile and kind words, and Anne always remembered me, even when my visits were spaced a year or two apart. When I began my research, Sarah Rowe-Simms was very helpful, and most recently, I enjoyed talking with David Pilcher, who directed me to Acknowledgments xi the Moncrief collection of photographs. During my time at...


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