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Acknowledgments Researching and writing a book about children’s play has enabled me to interact with a number of fascinating people and places, and I have benefited from their assistance. I especially acknowledge the support I received from the Kate L. Peterson Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as the library staff, especially Carol Sandler, at the Strong National Museum of Play of Rochester, New York, which houses the Doll Oral History Collection . The John D. Rockefeller Library at Brown University, especially its librarians Michael Jackson and Steven Thompson, provided valuable aid, as did the special collections at Brown’s John Hay Library. Pembroke Herbert and PRC Picture Research Consultants have made this book far more appealing than it otherwise would have been, and I am deeply appreciative of the encouragement and faith shown me by Eric Zinner and New York University Press. I benefited from the research assistance of some very capable individuals , namely, Anna Galland, Sarah Blum-Smith, Danielle Slevens, and Hannah Copperman. Colleagues Steven Mintz, Gary Cross, and Paula Fass were especially generous in their support and comments on my work. Also, James T. Patterson, Judith E. Smith, Richard Meckel, Carolyn Dean, and Frederic Reamer provided valuable comments. Though I am exclusively responsible for any errors and misinterpretations , their contributions have strengthened the analysis. When it came time to think and write about children’s activities in the present era, I received valuable insights by observing and talking to children themselves. Leah Siegal-Reamer, Naomi Raznick, Aliya Thaler, Goldie Raznick, and Sari Thaler may not have constituted a representative sample, but their actions and insights proved worthwhile . Finally, as always, the support, editorial skill, and love of my wife, Nancy Fisher Chudacoff, has left a mark on everything I say and do, and I am forever grateful. ix ...


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