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Acknowl­edgments One of the abiding myths of American individualism is that we pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But, truth be told, I am only standing—if I’m standing—­because folks keep giving me a hand up. A ­whole community of ­ people helped me write this book. I became a historian ­ because I liked­ people and found them curious. As an extrovert, I have not always looked forward to hours in the archives alone. Lucky for me, the research and writing ­were a social pro­cess, from start to finish. Thisproj­ectbeganwhenGrantWackerpointedme­towardoldissuesofthe Star of Zion. As the proj­ ect shape-­ shifted through the years, teams of fellow readers and researchers pointed me in new directions. ­ Those in my writing groups read many early drafts. Seth Dowland, Sarah Johnson, Brantley Gasaway ,EleshaCoffman,andJacquelynWhitt:Icouldnothavewrittenthisbook without your help. I am happy to acknowledge my intellectual debt to Fitz Brundage, who had the uncanny ability to say what I wanted to say but could not; Donald Mathews, who kept asking big questions; Laurie Maffly-­ Kipp, who managed to be both a sympathetic and a skeptical reader; J. Cameron Car­ter,whowouldnotevenletmebuyhimacupofcoffeeforhiswisdom;and Reginald Hildebrand, whose criticism changed my analy­sis during at least two impor­ tant moments in the book’s development. Heather Williams, Stephen Kantrowitz, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, John Giggie, Craig Werner, Skip Stout, and Charles Irons offered encouragement about the proj­ ect when I sorely needed it. For the same reason, I owe thanks to my colleagues at Mercer University and the friendly folks at Calvin Summer Seminars. Over the four good years I had at the University of Central Arkansas, my colleagues readily lent help. Kenneth Barnes, Story Matkin-­ Rawn, Lorien Foote, and David Welky read chapters and proposals. Michael Rosenow and Jeff Whittingham served as writing partners, making the pro­cess more collegial and a good deal more fun. Inthefinalstages,thegood­peopleatUNCPresshavebeen­greattoworkwith, especially Chuck Grench, Jay Mazzocchi, Jad Adkins, and the anonymous readers whose keen comments substantially improved the book. Librarians—ittoooftengoeswithoutsaying—­areahistorian’sbestfriends. I want to thank the many archivists and librarians who helped along the xii Acknowl­edgments way, especially Nicholas Graham, Eileen McGrath, Jason Tomberlin, and the entire staff at the North Carolina Collection, UNC Chapel Hill; Linda Simmons-­Henry at St. Augustine’s College; Phyllis Galloway at Livingstone College; Monika Rhue at Johnson C. Smith University; Jane Johnson at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County; Bill Kreuger at the Iowa Masonic Library; Ellen Hampton Filgo at Baylor University; Timothy Purkiss at Torreyson Library, UCA; and the staff at UNC’s Davis Library, Calvin College’s Hekman Library, and Mercer University’s Tarver Library. Thank you for making my life easier. If I am ever tempted to take sole credit for my work, I need only remember that I did it with other ­ people’s money. Year-­ long fellowships from the Louisville Institute and the Christian Scholars Foundation/Emerging Scholars Network and a summer grant from the University Research Council at the University of Central Arkansas cleared my schedule and filled my pantry as I wrote and revised. I received financial support to travel from library to library: the Off-­Campus Research Fellowship and grants from William B. Umstead Endowment, the Center for the Study of the American South, and the Mowry Fund at the University of North Carolina. During my research travel, several strangers took me in. Diane and Andy Pettifor offered me a room, good food, and transportation around town, at no charge, despite never having met me before; and at Belmont Abbey in Belmont, North Carolina, the Benedictine monks’ call to hospitality extended even to penniless historians on archival trips. They might have thought they ­ were entertaining angels unawares, but it was I who was in the com­pany of angels. For my sake, ­ family and friends became cheerleaders, counselors, proofreaders , babysitters, errand-­ runners—­ whatever it took to help me finish. Countless friends let me use them as sounding boards or readers. I have room to name only some of them: Hilary Green, Todd Granger, Benjamin Sammons, Rosalie Genova, Emily Brewer, Wallace Daniel, and Andrea Williams. My parents, Jeff and Patty Harper, what ­haven’t they done for me? Jim and Barbara Keim, Shirley Sennhauser, Nancy Pennington, and Stefan and Kelly Booy offered moral support and childcare when I needed them the most. Lillian and Charity both arrived ­after this proj­ect began. When the book competed with them for my attention, they usually won, and...


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