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date: 15 August 2020

(p. ix) Acknowledgments

(p. ix) Acknowledgments

This book has been a long time coming. The familiar aphorism about scholarship being a collective enterprise certainly is true in this case. Without the commitment, creativity, and cooperation of our chapter contributors, it would not have been possible to produce a handbook of this scope and quality. Working with authors from many parts of the world and representing a wide range of perspectives has been a challenge, but it has been extremely rewarding as well. For this we are very grateful indeed.

We also would like to express our appreciation to the Oxford University Press editors who worked with us, starting with Sonia Tycko, who commissioned us to edit the handbook. After Sonia left to pursue her own career as a historian, we worked with senior history editor Nancy Toff and her staff. Nancy was unstinting in her support and guidance regarding the handbook’s structure, providing feedback for authors to improve and strengthen the chapters, and offering encouragement and humor—along with her keen clarity of purpose—to keep us going. Elizabeth Vaziri assisted with the selection of cover art, and Judith Hoover did expert copyediting to smooth the book’s many rough edges. The index was meticulously prepared by Hannah Bailey.

Finally, we would like to thank friends and family members, especially our respective spouses, who offered undaunted support for this project while refraining from asking how long it would take. Their patience, understanding, and forbearance made the lengthy process of completing the handbook a considerably more tolerable and worthwhile experience.