This book, Social Media and Participatory Democracy: Public Notice and the World Wide Web, is the product of many helpful people. I am grateful to the librarians and staff of the Clements Library at the University of Michigan for providing Reese Fellowship support, and to the librarians and staff at the University of Michigan and Indiana University law libraries for their help in pointing me in the direction of their wonderful resources. Librarians have long been among my favorite people, and these particular members of that community are exemplary.
I also thank Mary Savigar at Peter Lang Publishing for encouraging me to begin this research project and for guiding me through the acquisition process. David Copeland at Elon University, Charles Davis, now at the University of Georgia, and Kathleen Hansen at the University of Minnesota all wrote support letters so that I had a chance at the Clements Library fellowship. Thanks go to my research assistant, Rachelle Pavelko, for her thorough copyediting.
As always, I thank my patient husband, Edwin Martin, for his attention and kindness as I buried myself in this research and writing when I probably should have been attending to other aspects of our lives. Similarly, my sister and her husband, my children, their spouses, and my grandchildren generously released me from familial duties with grace and good cheer so thatI could work on this project. I also thank my parents, Mary and Robert Rossi, for initially bringing this topic to my attention when I began my doctoral program two decades ago and for enthusiastically reading my draft papers along the way.
My boundless gratitude, however, goes to the many original thinkers across dozens of decades and geographies noted too briefly in the pages that follow. My biggest thrills were handling the original letters and scanning the quill’s flourishes as new knowledge was being born centuries ago. In this digital age it is easy to believe that all great ideas were born after 1993, but we all owe an almost unbearable debt to the brave intellects who came out of civilizations now barely recognized. I hope this book extends their legacies just a bit longer.
Shannon E. Martin