John F. Kennedy once said, "Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan." Writing this book has certainly borne this maxim out: Not only did most of the people I spoke to during its development not want to be credited, but a few threatened me with dire bodily harm if I did.

Nonetheless, a brave few souls have agreed to allow their contributions to this effort to be recognized, and I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge their help and assistance. Those listed in my escutcheon of honor include Ted Finch, Adam Green, Randy Hujar, Maria Johnston, Steve Manes, Mary Marsden, Pete Peterson, Paul Somerson, Joel Spolsky, Jeffrey Tarter, and Alan Zenreich. Those who chose not to be listed also have my deepest thanks and appreciation.

Guy walks into a doctor's office, raises his arm, points to his shoulder, and says, "Doc, it hurts when I do that."

Doctor looks at him and says, "Then don't do that."

—Old vaudeville joke

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.

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