The Book is Done

After spending probably too long on revisions, hunting down a bunch of image permissions, and correcting far too many footnotes, the moment has come: I have SUBMITTED THE FINAL MANUSCRIPT for Building the Land of Dreams.

While there’s still plenty to do (proofreading, index, approving art/design, etc) this feels like a big milestone. Six years of work on this, let’s call it, dating back to when I began to get interested in the subject during my 2nd-year guided readings course with John Murrin on War and Society in Early America. The research paper I wrote for John that winter, which first brought me to some of the major sources I use in the book like Claiborne’s Letter Books and the Territorial Papers volumes, was really the first step in this whole process; parts of that paper survive in Chapter 9 of the finished book.

I think the final version is a major, significant improvement over the dissertation. Its language is more compact and less abstruse, its ideas are clearer, and the conclusion is a lot more thorough. It was a challenge to balance revising the book with a full teaching load this semester. But it’s done and I’m feeling pretty good right now.