The Acknowledgements Chapter of Jesse James Soul Liberty

The chapter I dreaded writing most was my ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS chapter. Topping my recognition list was the Jesse James family itself, who broke 130 years of their historical silence to help me write this book. They were a given. But I had a lot more help than theirs alone.

Most Acknowledgement chapters are a dreadful list of names, meaningless to most book readers. For some exotic reason, acknowledgements usually appear before a book’s first chapter. I put mine in the rear, keeping the James family itself up front where they belong.

When I received my proof copy of the book, I had second thoughts about that arrangement. As I reread my acknowledgement chapter in the proof book, it was pretty interesting. I had tried to attach a story to everyone I recognized so my readers actually would read about the help I had. Of course, I wanted to avoid an Academy Award moment, where I’d neglect recognizing someone important as the music played me out. I think I accomplished that. But do read my Acknowledgement chapter. I could write a book about most everyone who helped to create this book.