Before Tony La Vopa had joined Nick Phillipson and me in founding Modern Intellectual History in 2004, Tony had successfully traveled in the spiral spirit of Vico's philosophy of history. Born in the Bronx to a Catholic Italian-American father and Irish-American mother, educated at the Jesuit Boston College and later at Cornell University, Tony launched his scholarly career as an intellectually inflected social historian with his book Grace, Talent, and Merit: Poor Students, Clerical Careers, and Professional Ideology in Eighteenth-Century Germany (Cambridge UP, 1988). Then, while much of the historical profession was abandoning social history for the seemingly more capacious field of cultural history, he deepened further his strongly intellectual and social history approach in his Mosse Prize-winning rendering of the identity and career of a single poor but tremendously ambitious young philosopher. In Fichte: The Self and the Calling of Philosophy, 1762–1799 (Cambridge UP, 2001), he embedded his striving scholar in a thick web of political and religious discourses, which Fichte tried both to penetrate and transcend through his rigorously soaring philosophy of the Transcendental “I.” Currently, Tony is completing a manuscript titled Manly Thoughts. The Labor of the Mind and the Specter of Effeminacy in Enlightenment Cultures. Promising to offer a fascinating further extension of his socio-intellectual method, the book will serve as a timely capstone of his career as one of the Enlightenment's preeminent historians working today.