In the Letter from the Director for this catalog, Peter Dougherty writes:
A great editor once said that good publishing is always about something. At Princeton, what we’re about is meeting the challenge of creating a list with a singular personality, while drawing books from fields as different and divergent as applied mathematics, classics, natural history, and financial economics. We seek to publish a list that, as John Henry Newman described the work of education, “takes a connected view of old and new, past and present, far and near, and which has an insight into the influence of all these one on another; without which there is no whole.” We believe our Fall 2009 list meets this challenge with a special flair.
Princeton books have long been distinguished by intellectual originality and thrust, and nowhere on our fall list is this trait better displayed than in Mark Johnston’s Saving God: Religion after Idolatry or Avishai Margalit’s On Compromise and Rotten Compromises, or—from a wholly different part of the scholarly forest—Peter Paret’s The Cognitive Challenge of War: Prussia 1806.
Princeton books also frequently speak to several different audiences at once, both by bridging separate disciplines and through the kind of writing that makes the best scholarship accessible to general readers. In this catalog, Adrienne Mayor’s The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy offers an exciting story for readers interested in ancient history while also providing intellectual grist for scholars and students of classics and history of science. Similarly, Carlos Eire’s A Very Brief History of Eternity will engage not only readers interested in history and religion, but also philosophers and sociologists, and their students.
Finally, we are especially proud to publish titles that are both timely and timeless. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly will find readers among today’s banking and policy professionals as well as among economists and historians for a long time to come.