Archives for October 2009

Matthew Yglesias on Princeton Readings in American Politics

“It’s generally taken for granted that some familiarity with economists’ research is relevant to writing about economic issues, but people seem very comfortable making broad, sweeping assertions about the American political system that are totally uninformed by research into it,” writes Matthew Yglesias on his blog.

Yglesias notes that “empirical and theoretical inquiry by political scientists can and does shed a lot of light on a lot of important issues,” and recommends Princeton Readings in American Politics, edited by Richard Valelly, to “anyone interested in deepening their understanding of American politics.”

Mark Kleiman Discusses Reducing Crime and Punishment on the Radio and in D.C.

Mark Kleiman, author of WHEN BRUTE FORCE FAILS, recently appeared in Washington, D.C., to discuss the ideas in his book on Capitol Hill, with Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, and at the American Enterprise Institute, with James Q. Wilson, among others. You can catch a video of the appearance at AEI here.

In addition, Kleiman was interviewed on “On Point,” the NPR show that airs from WBUR in Boston. Click here to hear the interview on “On Point.”

And finally, Kleiman spoke in detail about the new book with Larry Mantle, host of “Air Talk” on KPCC, the NPR station in Southern California. Listen here.

Steve Strogatz interviewed on WNYC’s RadioLab

Listen in to Steve Strogatz discussing his friendship with his high school mathematics teacher Don Joffray on WNYC’s RadioLab. Their relationship was conducted mostly by letters and shared love of mathematical problems. As WNYC notes, “Steve explains how numbers can connect you and where they fall short.”

Also, WNYC linked through to this video of Steve making a presentation. It is very touching and shows lots of the letters.

David Vine and Chagos leader, Olivier Bancoult on Democracy NOW!

David Vine, author of Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia appeared on Democracy NOW! with Olivier Bancoult, leader of the Chagos refugees.   Speaking of the fate of his people’s culture, Bancoult said “They just want to destroy it. This is why it’s so important for us to have our dignity and our fundamental rights back as all human beings to be able to live in our birthplace.”

David Vine has been working hard to make their story known.  Click below to watch and listen!

The Math Factor interviews Paul Nahin

How long would it take to fall through the Earth and land on the other side?

Listen in to the latest podcast of The Math Factor for an interview with Paul Nahin who is a frequent PUP author. In this segment he is discussing his most recent book Mrs. Perkins’s Electric Quilt. And yes — he has the answer to the question above.

We’re thrilled that The Math Factor had Paul on, and look forward to their upcoming interview with Mythematics author, Mike Huber, too.

“Old and creaky, as all good bookshops should be,” editorial associate Kimberley Johnson on The Woodstock Bookshop

Not only are the staff of PUP’s European office fortunate enough to have an office right outside the grounds of Blenheim Palace, but since May 2008 we’ve had the excellent Woodstock Bookshop right across the road.

The building itself is reassuringly old and creaky, as all good bookshops should be, unlike the purpose-built industrial estate warehouses that typify the big chains these days. The interior is newly fitted to take full advantage of the limited floorspace, so with wall-to-wall books, there’s always something interesting on offer. The shop is rightly devoted to books rather than coffee and trinkets, and is so tiny that only one chair could be crammed into a corner for those who like to try before they buy.

The packed children’s section in the back occupies about a third of the shop, and the shop’s owner Rachael Phipps is as happy to dispense advice on kid’s titles as she is on Birdscapes and Hezbollah (both of which she’s placed in the window, presumably to keep the Press staff happy as we wait at the bus stop outside).

What I really like about this tiny bookshop, though, is the fact that there’s rarely more than one copy of any given book on the shelves. Browsing through the titles, you frequently feel as if you’ve spotted a rare gem, and – canny sales technique, this – I usually end up with a stack of books to take home because I can’t bear the feeling that I might be missing something brilliant. This is really where Rachael has the advantage over the giant bookshops in Oxford, where multiple copies will be heaped up all over the place on 3-for-2. And besides, if you really need a coffee, there’s always Blenheim Palace round the corner.

Adrienne Mayor Snags NBA Nomination

Princeton University Press is pleased to announce that Adrienne Mayor’s THE POISON KING: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy is a finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction.
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We couldn’t be happier! Congratulations, Adrienne, on a job well done. You can check out her stunning portrait of the man, the “Mith,” the legend when it lands in bookstores on November 11.

Editors and reviewers participate in an afternoon round-table discussion on the future of the book review at Princeton University

Princeton University Press was proud to assist the Center for the Study of Books and Media at Princeton University with a recent afternoon round-table on book reviews. The editorial panels attracted a stellar international group including Sam Tanenhaus of the New York Times Book Review, Sir Peter Stothard of the TLS, Jessa Crispin of, and Steve Wasserman, formerly of the LA Times and now moonlighting as the book reviews editor for the influential site  While the reviewers for the second panel were Joan Acocella who focuses on dance criticism, but also reviews books and makes weekly contributions to the Critic’s Notebook at The New Yorker, Jill Lepore, historian extraordinaire and Critic at Large for The New Yorker, Michael Dirda who continues to contribute a weekly column on books for the Washington Post in spite of the loss of the Book World earlier this year, and Mark Greif who acts as both editor and writer for the new(ish) magazine N+1.

These panels represented a perfect blend of print and new media, scholarly and popular, established and growing, so it was appropriate that the discussions focused on precisely these kinds of issues. Are print and new media incompatible? Is print truly on its way out? Does the New York Times Book Review have an obligation to review not only “important” works of literature, but also works important because of their cultural significance (see Maureen Dowd’s review of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol which led to quite a heated exchange)? How does the TLS continue to attract new readers while offering thousands of reviews–many of them on impenetrable books on impenetrable subjects? And is there room for new magazines like or N+1?

It was heartening to see the campus support for the book review. Attendees included the expected–acclaimed scholars (and frequent book review writers) like Peter Brooks and Sean Wilentz, as well as PUP staffers from the editorial, marketing, and sales departments–but there were also many students armed with notebooks and provocative questions. Provocative (sometimes pointed) questions that led the way in a wonderful discussion about the centrality of good book reviews and literary criticism to our culture.

Here, you can read Sir Peter Stothard’s thoughts on the panels.

Congratulations to Elinor Ostrom, Nobel prize-winner in Economics and PUP Author!

It is with great pride we congratulate Elinor Ostrom, co-winner, with Oliver Williamson, of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics and author of the Princeton University Press book UNDERSTANDING INSTITUTIONAL DIVERSITY.  And I hear through the grapevine that we have another project of hers coming out in the not-to-distant future.  Stay tuned!

Congratulations, again, Elinor!

Michael O’Hanlon discusses strategy for Afghanistan on Face the Nation

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Viktor Mayer-Schonberger discusses memory and forgetting with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer

Win a PUP book over at GrrlScientist

From GrrlScientist:

What better way is there to celebrate the Nobel Prizes by helping kids in impoverished classrooms throughout the nation begin their own pursuit of their dreams? By helping kids improve their science education, you will be helping them focus on the positive aspects of their lives and give them an outlet for their energy so they realize that they do have a future!

So, why am I posting about it here? Because if you click over to GrrlScientist, you may have a chance to win a PUP book:

In recognition of your kind gift to help others, Princeton University Press is offering 2 books with a value of up to $30.00 each as prizes to two of my DonorsChoose Challenge donors: one book will be awarded to the donor who gives the largest gift, and the other book will be given to a donor who will be randomly chosen by my parrots using a method that I have yet to develop (suggestions welcomed). This kind offer covers most of Princeton University Press’s trade science titles and guide books (view their catalogue PDFs here) and they also pay postage, so this costs you NOTHING! All that you have to do is send me your mailing address after making your donation and you will be automatically entered into this competition.