Archives for November 2010

PUP books spied at U. Chicago Bookstore

Thanks to Eric Schwartz for sending in this photo of Raghuram G. Rajan’s Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy and Gregory Clark’s A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World on display at the University of Chicago Bookstore.

Edwidge Danticat interviewed by Zocalo

Also available on the Zocalo site.

Project Syndicate: “India or China?” by Jagdish Bhagwati

“When US President Barack Obama visited India in November and complimented its leaders on the growing success and prowess of their economy, a tacit question returned to center stage: Will China grow faster than India indefinitely, or will India shortly overtake it?

In fact, this contest dates back to 1947, when India gained independence and democracy became the country’s defining feature, while China turned to Communism with the success of Mao Zedong after the Long March. Both countries, the “sleeping giants,” were expected to awaken at some point from their slumber. But, since the growth model in vogue at the time laid principal emphasis on capital accumulation, China was widely held to have the advantage, because it could raise its investment rate higher than India, where democracy limited the extent to which the population could be taxed to increase domestic savings.

As it happened, however, both giants slept on – until the 1980’s in China and the early 1990’s in India – mainly because both countries embraced a counter-productive policy framework that crippled the productivity of their investment efforts.”

Jagdish Bhagwati, Professor of Economics and Law at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, is the author of Termites in the Trading System: How Preferential Trade Agreements Undermine Free Trade, and two Princeton books: Free Trade Today and The World Trading System at Risk.

PGS Exclusive: Flows in Networks by L. R. Ford and D.R. Fulkerson, Back in Print

Back by popular demand! This phrase may seem out of place when applied to an academic monograph titled Flows in Networks, but as you’ll read below, this title truly has been in demand for a while. Mathematics Editor Vickie Kearn relates her long history with this book and how it came to be back in print this Fall.

The story of this reprint began in the late 1980s. I was working at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and was getting quite a few requests to reprint the Ford & Fulkerson book on Flows in Networks in the Classics in Applied Mathematics series. This is a wonderful series that reprints books that are out of print. There was no Google at the time so finding the copyright holder was not as easy a task as it is today. The book was originally published in 1962 and had been out of print for quite a long time so finding a copy was also difficult. Due to many other duties, I pursued this off and on but did not have much time to devote to the search.

I moved to Princeton University Press in 2001 and was looking at the titles in the Princeton Landmarks in Mathematics series (also a series of classic books that had been published in another series or that had gone out of print) and thought again about the Ford & Fulkerson. It really bothered me that I had not followed through on finding the copyright holder. In 2004 I was visiting David Williamson at Cornell and he suggested putting the Ford & Fulkerson back in print. I started to tell him my long history with this book and he told me he didn’t think it would be a problem since Princeton University Press had published the book. Since the book was out of print, I had no record of it. What a wonderful surprise that was!

The next thing I had to do was actually find a copy of the book. Although this might sound ridiculous, we did not have one in our warehouse and there were no copies in the Princeton University library. I began to think it was just not meant for this book to be in print. Once again, I drifted away from the project. In 2008 I was back at Cornell and met Bob Bland who also suggested I put the Ford & Fulkerson back in print. I started to tell my long, sad story but he stopped me in mid-sentence and handed me a copy of the book. I had run out of excuses. We had a wonderful conversation and he told me that Fulkerson had been his advisor. Bob and James Orlin have written a wonderful new foreword which describes the continued importance of this book and its many applications, almost 50 years after it was originally published. If there are any other Princeton University Press books that you would like to see back in print, let us know.

Another from Project Syndicate: “Shorting Fiscal Consolidation” by Robert J. Shiller

Real long-term interest rates – that is, interest rates on inflation-protected bonds – have fallen to historic lows in much of the world. This is an economic fact of fundamental significance, for the real long-term interest rate is a direct measure of the cost of borrowing to conduct business, launch new enterprises, or expand existing ones – and its levels now fly in the face of all the talk about the need to slash government deficits.

Nominal interest rates – quoted in terms of dollars, euros, renminbi, etc. – are difficult to interpret, since the real cost of borrowing at these rates depends on the future course of inflation, which is always unknown. If I borrow euros at 4% for ten years, I know that I will have to pay back 4% of the principal owed as interest in euros every year, but I don’t know what this amounts to.

If inflation is also 4% per year, I can borrow for free – and for less than nothing if annual inflation turns out to be higher. But, if there is no inflation over the next ten years, I will pay a hefty real price for borrowing. One just doesn’t know.

Robert J. Shiller is the Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics at Yale University and author of Irrational Exuberance, The New Financial Order: Risk in the 21st Century, and The Subprime Solution: How Today’s Global Financial Crisis Happened, and What to Do about It (all Princeton books).

Lawrence P. Jackson at New York Institute of Humanities

This photograph was taken at the mid-November launch for Lawrence P. Jackson’s new book, The Indignant Generation. Thank you to the New York Institute of Humanities for playing host and assembling a wonderful audience. We can’t imagine a better place or time to launch this new project. To view a video of Jackson describing the meticulous research he conducted while writing the book, please visit this web site.

Shown in the picture, left to right, are Mark Greif, Darryl Pinckney, Lawrence Jackson, and Rhoda Levine.

Timur Kuran and The Long Divergence featured on Marginal Revolution

Timur Kuran and his newest PUP book, The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East, received a shout-out on the influential economics blog, Marginal Revolution. Here’s an excerpt from the post:

[Timur Kuran] now has a new book out — The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East. The book explains a large part of why the Middle East and Turkey fell behind the West and law and economics has a lot to do with it. Various laws in Islamic societies were not conducive to large-scale economic structures, at precisely the time when such structures were becoming profitable and indeed essential as drivers of economic growth. This is not a book of handwaving but rather he nails the detail, whether it is on inheritance law, contracts, forming corporations, or any number of other topics.

Click here to read more, and tell us what you think on the book’s Facebook page!

This Time is Different wins TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award; 2 other PUP books declared finalists

Carmen M. Reinhart and Kennet S. Rogoff’s This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly was recently declared winner of the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award! This prize, given on behalf of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), honors books that exhibit outstanding scholarly writing on lifelong financial security and includes a cash prize of $10,000. It is named after Paul A. Samuelson, the first American to win the Nobel Prize in economics and a former CREF Trustee. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Association in Denver, CO in January 2011.

The two other Princeton University Press books that were considered for this award were also declared finalists. Francis X. Diebold, Neil A. Doherty, and Richard J. Herring’s The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable in Financial Risk Management: Measurement and Theory Advancing Practice was one finalist, and Raghuram G. Rajan’s Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy was the other. Congratulations, everyone!

If you’d like to see a list of honors that other PUP books have received, please click here.

From Project Syndicate: “Clarity about Diamonds” by Peter Singer

Diamonds have an image of purity and light. They are given as a pledge of love and worn as a symbol of commitment. Yet diamonds have led to gruesome murders, as well as widespread rapes and amputations.

Charles Taylor, a former president of Liberia currently facing war crimes charges at a special court in The Hague, is alleged to have used diamonds to fund rebels in Sierra Leone’s civil war.  The case against Taylor represents only one of several examples in which diamonds have facilitated widespread human rights violations.

When diamonds’ role in fueling violent conflict in Africa gained worldwide attention, the diamond industry established the Kimberley Process in order to keep ‘blood diamonds’ out of international trade. The initiative has met with some success, although it has not completely halted trade in diamonds from conflict-torn countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read more at Project Syndicate.

Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. He is also the author of The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress. A new edition of this book, with an afterword by Singer, will be available from PUP in June 2011.

Richard Crossley Unplugged: Where to go Birding?

We will be posting short videos from Richard Crossley, author of The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, on various aspects of birding. In this first cluster, Richard answers the essential question — “Where to go Birding?”

Stay tuned for future installments in which Richard describes how to make your backyard habitat more bird-friendly.


Canaday’s The Straight State wins Cromwell Book Prize!

Congratulations to Margot Canaday, whose book, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America, has just been declared winner of the 2010 Cromwell Book Prize! This prize, given on the recommendation of the American Society for Legal History and funded by the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, recognizes and promotes new work by graduate students, law students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty not yet tenured, and annually awards $5,000 to the junior scholar best demonstrating excellence in scholarship in the field of American Legal History.

Canaday’s book has been heralded as a “pathbreaking, riveting historical study” by David A. J. Richards of Law and History Review, and “terrific, complex, highly original, revelatory book” by Nancy F. Cott, author of Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (among many other favorable reviews by scholars and critics). In addition to the Cromwell Book Prize, Canaday has been awarded four other prizes for The Straight State, including the Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize from the American Studies Association, and the Organization of American Historians’ Ellis W. Hawley Prize. Great work, Margot!

To see other recent award-winning books from PUP, please click here.

Edwidge Danticat reading & interview at Queen’s College in NYC – tomorrow!

If you are near New York City, don’t miss your chance to see Edwidge Danticat TOMORROW at Queen’s College in NYC, in LeFrak Concert Hall. The event will begin at 7pm and is $20 for admission (and free with CUNY student ID!). Danticat will read from her latest work, Create Dangerously, and then will be interviewed by WNYC’s Leonard Lopate.

If you haven’t already, RSVP to the Facebook event, and tell your friends! Hope to see you there!

Date: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Queens College – LeFrak Concert Hall
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing, Queens, New York
More Info: here and here