Archives for May 2011

Walt Whitman Reading Room

Celebrate what would have been Walt Whitman’s 192nd birthday with the Princeton University Press today by reading a few of our favorite Whitman books:

Michael Robertson – Worshipping Walt: The Whitman Disciples
Read Chapter 1, here.

C.K. Williams – On Whitman
Read Chapter 1, here.

Helen Vendler – Invisible Listeners: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashbery
Read the Introduction, here.

Amb. David Scheffer speaks with CNN about Ratko Mladic’s arrest

We are publishing All the Missing Souls, Amb. Scheffer’s personal history of the war crime tribunals of the 90s and the creation of the International Criminal court. Read more about the book here:


Fact: Princeton entrance exams were dropped in 1916 in favor of those given by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), and Greek was no longer required for admission after 1919.

The Making of Princeton University:
From Woodrow Wilson to the Present

By James Axtell

In 1902, Professor Woodrow Wilson took the helm of Princeton University, then a small denominational college with few academic pretensions. But Wilson had a blueprint for remaking the too-cozy college into an intellectual powerhouse. The Making of Princeton University tells, for the first time, the story of how the University adapted and updated Wilson’s vision to transform itself into the prestigious institution it is today.

Written in a delightful and elegant style, The Making of Princeton University offers a detailed picture of how the University has dealt with these issues to secure a distinguished position in both higher education and American society. For anyone interested in or associated with Princeton, past or present, this is a book to savor.

We invite you to read chapter one online:

An intern’s look at BookExpo America

This past Wednesday I was given the opportunity to tag along with the PUP publishing team at BookExpo America.  I was advised to wear comfortable shoes, but I really had no idea what to expect. What, I wondered, is a “Book Expo,” and what does one do there? I learned that BEA is an incredibly important event for the publishing industry, as well as the ultimate book lover’s paradise.

BEA is held at the Javits Center, the same enormous conference arena that hosts the New York International Auto Show and the New York Bar & Wine Show every year. It’s a big place. I arrived and began to search for the Princeton University Press table, working my way through the maze of stalls and people in line for author signings. Was that Jimmy Fallon? (Yes! He was signing copies of his soon-to-be-released book.) Is it really worth standing on a half-mile long line for an autograph?  I discovered that the organized and experienced BEA attendees have strategies for navigating a day at the expo:

1. The expo’s guide contains schedules of the times and locations of every author and speaker event, so map out an itinerary of author visits.

2. Look for the best free bags.

McGraw Hill was the winner this year, with bright red canvas tote bags that were large enough to hold a small child.

3. Plan an extra half hour to hour for your coffee run.  Judging by its queue Starbucks may be the hottest spot in the entire conference center.

However this advice only applies to those like me who came to spend the day cruising around the floor.  The important things going on have nothing to do with which celebrity’s autographed book you can score (though that is a nice perk) or who has the best free goodies. At the PUP table our representatives hold meetings with retailers to promote our titles, and field questions from the countless reviewers and curious show-goers who filter through.  This year the PUP was stationed in a prime location–right at the end of the University Press row and next to one of the show’s entrances.  The volume of people stopping at just at our stall was incredible!  It is overwhelming to think of how many publishing houses were present and how many books each had.  I have a whole new appreciation for how competitive, and how huge, the publishing industry is.

My personal experience at the show was absolutely wonderful.  I met great people from publishing houses located all across the country, and saw a host of innovative books that I look forward to reading in the future.  I got a signed Christmas cookbook (and a tasty brownie) from T.V. chef Mr. Food, had my photo taken with two pirates at the Galaxy Press booth (uploaded, as promised) and joined a champagne toast of Oprah’s last show with the friendly people at Abrams.  And, according to my bathroom scale, I came home with 33 pounds (!) worth of books.  My shoulders are still aching, but it was worth it!

Listen to Steven A. Barnes’ Wilson Center Book Talk

Steven A. Barnes, author of Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society, participated in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholar’s Cold War International History Project this past Thursday.

His talk examines how the gulag was “construed as a “corrective facility,” which gave its occupants a final chance to prove themselves through forced labor. Those who succeeded returned home after years of brutal, forced labor; the ones who “failed” died.”

The full video is available here.  Check it out, and pick up a copy of the book, too!

Galley Give Away at Booth 3749 #BEA11: Beauty Pays

We accidentally overprinted galleys for Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful by Daniel S. Hamermesh which means we have an unexpected windfall waiting for visitors to booth 3749 at Book Expo. Stop by and grab a copy of this popular economics book before they run out!

It turns out beauty really does pay. Hamermesh has been described as the “dean of beauty” by Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics, for his ground-breaking work on the economics of beauty. In this book learn the surprising truth about appearancein the workplace and elsewhere. Discover what the R.O.I. is on cosmetics. Find out how much salary a looks-challenged person loses over the course of their career. Learn more about how men and women evaluate each other’s looks. This book is chock full of provocative answers about how our looks can influence our lives.

This is a previously unannounced galley giveaway, so please help spread the word! See you at Booth 3749!

from NPR Morning Edition “Why Honey Bees Are Better Politicians Than Humans”

Robert Krulwich interviewed Thomas Seeley, author of Honeybee Democracy, this morning on Morning Edition.

Visit NPR’s site to listen in to the interview and also to enjoy some original bee-autiful (who could resist?!) and fun artwork by Adam Cole.

A quick excerpt from the web site:

In the spring, bee hives get so rich with honey, so crowded with baby bees, they often burst in two. Some bees stay in the original nest with a new queen, but a second group, led by the old queen, heads off to establish a new home. If there’s a cloud of bees hanging by a tree branch in your back yard, that’s them — the house hunters.

How do they choose a new home?

Ah, says Cornell professor Thomas Seeley, this is the beautiful part: The queen doesn’t say, “Here’s where we’re going!” She’s not in charge. The decision is made collectively, bottom-up, and it’s done by “voting.”

Bees are natural democrats.

Getting to know you… Richard Crossley profiled at Birding is Fun!

I’ve been working with Richard Crossley for over a year now on The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, and even I learned some new things about him in this short and sweet profile at Birding is Fun!

How does Richard answer this questions: “What is your favorite bird sighting and what is the story behind it?”

I have a few. Sleeping in a barn for 3 days, waiting for a big storm to come at St Ives, Cornwall I 1983. It was worth the wait and still remains the greatest seawatch in Britain (10,000 British Storm Petrels, 100 Sabine’s Gulls, tens of 1,000s of Shearwaters, 100s of Jaegers and Skuas etc).

Finding Thailand’s first Little Stint mixed in with Red-necked Stints at long range in non-breeding plumage when they were supposedly unidentifiable (1987) is also up there as an individual bird.

Click over to learn what field guides are his favorite, what his biggest birding-related pet peeve is, and what his plans are for the future.


Two Princeton University Press Publications make the Library Journal Online List of Best Sellers in U.S. History

Two Princeton University Press titles are on this year’s Library Journal Online list of Best Sellers in U.S. History!

Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle Over American History by Jill Lepore is number six on the list, and Reading Obama: Dreams, Hopes, and the American Political Tradition by James T. Kloppenberg is number fourteen.  Both books are a great introduction to better understanding the current political situation in America.  Pick them up today for your summer reading!

This Week’s Book Giveaway

This week’s book giveaway is To Die For: The Paradox of American Patriotism To Die For by Cecilia Elizabeth O’Leary.

July Fourth, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Memorial Day, and the pledge of allegiance are typically thought of as timeless and consensual representations of a national, American culture. In fact, as Cecilia O’Leary shows, most trappings of the nation’s icons were modern inventions that were deeply and bitterly contested. While the Civil War determined the survival of the Union, what it meant to be a loyal American remained an open question as the struggle to make a nation moved off of the battlefields and into cultural and political terrain.

The most thought-provoking question of this complex book is, Who gets to claim the American flag and determine the meanings of the republic for which it stands?

“This study is not only well researched but also a sprightly written account of the development of modern American patriotism. . . . This is truly a work ‘to die for.'”–Choice

“Well written . . . O’Leary makes an important contribution to a growing body of scholarship that seeks to understand the vital role that rituals and symbols have played in the development of American nationalism.”–Journal of Military History

Check back Friday on our Facebook page when we make the draw for “To Die For.” If you have LIKED US on Facebook, you may be the winner. If you don’t win this week, you have plenty of other chances to win a PUP book in our weekly random draws. Thanks for taking the time to follow us.

To Die For: The Paradox of American Patriotism by Cecilia Elizabeth O’Leary

The surprising origins of an “accidental” book — Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison

Dietrich Bonhoeffer has steadily gained prominence through the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, but his most famous book — Letters and Papers from Prison — was never really conceived of as a book. It is, as the title suggests, a collection of letters and papers smuggled out of prison, addressed to loved ones and intellectual colleagues. These papers were hidden away and only collected into their current form posthumously–a process Martin E. Marty describes in this article at Berfrois:

“Only a zealous and informed scavenger could have found and assembled scribbled fragments which eventually became the published prison letters by the best-remembered German cleric who gave his life in the anti-Nazi cause,” writes Marty. “There was no manuscript of the book which later appeared in many languages around the world. The gallows took its author, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, before he had a chance to shape a book.”

Marty notes that merely possessing one of the letters could have been a crime or have lead Nazis to conspirators, so, how did these letters survive?

According to Marty, they were secreted “in various hard-to-find locales, including in gas-mask canisters hidden in the garden of Dietrich’s mother; while others were tucked into scattered books and files.”

Fortunately, Eberhard Bethge, a friend of Bonhoeffer’s, “was farseeing enough to recognize that though his friend was writing sometimes casual notes, there were also more formal little treatises which might be cherished by scholars and others who were left behind….So Bethge saved all that he could, even though he had to report regretfully in the book he edited that…in order to protect some people mentioned in the letters, he had no choice but in haste to burn some of them. So the trail of letters ended abruptly, a fact that contributed further to the apparently random character of the book.”

Read the rest of Marty’s article here:

Antarctic Wildlife reminds us “why even the most remote places on Earth are worth defending.”

We publish field guides — lots and lots of field guides–and many of them are for fairly remote places in the world. One side benefit to publishing and reading these books is, as reviewer Brad Sylvester notes in his review of Antarctic Wildlife by James Lowen, they serve both as field guides to aid in identifying critters AND as conservation ambassadors to the world:

“It’s difficult to appreciate far off consequences of things like melting polar ice-caps, rising ocean levels, and other effects that happen far away or too slowly for the eye to see. That’s one reason why I think books like James Lowen’s Antarctic Wildlife, A Visitor’s Guide are so important,” says Sylvester. “They help provide context for and appreciation of the Antarctic as more than an abstract concept.”

Sylvester goes on to say that the Antarctic, “one of the Earth’s most critical and fragile habitats is in a state of flux, impacted by ocean acidification, climate change, ozone depletion and a host of man-made pressures.”

He concludes that books like this remind us “why even the most remote places on Earth are worth defending.”

Read more here at Yahoo! News:

You can also view some sample plates from this book here.