Celebrate Pi Day with Princeton University Press

Happy Pi Day, everyone!  In honor of the day, we’ve come up with a reading list that includes some of our favorite Einstein books at Princeton University Press, along with some free chapter excerpts. Celebrate Pi Day and Einstein’s birthday with a great book — we’ve got plenty to choose from!

j9268[1]Einstein’s Jury: The Race to Test Relativity
Jeffrey Crelinsten
Read Chapter 1
This book tells the dramatic story of how astronomers in Germany, England, and America competed to test Einstein’s developing theory of relativity.

The Ultimate Quotable Einstein
Collected and edited by Alice Calaprice
Read Chapter 1
“Without the belief that it is possible to grasp reality with our theoretical constructions, without the belief in the inner harmony of our world, there could be no science. This belief is and will remain the fundamental motive for all scientific creation.” 1938; p. 390
Want more quotes? Check out The Ultimate Quotable Einstein’s Facebook page.

The Meaning of Relativity, Fifth Edition: Including the Relativistic Theory of the Non-Symmetric Field
by Albert Einstein, with a new introduction by Brian Greene

E- StachelThe Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Volume 13: The Berlin Years: Writings & Correspondence, January 1922 – March 1923 (Documentary Edition)
Edited by Diana Kormos Buchwald, József Illy, Ze’ev Rosenkranz, & Tilman Sauer
Check out Chapter 1
Here’s all of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein

Einstein’s Miraculous Year: Five Papers That Changed the Face of Physics
Edited and introduced by John Stachel
Read the Introduction
Far more than just a collection of scientific articles, this book presents work that is among the high points of human achievement and marks a watershed in the history of science.

Albert Einstein, Mileva Maric: The Love Letters
Edited by Jürgen Renn & Robert Schulmann, Translated by Shawn Smith
Informative, entertaining, and often very moving, this collection of letters captures for scientists and general readers alike a little known yet crucial period in Einstein’s life.

EisenstaedtThe Curious History of Relativity: How Einstein’s Theory of Gravity Was Lost and Found Again
Jean Eisenstaedt
Read the Introduction
Written with flair, this book poses – and answers – the difficult questions raised by Einstein’s magnificent intellectual feat.

Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture
Edited by Peter L. Galison, Gerald Holton & Silvan S. Schweber
Check out Chapter 1
In this wide-ranging collection, eminent artists, historians, scientists, and social scientists describe Einstein’s influence on their work, and consider his relevance for the future.

GubserThe Little Book of String Theory
Steven S. Gubser
Read the Introduction
A short, accessible, and entertaining introduction to one of the most talked-about areas of physics today.

The Nature of Space and Time
Stephen Hawking & Roger Penrose
Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? On this issue, two of the world’s most famous physicists – Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose – disagree. Here they explain their positions in a work based on six lectures with a final debate.

kennTraveling at the Speed of Thought: Einstein and the Quest for Gravitational Waves
Daniel Kennefick
Check out Chapter 1
Daniel Kennefick’s landmark book takes readers through the theoretical controversies and thorny debates that raged around the subject of gravitational waves after the publication of Einstein’s theory.

The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Cosmos
by Robert P. Kirshner
Check out Chapter 1
One of the world’s leading astronomers, Robert Kirshner, takes readers inside a lively research team on the quest that led them to an extraordinary cosmological discovery: the expansion of the universe is accelerating under the influence of a dark energy that makes space itself expand.

maudlinQuantum Generations: A History of Physics in the Twentieth Century
Helge Kragh
Read Chapter 1
Combining a mastery of detail with a sure sense of the broad contours of historical change, Kragh has written a fitting tribute to the scientists who have played such a decisive role in the making of the modern world.

Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time
Tim Maudlin
Read the Introduction
Tim Maudlin’s broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo’s conceptions of relativity and space-time led to Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity.

RosenkranzIt’s About Time: Understanding Einstein’s Relativity
by N. David Mermin
Check out Chapter 1
The book reveals that some of our most intuitive notions about time are shockingly wrong, and that the real nature of time discovered by Einstein can be rigorously explained without advanced mathematics.

Dynamics and Evolution of Galactic Nuclei
David Merritt
Deep within galaxies like the Milky Way, astronomers have found a fascinating legacy of Einstein’s general theory of relativity: supermassive black holes. This is the first comprehensive introduction to dynamical processes occurring in the vicinity of supermassive black holes in their galactic environment.

RoweEinstein Before Israel: Zionist Icon or Iconoclast?
by Ze’ev Rosenkranz
Read the Introduction
Rosenkranz explores a host of fascinating questions, such as whether Zionists sought to silence Einstein’s criticism of their movement, whether Einstein was the real manipulator, and whether this Zionist icon was indeed a committed believer in Zionism or an iconoclast beholden to no one.

Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb
Edited by David E. Rowe & Robert Schulmann
Check out Chapter 1
A vivid firsthand view of how one of the twentieth century’s greatest minds responded to the greatest political challenges of his day, this work will forever change our picture of Einstein’s public activism and private motivations.

zeeEinstein’s German World
Fritz Stern
Read the Introduction
At once historical and personal, provocative and accessible, this book illuminates the issues that made Germany’s and Europe’s past and present so important in a tumultuous century of creativity and violence.

Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell
A. Zee
Read the Introduction
This unique textbook provides an accessible introduction to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, a subject of breathtaking beauty and supreme importance in physics.
Check out the In a Nutshell series

Celebrate Women’s History Month with PUP

March is Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month pays tribute and celebrates the struggles, contributions, and achievements of American women throughout the history of the United States. This year, join Princeton University Press in celebrating all women — both past and present, near and far. This year, we’ve compiled a reading list with some of our best books on women. Grab a book and get reading!

herrinPoets in the Public Sphere: The Emancipatory Project of American Women’s Poetry, 1800-1900
Paula Bernat Bennett
Read the Introduction.
Based entirely on archival research, this book traces the emergence of the “New Woman” by examining poetry published by American women in newspapers and magazines between 1800 and 1900.

Odd Couples: Extraordinary Differences between the Sexes in the Animal Kingdom
Daphne J. Fairbairn
Looking at some of the most amazing creatures on the planet, this book sheds astonishing light on what it means to be male or female in the animal kingdom. Fairbairn also considers humans and compares our own sexual differences against the vast divisions between the sexes in the animal world.

sontagUnrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium
Judith Herrin
Read the Introduction.
This book explores the exceptional roles that women played in the vibrant cultural and political life of medieval Byzantium. Written by one of the world’s foremost historians of the Byzantine millennium, this landmark book evokes the complex and exotic world of Byzantium’s women, from empresses and saints to uneducated rural widows.

Making Silence Speak: Women’s Voices in Greek Literature and Society
Edited by André Lardinois & Laura McClure
Check out Chapter 1.
This collection attempts to recover the voices of women in antiquity from a variety of perspectives: how they spoke, where they could be heard, and how their speech was adopted in literature and public discourse.

pietyNotes on Sontag
Phillip Lopate
Read the Introduction
From our Writers on Writers series, Lopate shows how Sontag raised the bar of critical discourse and offered up a model of a freethinking, imaginative, and sensual woman. Honest yet sympathetic, Lopate’s engaging evaluation reveals a Sontag who was both an original and very much a person of her time.

Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject
Saba Mahmood
Check out Chapter 1.
This work is a groundbreaking analysis of Islamist cultural politics through the ethnography of a thriving, grassroots women’s piety movement in the mosques of Cairo, Egypt. This is essential reading for anyone interested in issues at the nexus of ethics and politics, embodiment and gender, and liberalism and post-colonialism.

marcusBetween Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England
Sharon Marcus
Read the Introduction.
Deeply researched, powerfully argued, and filled with original readings of familiar and surprising sources, this book overturns everything we thought we knew about Victorian women and the history of marriage and family life. It offers a new paradigm for theorizing gender and sexuality–not just in the Victorian period, but in our own.

Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right
Michelle M. Nickerson
Read the Introduction.
This book tells the story of 1950s southern Californian housewives who shaped the grassroots right in the two decades following World War II. Nickerson describes how red-hunting homemakers mobilized activist networks, institutions, and political consciousness in local education battles, and she introduces a generation of women who developed political styles and practices around their domestic routines.

okinWomen in Western Political Thought
Susan Moller Okin, With a new introduction by Debra Satz
In this pathbreaking study of the works of Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and Mill, Susan Moller Okin turns to the tradition of political philosophy that pervades Western culture and its institutions to understand why the gap between formal and real gender equality persists.

Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women’s Movement
Leila J. Rupp
This is a groundbreaking exploration of the “first wave” of the international women’s movement, from its late nineteenth-century origins through the Second World War. Making extensive use of archives in the United States, England, the Netherlands, Germany, and France, Rupp examines the histories and accomplishments of three major transnational women’s organizations to tell the story of women’s struggle to construct a feminist international collective identity.

Applying Game Theory to Watching the Oscars

k9998Why do Internet, financial service, and beer commercials dominate Super Bowl advertising? How do political ceremonies establish authority? Why does repetition characterize anthems and ritual speech? Why were circular forms favored for public festivals during the French Revolution? Michael Suk-Young Chwe’s Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge tackles these questions using a single concept: common knowledge. A recent New Yorker article, Is It Rational to Watch the Oscars? uses Chwe’s ideas about rational ritual to explore the question posed in the article’s title:

Events like the Oscars and the Super Bowl generate what game theorists call “common knowledge,” which itself has value. In the case of the annual Hollywood shindig, this knowledge isn’t confined to an awareness of which films win or lose. If that was what people really cared about, they could simply look at the list of winners online, or in the morning newspaper. (In the old days, that’s what most did, and it’s hard to argue that their welfare suffered.) The common knowledge includes all the other goofy stuff that happens at the Dolby Theatre: the wardrobe disasters; the unfunny jokes; the weird dance routines; the embarrassing acceptance speeches; the unexpected appearance of Michelle Obama on a large screen above Jack Nicholson’s head. (Yes, I ended up watching the last forty-five minutes.) …

Read the full article, here.


Your Valentine’s Day Reading List

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Princeton University Press. Today, we’ve selected some of our favorite PUP books on love. Choose a title you love and get reading!

k9679The Paradox of Love
By Pascal Bruckner, Translated by Steven Rendall, With an afterword by Richard Golsan

Mixing irony and optimism, Bruckner argues that, when it comes to love, we should side neither with the revolutionaries nor the reactionaries. Rather, taking love and ourselves as we are, we should realize that love makes no progress and that its messiness, surprises, and paradoxes are not merely the sources of its pain–but also of its pleasure and glory. Read the Introduction.

k7749The Reasons of Love
By Harry G. Frankfurt

The most important form of caring, Frankfurt writes, is love, a nonvoluntary, disinterested concern for the flourishing of what is loved. Love is so important because meaningful practical reasoning must be grounded in ends that we do not seek only to attain other ends, and because it is in loving that we become bound to final ends desired for their own sakes. Check out Chapter 1.

k9458Love’s Vision
By Troy Jollimore

Love often seems uncontrollable and irrational, but we just as frequently appear to have reasons for loving the people we do. In Love’s Vision, Troy Jollimore offers a new way of understanding love that accommodates both of these facts, arguing that love is guided by reason even as it resists and sometimes eludes rationality. Read Chapter 1.

k9987The Seducer’s Diary
By Søren Kierkegaard, Edited and translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, With a foreword by John Updike

“In the vast literature of love, The Seducer’s Diary is an intricate curiosity–a feverishly intellectual attempt to reconstruct an erotic failure as a pedagogic success, a wound masked as a boast,” observes John Updike in his foreword to Søren Kierkegaard’s narrative. This work, a chapter from Kierkegaard’s first major volume, Either/Or, springs from his relationship with his fiancée, Regine Olsen.

k9429Kissing Architecture
By Sylvia Lavin

Kissing Architecture explores the mutual attraction between architecture and other forms of contemporary art. In this fresh, insightful, and beautifully illustrated book, renowned architectural critic and scholar Sylvia Lavin develops the concept of “kissing” to describe the growing intimacy between architecture and new types of art–particularly multimedia installations that take place in and on the surfaces of buildings–and to capture the sensual charge that is being designed and built into architectural surfaces and interior spaces today. Check out Chapter 1.

k8867.gifLove Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini
Translated by Susan Stewart

Whether she is working in the briefest, most incisive lyric mode or the complex time schemes of longer meditations, Merini’s deep knowledge of classical and Christian myth gives her work a universal, philosophical resonance, revealing what is at heart her tragic sense of life. At the same time, her ironic wit, delight in nature, and affection for her native Milan underlie even her most harrowing poems of suffering. In Stewart’s skillful translations readers will discover a true sibyl of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Read the Introduction.

Black History Month Reading List

Today marks the first day of a month-long celebration of the history, influences, and global impact of African American people and culture. According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the 2013 theme this February is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.” This year marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in the United States (1863). 2013 also marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered at the March on Washington (1963). To honor Black History Month this year, we’ve come up with a list of must-reads for the month of February.

k9542Harlem Crossroads: Black Writers and the Photograph in the Twentieth Century
by Sara Blair
Read the Introduction

The 1970s: A New Global History from Civil Rights to Economic Inequality
by Thomas Borstelmann
Read the Introduction

k9561Racial Justice in the Age of Obama
by Roy L. Brooks
Check out Chapter 1

Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall’s African Journey
by Mary L. Dudziak

Lincoln on Race and Slavery
Edited and introduced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Coedited by Donald Yacovone

k9295The New Negro: Readings on Race, Representation, and African American Culture, 1892-1938
Edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. & Gene Andrew Jarrett
Read the Introduction

The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960
by Lawrence P. Jackson
Read the Introduction

k9190What a Mighty Power We Can Be: African American Fraternal Groups and the Struggle for Racial Equality
by Theda Skocpol, Ariane Liazos, & Marshall Ganz
Check out Chapter 1

Black Faces in the Mirror: African Americans and Their Representatives in the U.S. Congress
by Katherine Tate
Check out Chapter 1

Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South
by Andrew Zimmerman
Read the Introduction

The Chosen Few – Winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award

Congratulations to Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, authors of The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492, for winning the 2012 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Scholarship! As the longest-running North American awards program in the field of Jewish literature, the National Jewish Book Awards recognizes outstanding books of Jewish interest.

According to the Jewish Book Council, “The Chosen Few offers a powerful new explanation of one of the most significant transformations in Jewish history while also providing fresh insights to the growing debate about the social and economic impact of religion.” Check out the Introduction.

Also, a warm congratulations to Daniel B. Schwartz’s The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image, which was a finalist in 2012 National Jewish Book Award in the category of History. The jury’s statement notes, “Professor Schwartz develops his history over the centuries by highlighting key philosophers who became more supportive of Spinoza in each successive generation until we now come to think of Baruch Spinoza as one of the great modern philosophers.”

Read the official press announcement of all winners and finalists, here. And again, many congratulations to Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, and Daniel B. Schwartz!

Hope for Compromise

A new U.S. Congress, the country’s 113th, was sworn in to office yesterday. The 112th Congress leaving office fought in its final days to come to an agreement on tax and spending legislation. The new Congress will face the renewed debate over the increased $16.4 trillion debt cap, among other high priority issues like new gun control and immigration reform.

While the previous Congress has been deemed arguably the least popular and least productive in history, the new Congress will face many of the same problematic issues that hindered the resolutions of the previously divided Congress. Why does compromise remain such a difficult part of American politics today?

Calling for greater cooperation in often sharply divided contemporary politics, Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson’s The Spirit of Compromise will interest all who care about whether their government leaders can work together. Check out the Introduction here.


“In an era of partisan polarization, congressional gridlock, and plunging public trust in government, this book could not be more timely. Deftly weaving together political theory and practical politics, Gutmann and Thompson trace the contours of necessary and honorable compromise, and propose reforms that would make it more likely.”–William Galston, Brookings Institution

Thoughts on Modern Torture?

The new controversial film, “Zero Dark Thirty” tells the complicated tale of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the years following 9/11. Arguably, the film suggests that coercive interrogation techniques were instrumental in the discovery of bin Laden, and consequently, suggests that torture is effective.  In Torture and Democracy, Darius Rejali, one of the world’s leading experts on torture, tackles the controversial question of whether torture really works. Check out what the expert has to say on modern torture:

Torture cannot be scientific. It is unlikely interrogators can torture in a restrained manner. Technology does not help them in this respect. Torture has strong corrosive effects on professional skills and institutions. Clean, selective, professional torture is an illusion. This is true regardless of whether one uses torture to intimidate, interrogate, or extract false confessions.

For harvesting information, torture is the clumsiest method available to organizations, even clumsier in some cases than flipping coins or shooting randomly into crowds. The sources of error are systematic and ineradicable. Innocent and ignorant prisoners generate malicious information, using torturers to settle private scores. Only highly experienced interrogators can spot such deception. Cooperative prisoners are unlikely to remember well and may give false answers with confidence. Neither they nor interrogators easily detect these errors.

In short, organized torture yields poor information, sweeps up many innocents, degrades organizational capabilities, and destroys interrogators. Limited time during battle or emergency intensifies all these problems.

These results do not prove that torture never works to produce accurate information. That would misread the scientific and social scientific evidence, and, at any rate, impossibility arguments are hard to prove. What it does establish are the specific conditions where torture may work better than other ways of gathering intelligence.

Torture would work well when organizations remain coherent and well integrated, have highly professional interrogators available, receive strong public cooperation and intelligence from multiple independent sources, have no time pressures for information, possess enough resources to verify coerced information, and release innocents before they are tortured.

In short, torture for information works best when one would need it least, peacetime, nonemergency conditions. If the suspect really is the right person to interrogate, interrogation is more likely to yield accurate information if the person is an opportunist, not a hardcore believer, as in the notorious Daschner case in Germany in 2002.  Even then, torture has problems that cannot be eliminated, including desensitization, death, unconsciousness, the loss of memory caused by damage, and the production of information that is more reliable the more it pertains to the remote past, not the immediate present.

Whether one can justify torture ethically when there is no emergency or when other methods of gathering intelligence are available, is another matter. My guess is that it would be hard to persuade most people, especially a jury. Daschner could not.

From Torture and Democracy by Darius Rejali, 2007.

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Centennial: 2012-2013

November 5, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s presidential election. The Woodrow Wilson Centennial committee has created a display at the Princeton Public Library to celebrate this anniversary, which features Princeton University Press’ 69 volume series composed of letters, speeches, interviews, press conferences, and public papers on Woodrow Wilson. Series editor, Arthur S. Link, shows how these materials are essential to understanding Wilson’s personality, his intellectual, religious, and political development, and his careers as educator, writer, orator, and statesman. The Papers of Woodrow Wilson not only reveal the private and public man, but also the era in which he lived, making the series additionally valuable to scholars and others in various fields of history between the 1870s and the 1920s.

Check out the Woodrow Wilson Book Display at the Princeton Public Library:

The book display will be up until March 15, 2013. More info, here.

Curious to know more? Check out these PUP books on Woodrow Wilson:

The Making of Princeton University: From Woodrow Wilson to the Present
by James Axtell. Read Chapter 1, here.

The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-first Century
by G. John Ikenberry, Thomas J. Knock, Anne-Marie Slaughter & Tony Smith. Read the Introduction.

To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order
by Thomas J. Knock

Your World Food Day 2012 Reading List

Today, October 16th, is World Food Day. Established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), it is noted that, “organizations around the world mobilize advocacy campaigns and events on October 16 to strengthen the political will to end hunger.” Further, in recognizing World Food Day, we cooperate in promoting an international solidarity in the struggle against hunger and poverty, as well as shine a bright light on advances and achievements in food security and new developments in agriculture. We’ve made a list of some of our favorite PUP books on Food. Get reading!

Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture
by R. Ford Denison
As human populations grow and resources are depleted, agriculture will need to use land, water, and other resources more efficiently and without sacrificing long-term sustainability. Darwinian Agriculture presents an entirely new approach to these challenges, one that draws on the principles of evolution and natural selection. Check out Chapter 1.

Feeding the World: An Economic History of Agriculture, 1800-2000
by Giovanni Federico
This book offers a comprehensive history of world agriculture of the past two centuries and explains how these feats were accomplished. Here’s Chapter 1.

School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program
by Susan Levine
In the midst of privatization, federal budget cuts, and suspect nutritional guidelines, Levine examines the politics of the school lunch program, which remains popular and feeds children who would otherwise go hungry. Read the Introduction.

Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate
by William F. Ruddiman
The impact on climate from 200 years of industrial development is an everyday fact of life, but did humankind’s active involvement in climate change really begin with the industrial revolution, as commonly believed? Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum has sparked lively scientific debate since it was first published–arguing that humans have actually been changing the climate for some 8,000 years–as a result of the earlier discovery of agriculture. Check out Chapter 1.

The Nature of Nutrition: A Unifying Framework from Animal Adaptation to Human Obesity
Stephen J. Simpson & David Raubenheimer
Drawing on a wealth of examples from slime molds to humans, The Nature of Nutrition has important applications in ecology, evolution, and physiology, and offers promising solutions for human health, conservation, and agriculture. Here’s Chapter 1.

The Politics of Precaution: Regulating Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States
by David Vogel
Vogel takes an in-depth, comparative look at European and American policies toward a range of consumer and environmental risks, including vehicle air pollution, ozone depletion, climate change, beef and milk hormones, genetically modified agriculture, antibiotics in animal feed, pesticides, cosmetic safety, and hazardous substances in electronic products. Read Chapter 1.


In the News: Affirmative Action Supreme Court Case

What’s appearing to be the most controversial U.S. Supreme Court case of this term took place this Wednesday, October 10. Are affirmative action programs beneficial or downright unlawful? Opponents of affirmative action claim that public universities are actively practicing illegal discrimination when considering race as a factor for admission. In 2003, the Supreme Court said that affirmative action may prove necessary for the next quarter of a century to guarantee that university classrooms would reflect the vast racial diversity of the United States. Wednesday, the court questioned the racial preferences used by the University of Texas to achieve student diversity in their college admission processes and are currently reconsidering that 2003 decision.

William G. Bowen & Derek Bok’s 2000 book The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions brings a wealth of empirical evidence to bear on how race-sensitive admissions policies actually work and clearly defines the effects they have had on over 45,000 students of different races. Similarly, Thomas J. Espenshade & Alexandria Walton Radford’s No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life pulls back the curtain on the selective college experience and takes a rigorous and comprehensive look at how race and social class impact each stage—from application and admission, to enrollment and student life on campus.

Check out the Preface to The Shape of the River or read the Introduction to No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal and share with us your opinions on this highly controversial case.

‘Celebrate Your Freedom to Read’ – It’s Banned Books Week!

This week (September 30−October 6, 2012) is Banned Books Week! According to the ALA, Banned Books Week “brings together the entire book community–librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types–in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.” In celebrating this week, the ALA draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out ALA’s list of frequently challenged or banned Classics.

We’ve compiled a list of PUP books to celebrate the week. We hope you’ll share with us some of your favorite banned books!

Those Who Valued Intellectual Freedom:

Check out the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Barbara B. Oberg, General Editor:
Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786.

From The Quotable Thoreau, edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer:
“Freedom of speech! It hath not entered into your hearts to conceive what those words mean. It is not leave given me by your sect to say this or that; it is when leave is given to your sect to withdraw. The church, the state, the school, the magazine, think they are liberal and free! It is the freedom of a prison-yard. I ask only that one fourth part of my honest thoughts be spoken aloud” (98). –Written November 16, 1858, in his Journal, vol. XI, p. 324

The Story of America: Essays on Origins by Jill Lepore:
Check out the proclamations of freedom from Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, or Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Lepore’s new history that argues that Americans have wrestled with the idea of democracy by telling stories. Here’s the Introduction.

Kierkegaard’s Writings, Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, Series Editors:
How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.”– from Either/Or

The Banned:

The Fairies Return: Or, New Tales for Old, Compiled by Peter Davies, Edited and with an introduction by Maria Tatar:
According to the ALA , Grimms’ ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ was once banned because “The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol.” Check out the Introduction to Davies’ compilation of modernist fairy tales, here.

Two Cheers for Anarchism, by James C. Scott:
Lastly, celebrate your right to rebel and read any banned book you’d like! See like an anarchist: read Scott’s Preface.

Enjoy the week, all!