Christopher S. Parker and “Fighting For Democracy” earn the 2010 Ralph J. Bunche Award

Last week, the American Political Science Association announced its 2010 awards for excellence in the study, teaching, and practice of politics. Among the winners is PUP’s Christopher S. Parker, whose Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggles Against White Supremacy in the Postwar South earned him the 2010 Ralph J. Bunche Award. Congratulations, Christopher!

The Ralph J. Bunche Award is presented to the best scholarly work in the field of political science from the preceding calendar year that “explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism.”

All of this year’s APSA awards will be given out at the 2010 APSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on September 2. Read this press release for a full list of winners as well as more information on the awards ceremony.

For a complete list of recent award-winning Princeton University Press books, please click here.

Your New Reading List: Marnia Lazreg’s Picks

The common theme that runs through Marnia Lazreg’s, author of Torture and the Twilight of the Empire: From Algiers to Baghdad and Questioning the Veil: Open Letters to Muslim Women, reading list is this: Survival.

From the plight of Austen’s most famous heroine to questions of justice and freedom in Dickens to extreme imbalances in immigrant status in 19th century New York, Marnia’s choices all comment on what it takes to survive predetermined – and often unjust – circumstances.

“This summer, between deadlines, I have read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice which I had read when I was 15 years old.  Re-reading the book now is like reading it for the first time. I had missed how universal the situation of women that Austen describes [is] in spite of cultural differences: women were disadvantaged by some property laws, their reputation (and thus marriageability) rode on their chastity, and on the whole [they] depended on men for their survival no matter how much they rebelled against their social condition.”

“I am at present reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, which tackles political injustice in the late XVIIIth century London and Paris.  Torture was inflicted for a range of offenses from minor to more serious; the guillotine (in France) was set up in a public square for all to watch ‘justice’ in action.   As an author of a book on torture, I am struck by the acceptance of this practice, then as now, as a ‘just’ treatment of people whose crimes could be simply objecting to political tyranny or poverty.”

“In between, I read Caleb Carr’s historical thriller, The Alienist, which gave me a sense of the chaos, extremes of poverty and wealth, lack of public hygiene, [and] exploitation of immigrants’ children in XIXth century New York, especially the Lower East Side.  Many countries in the world today experience similar problems, which makes me realize how fast (relatively speaking) New York has turned things around.  The book also descrbies the difficulty encountered by a scientist in bringing in new conceptions of criminality.  Changing deep-seated worldviews is a continuing challenge.”

You may have read a book or two in Marnia’s list before, but have you ever considered re-reading with fresh eyes? Like Marnia, you might discover a new perspective that you missed the first time around.

Do you agree with Marnia? Want to share your views? Comment below, log on to Facebook, or Tweet us @PrincetonUPress.

Conversations with Pranab Bardhan and Richard Wolin: This Week in PUP Events

This week’s PUP events are perfect for you if you’re up for a stimulating conversation with a leading academic and happen to be in either Singapore or Chicago.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, August 4), PUP author Pranab Bardhan will be speaking and discussing his latest book, Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India, at National Singapore University as part of the GAI Speakers Series.  According to the NSU Global Asia Institute website, “the lecture will reflect on the general and contrasting features of capitalism as it is developing in [China and India], on the political economy of the governance process in the context of the complex relationship between democracy (or lack of it) and development, and the nature of accountability failures in both countries.”  The event is scheduled to begin at 12 noon.

Back on this hemisphere, Richard Wolin, author of the recently released The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s, will be appearing at the NO EXIT Café in Chicago on Sunday, August 8.  The event is scheduled for 2:00 PM, and the address of the event is as follows:

6970 N. Glenwood (just south of Lunt, just west of the MORSE Red Line stop)
Chicago, IL

If you don’t have time to read The Wind from the East before the event on Sunday, be sure to familiarize yourself with the book by exploring its official Facebook Page.

If you’re planning on attending these events  or have attended other PUP events in the past, let us know what you think below!

Your New Reading List: Steven Rendall’s Picks

Having translated many PUP titles including (but certainly not limited to) The Tyranny of Guilt, Prophets of the Past, and the upcoming Perpetual Euphoria, Steven Rendall is a trusted member of the PUP family.  That’s why we’re fully confident that you’ll enjoy his reading recommendations:

1. Adam Gopnik, Angels and Ages

Steven says, “A study of Darwin and Lincoln as two crucial pivots, intellectual and practical, in the emergence of modernity.  Like everything Gopnik writes, this book is beautifully written and full of wise insights.

2. Thomas Babington Macaulay, History of England.

Steven says, “A masterpiece of English historiography that remains a page-turner and delights by its inimitable prose style.”

3. Jane Smiley, Private Life.

Steven says, “A moving novel about marriage to a smart man with delusions of grandeur, and his gradual descent into madness.”

Great suggestions, Steven! Let us  know if you agree by commenting below, becoming a PUP Facebook Fan, or Tweeting us @PrincetonUPress!

PUP books rank in Best Sellers Lists

Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and What’s Eating You? People and Parasites by Eugene H. Kaplan recently made it onto two Best Sellers Lists. Congratulations Viktor and Eugene!

Delete ranks at the top of the Best Sellers in Pyschology while What’s Eating You? ranks among the Best Sellers in Botany/Zoology.

Check out which other books made the list by clicking the links above!

Create Dangerously: A Collaboration of Artists and Designers

Acclaimed and award-winning author Edwidge Danticat is known for writing books that are rooted in her identity as a Haitian-American woman. Not merely a writer but an artist, she further explores her history – and the histories of other immigrant artists – in her latest work Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, inspired by Albert Camus’ lecture entitled “Create Dangerously.” Investigating how personal turmoil manifests itself in art, Edwidge shares the immigrant artist’s story – how art is created in spite of or as a result of hardship and how we are all more alike than we think we are.

Undoubtedly, this message resonates on the cover of Create Dangerously, which has a genuine and honest story behind it. Another brilliant conception of the PUP design team, the cover features an untitled piece created by Haitian artist Pascale Monnin in the wake of the devastating earthquake in January 2010.  Art Director Maria Lindenfeldar and Book Designer Allison Grow worked together to produce a haunting yet exceptionally graceful cover.  Read their answers to my questions below:

My first impression of the cover of Create Dangerously is that it’s quite striking – if I were browsing the tables at a bookstore, I would pick this book up because of the intriguing image. Where did you find it, and what is it of?

Maria: The image that we chose for the book was originally published in the New York Times as one of several pieces of art commissioned for an Op-Art piece called “Scenes from a Catastrophe.”  I saw it while reading the Sunday paper.

In the Times, the image was accompanied by the following words which help to explain the content:

Haggard stare…
People walk in a daze…
A city upended, destroyed…
The dead, so many dead…
And the living, zombie-like survivors looking for friends, family.
A city in chaos whose trapped children  scream under the rubble.
The twins are born in the cathedral rubble.
True story or only rumors?
A nation gives itself over to God, the  Americans, the French, whoever will take us
Who survive any way we can.
A traumatized city
My little Lena, two months old, gurgling when she wakes.

Artist: Pascale Monnin, Port-au-Prince, Untitled; © Collection Galerie Monnin

We ran the idea past the author who, it turned out, knew the artist, Pascale Monnin. From there, we were able to deal with the artist directly.

How should we interpret the cover in relation to the book?

M: The author is Haitian-American, and thus the subject matter of the art directly relates to the author’s own background. In addition, the images captures the idea of rising above chaos to create something beautiful, a major theme of the book.

How many different versions of the book jacket did you design before choosing this one?

M: We went through at least three other designs. One used a piece of sculpture suggested by the author, a second used the image we ultimately chose but in a different way, and the third was largely typographic.

Once we settled on the image, we worked quite hard to come up with the best way to use it. From the start, I had imagined it wrapped around the boards of a pre-printed case rather than as a jacket. Once we decided to go that route, we looked at several ways to add a jacket on top of it—a translucent mylar paper, a belly band, and a short jacket were all options. In the end, we went for the short jacket, hand-lettered and designed by PUP designer, Allison Grow. The short jacket allowed us to include copy and blurbs without printing on the art itself any more than necessary. A reader can remove the jacket and view the art relatively intact.

Allison: As Maria mentioned, there were 3 different concepts that were presented. Once the Untitled image was selected to work with, I had tons and tons of scans of typographical treatments to work with. I experimented with all different mediums, pens, markers, paint, etc. until I came to a satisfactory solution. It was really just a matter of experimenting with my tools to find the right type treatment that would correspond well with the artwork.

Why and how did this cover make the final cut?

M: Ultimately, we chose this approach because it embodies the spirit of the book in a way that the others did not. Create Dangerously is a very personal book about emotionally charged experiences. I think we managed to capture that quality with the design.

Why did this particular design stand out from the rest?

A: One of the things that I think sets this title apart from other books, is that it is mostly created by hand (apart from the quotes, etc. on the jacket).

Did the idea for this design immediately come to you, or was designing this cover particularly challenging?

A: With every book assignment, a new and different challenge is presented. It is certainly a balancing act; staying true to the personal artistic vision that I had as well as the authors, while pleasing the editorial and marketing departments. I immediately fell in love with the title of the book and the drawing. Upon first glance, the image to me, evoked a sense of despair, and struggle, at the same time, it is delicate and beautiful. The gestural lines of the artwork inspired me to create something by hand for the jacket and case. I found myself doing a lot of research on Haiti in order to get a better understanding of the culture/art/geography etc. I wanted to create something that would echo the feeling created by the drawing without distracting from it. It was important for me to make sure that the short jacket would compliment the case. Most importantly, my goal was for the jacket to feel authentic to Haiti without being trite, so being able to work collaboratively with the author as well as within the press, I think we accomplished that very well.

Did you collaborate with Edwidge Danticat to come up with this design? How is this cover a realization of her vision, your vision, and the vision of Princeton University Press?

M: This was truly a collaborative project. We were lucky to have the help of the author and the artist, and Allison did a wonderful job of integrating her hand-lettering with the art. In addition, the editor and the marketing department were open to the idea of doing things a little bit differently.

Create Dangerously, from cover to cover, is an amalgamation of two immigrant artists, who, despite having a homeland in common, created two very different – yet powerful – pieces.  Maria and Allison emulated the authenticity and integrity of Haitian art and artists, creating a beautiful cover design of which everyone at PUP can be proud.

You can find out more information about Create Dangerously by exploring its official Facebook Page.

Your New Reading List: Lars Rensmann’s Picks

Last month, we brought you the reading list of Andrei Markovits, co-author of Gaming the World: How Sports are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture.  Now let’s turn to the other half of the dynamic duo that made this book possible, Lars Rensmann.

No one can introduce Lars Rensmann’s reading list better than Lars himself. Without further ado, here is what he told us:

“It is August now, and the end of summer is looming on the horizon. Well, it is still far enough away for now. There’s still plenty time of time to read. Here’s my short list of recommendations for the rest of the summer:

1. If you are interested in philosophy and in sports and take pleasure in philosophizing about sports, Soccer and Philosophy: Beautiful Thoughts on the Beautiful Game (Chicago and La Salle, IL: Open Court, 2010), edited by Ted Richards, should be your book of choice this summer. It certainly is mine. It is about, well, soccer and philosophy, fair and square. While edited volumes often tend to have particular highlights (and include some less intriguing contributions), reading this book is pure pleasure throughout—offering a multitude of perspectives, it is consistently witty and full of passion (impassionate philosophers, beware!). It offers a sophisticated theoretical edge and sufficient self-irony to make you think and smile. Read about “Aristotle’s Favorite Sport”, or learn about “Kierkegaard at the Penalty Spot”. And find answers to questions you either never had or did not dare to raise.

2. My second choice is Public Freedom by Dana Villa (Princeton University Press, 2008). Villa offers a powerful defense of political liberties in our age. Without concealing his Arendtian bias, he discovers new perspectives on various modern political philosophers and speaks with a distinct and clear voice. He thereby shows the significance of public freedom and (arenas for) public agency. Expect controversial readings of modern classics that are always engaging and stimulating and often surprising. For me, it is Villa’s best book, and a must-read for political theorists.

3. Finally, I am thrilled that Theodor Adorno’s Guilt and Defense: On the Legacies of National Socialism in Postwar Germany (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010) has eventually been translated and published in a fine American edition. This book documents Adorno’s qualitative interpretations of group discussions that were conducted by the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt and entailed different strata of German society short after WW II and the Holocaust. Here you can read and learn about what average Germans thought in the late 1940s, and how Adorno reconstructed their ideas. This is the best insight into immediate post-War Germany you will ever get. Anyone interested in post-War German politics and culture needs to take a close look at this. Maybe nothing for the beach, either. But for any intellectual interested in 20th century Germany: Indispensable.”

Unbelievably, August is here – but despite back-to-school fever, summer is far from over.  As Lars reminds us, “there’s still plenty of time to read.”

Want to comment on Lars’s recommendations or suggest books of your own? Let us know by commenting on this blog post, “liking” us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter!

Your New Reading List: Steve Ballinger’s Picks

Suffice it to say that Steve Ballinger gets more than his fair share of inclement weather – as PUP’s  Manager of the Northwest and Rocky Mountain States Sales Territory, Steve often has to endure rainy days.  Don’t think the weather’s bringing him down though – Steve enjoys the great indoors – and breaks a mental sweat – by reading books on religion, philosophy, and literature.

1.       “Walter Kaufmann’s Critique of Religion and Philosophy. It is made up of 100 related essays including a section of dialogues between Satan and a theologian, a Christian, and a philosopher. Arnold Toynbee gets trashed along the way. St. Thomas Aquinas is exposed as leaning towards the Inquisition. Kaufmann was a major part of the Princeton philosophy scene and this book is still on the list along with his major philosophical biography of Nietzsche. I’ve always thought the Coen brothers should do a movie about him.”

2.      “‘Selected Essays‘* by Hilaire Belloc. I found a 1958 Penguin version. Belloc writes a mixture of travel essays, Roman Catholic anger, and literary dream experiments. He always has one foot in the French countryside even when writing about England. He has one essay about saying farewell to his sailboat which makes one sigh.”

3.       “Walter Bagehot Literary Studies vols one and two. I found these two at The Strand in J.M. Dent editions from way back in the early 20th century. Bagehot is really great as a literary critic/historian.”

4.       “The Oxford Book of English Prose is my book to read from as I wait patiently for the computer to boot up. I’m reading it back to front and currently in the 1850’s. The editor of the book made great selections of 2-3 pages per piece. It’s one of those blue cloth old Oxford books with really thin pages. From Rupert Brooke on page 1062 to Thomas Love Peacock page 630 where I am now to John Trevisa This Realm, this England (1326-1402), page 1 in the original.”

*Links to Essays of a Catholic on

What do you think? Let us know by commenting on this post, posting on our Facebook wall, or following us on Twitter!

Mark R. Cohen sets the bar by winning the first-ever Goldziher Prize

We’d like to congratulate PUP author Mark R. Cohen for winning the first-ever Goldziher Prize, presented by the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, for Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages.

Named for the 19th century Islamicist, Ignác Goldziher, a Hungarian Jew “who revered Islam and Muslim people and validated Islamic studies in the 19th century European university context,” the prize announcement was made at an event at the Muslim American Society of Boston’s Islamic Cultural Center.  An official presentation will take place at a dinner at Brandeis University on October 6, 2010.

As the original recipient of the prize, Mark is setting a precedent for all those to follow.  Under Crescent and Cross is also a National Jewish Honor Book in Jewish History.

Find out more about the 2010 Goldziher Prize here.

For a complete list of recent award-winning Princeton University Press books, please click here.

Your New Reading List: Erin Suydam’s Picks

Let’s kick off the new week with a new reading list!

PUP Production Associate Erin Suydam’s list progresses nicely from historical war fiction to Shakespeare – Check it out below:

The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara. Historical fiction. It’s an excellent Civil War novel centering on Gettysburg, and it’s totally gripping. I enjoyed the character development and inside perspective –from both sides–and I think it’s a great tool for deepening our understanding of the conflict. Oh and it’s a Pulitzer Prize winner.”

The Sunne in Splendour, by Sharon Kay Penman. Historical fiction. This one’s about the War of the Roses and Richard III. If you’re used to the Shakespearean portrayal, read this for an opposing perspective. It’s a looong book but not one page is boring. This is well-written and very rich, and a lot of fun!”

Will in the World, by Stephen Greenblatt (PUP author). Biography. Greenblatt attempts to piece together the sparse information we have about William Shakespeare and addresses some of the speculation surrounding his life (his background and upbringing, his faith, authorship of his plays, etc). It’s a thought-provoking book and if you like it, Hamlet in Purgatory is good stuff too.”

As always, you can comment on Erin’s list or give us your own via comments below, Facebook, and Twitter!

“The Fifth Freedom” is an APSA favorite

PUP author Anthony S. Chen and The Fifth Freedom: Jobs, Politics, and Civil Rights in the United States, 1941-1972 are once again being honored by the American Political Science Association.

The Politics and History section named The Fifth Freedom a co-winner of the 2010 J. David Greenstone Award. This award is given to the best book in politics and history published within two previous calendar years

The Fifth Freedom previously won the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics section of the APSA’s 2010 Best Book Award and the Social Science History Association’s 2008 President’s Book Award. Way to go, Anthony!

Find out more information about the Politics and History section of the APSA here.

For a complete list of recent award-winning Princeton University Press books, please click here.

Your New Reading List: Susan Wolf’s Picks

Susan Wolf, author of Meaning in Life and Why it Matters, advocates a healthy reading diet – one should not strictly adhere to pure academia, nor should one solely stick with what she calls “pure pleasure, the literary equivalent of eating candy.”

Instead, follow a plan that makes you break a mental sweat while still allowing you to indulge – see what she recommends below:

“A conference in Iceland this summer led me to Nobel-prize winning Iceland author Halldor Laxness’s Independent People, an epic of an Icelandic man and his family’s struggles with the harsh Icelandic land, and climate, the gentry and the resident demons. It is a powerful and gripping book, emotionally engaging, and utterly different form anything I have read. It also gives one a vivid sense of Icelandic history and culture. Not summer reading – it’s long and full of darkness and depression – but a masterpiece.”

“On the opposite end of at least one continuum, is Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time, a 12-novel work that presents a picture of England from between the World Wars through about the 1960’s, through the eyes of an upperclass Englishman (who is in ‘public school’ in volume one), who keeps running into the additional characters throughout the entire work. Beautifully written, very funny, it is, for Anglophiles like me, pure pleasure, the literary equivalent of eating candy. (I allow myself only one novel at a time, alternating it with more demanding and probably more educational reading.) Not to be recommended for those who want much of a plot – almost nothing happens in the novels but conversation.”

So, readers, nourish yourself with a healthy reading regimen.

What do you think of Susan’s list? Comment below, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us!