Special Recognition goes to “The Politics of Global Regulation”

The International Political Science Association’s Research Committee on the Structure of Governance (SOG) recently honored PUP authors Walter Mattli and Ngaire Woods for The Politics of Global Regulation with Special Recognition, the 2010 Levine Prize.

The Levine Prize is given to a book in the field of public policy and administration that “makes a contribution of considerable theoretical or practical significance,” “takes an explicity comparative perspective,” and “is written in an accessible style.”

According to the award committee, The Politics of Global Regulation “critically reflects upon the increasing voice among countries to tighten up regulatory control at the national and global levels.  Will we see the rise of ‘regulatory states’ of a new kind? This book serves as a timely caution that regulatory capture or hijacking could take place in this newfound enthusiasm for regulation.”

This is certainly well-deserved praise for Walter and Ngaire!

Find out more about the Levine Prize here.

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

Your New Reading List: Duane W. Roller’s picks

What does Duane W. Roller (Eratosthenes’ Geography: Fragments collected and translated, with commentary and additional material)read when he’s not collecting, translating, or commenting on ancient Greek texts (it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it)? Find out below:

Duane says, “I’ve enjoyed reading the volume Agatha Christie and Archaelogy, edited by Charlotte Trümpler. It is an outstanding discussion of Agatha Christie’s role as an archaeologist (an assistant to her husband, Max Mallowan), and how this affected her writing of mysteries. Fascinating!”

Duane says, “I’m also working my way through the Geography of Strabo of Amaseia. Written in the first century AD, it is the earliest work we have on the geography, with many fascinating details, such as some of the first theories on how the earth was formed, the depth of the oceans, and a vast amount of ethnology.”

While Duane is probably plowing through the latter in ancient Greek, you can find an English Translation here.

What say you? Share your recommendations with us via the PUP Blog, Facebook, or Twitter!

“Boundaries of Contagion” honored with the Giovanni Sartori Book Award

Every year, the American Political Science Association’s Qualitative Methods section, through the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, grants the Giovanni Sartori Book Award to the book that exemplifies “outstanding new research within the qualitative tradition.” This year’s winner is PUP author Evan S. Lieberman’s Boundaries of Contagion: How Ethnic Politics Have Shaped Government Responses to AIDS.

According to the Consortium on Qualitative Research Methods, “This award honors Giovanni Sartori’s work on qualitative methods and concept formation, and especially his contribution to helping scholars think about problems of context as they refine concepts and apply them to new spatial and temporal settings.”

Great work, Evan!

Read chapter 1 of Boundaries of Contagion here.

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

“The Straight State” wins a Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Studies

The winners of the 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced on May 27, 2010 at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City. Among the winners was Margot Canaday, whose The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America topped the LGBT Studies category. Congratulations Margot!

The 2010 ceremony honored books published in 2009. According Lambda Literary,

The first Lambda Literary Awards were presented at a black-tie gala ceremony in 1989. Every year since then they have been awarded to the finest lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans literature available in the United States. The ‘Lammy’ is the most prestigious, competitive, and comprehensive literary award offered specifically to LGBT authors. For more than two decades the Lambda Literary Awards has brought attention to and honored exceptional writing about queer lives across multiple genres published by large and small presses.

The Straight State is also the winner of the 2010 Ellis W. Hawley Prize, awarded by the Organization of American Historians.

Find out more about the Lammys, including finalists and winners in other categories, here.

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

Who is “The Poison King”? – This Week in PUP Events

What exactly makes up the aura of grandeur that we so often associate with Ancient Rome? Is it the spectacular war sagas? The magnificent empires? The legendary heroes? The infamous villains?

Adrienne Mayor might agree with the last option, given that she is the author of  The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy.

After massacring eighty thousand Roman citizens in 88 BC, Mithradates seized Greece and modern-day Turkey. Fighting some of the most spectacular battles in ancient history, he dragged Rome into a long round of wars and threatened to invade Italy itself. His uncanny ability to elude capture and surge back after devastating losses unnerved the Romans, while his mastery of poisons allowed him to foil assassination attempts and eliminate rivals.

Sounds fascinating, right? No wonder this book was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award, Nonfiction!

On Thursday, July 22, Adrienne will be appearing at the Kansas City Public Library to discuss The Poison King.  the event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM at the Central Library, where copies of the book will be available for purchase.  Please note that you must RSVP for the event.  Click here for more details.

We hope to see you there on Thursday! Before you go, read Chapter 1 online!

Meet the half-eaten brains behind the cover of “Zombie Economics”

Without a doubt, one of our most hotly anticipated titles of this fall is  Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us.  In this new book, fittingly scheduled for a Halloween release date, Australian economist John Quiggin combines a comprehensive explanation of the “dead ideas” that must be eradicated in order to avoid another financial crisis with our fascination with the living dead, producing a magnetic page-turner.

Zombie Economics‘s lighthearted yet grave message is not only apparent in his writing – it literally spans from cover to cover.  As you can see on the right (click all images to enlarge), the synthesis of humor and severity of the content is represented perfectly by the cover design, and many of you have asked us via the Zombie Economics Facebook Page who is responsible for this incredible cover.  Well, you’re about to find out.

Here at PUP, we have a very talented production department, and our book designers are the crème de la crème – Junior Book Designer Karl Spurzem and Illustration Manager Dimitri Karetnikov worked in tandem on this project to create the awesome (and gruesome) cover you see before you.   We asked them a few questions about how this cover came to life (note: while Karl said that he would avoid  “cheesey jokes about ‘bringing it to life,’ I couldn’t help myself)

First up is Karl:

We’ve all heard the phrase “never judge a book by its cover,” but we know that that’s impossible. That being said, what first impression are we supposed to get from this design? How should we interpret it?

It’s a different kind of economics book. The author and editor saw to that from the beginning, it’s in the whole spirit of the text, so it’s only natural for the cover to broadcast that. It’s serious, a little morbid even, but fun. The worst thing this book could have is a humorless or dull cover.

Where did you find the image for the cover? What is its significance?

We commissioned the artwork from Dimitri Karetnikov, our in-house illustration specialist (most of his usual work doesn’t involve zombies). The significance is mainly an aesthetic one: once we decided to make this resemble a retro, horror comic book, we had to make every part fit visually. My part of that was roughly sketching it out, Dimitri really made it work.

How many different versions of the book jacket did you design?

I juggled two or three other ideas, but the comic design was the first one we had and easily the strongest. One rejected cover involved a bloodthirsty version of Washington’s portrait from the $1 bill.

Why did this particular design stand out from the rest?

Many reasons. It had the right tone and was a lot more exciting than the others. We hold a lot of meetings about important books and book covers, and when all the stars align or some other magical force takes hold, everyone in the meeting agrees almost immediately. Not to sound cynical, design is complex process with many people involved, but this was one of those magical agreements.

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

The idea came from Seth, the editor. He showed up with a printout of an old Tales From The Crypt comic with that dark, pulp artwork and twisted text. The challenge was translating that to an economics book, which is easier than you might think.

How does this cover encompass and express your vision, the author’s vision, and the overall aesthetic of the press?

That’s a big question. Hmmm. I guess it’s all about fitting the book correctly: what the book is and what shelf it’s going to sit on. We work in many different fields and markets, so there’s a broad range of aesthetics at play here. Sober math monographs mostly aren’t going to look like comic books. It would be a disservice to them, no matter how fun it would be to put them together. Zombie Economics is different, so it gets to look different. I’m just the guy lucky enough to work on it.


Next, we talked to Dimitri:

It seems like Zombie Economics was a really fun project to work on.  What was the illustration process like?

The overall idea for the cover from Seth and Karl seemed unusual and promising. It was fun to flesh it out… (bad pun on zombies). The most difficult part was finding just the right angle for the hand holding the money. I ended up posing with a bunch of bills in my left hand exactly the way I wanted. My daughter took a photo of my hand, which I then used for reference to draw the main image on the cover.

The cover of the book is humorous yet incredibly unsettling.  How/where did you find inspiration? Was it easy or difficult to come up with ideas?

I like dark humor. Though I was not brought up reading horror comic books, growing up in Moscow during Soviet era provided sufficient gory material (plus some comedy). I knew that humor in Zombie Economics cover would come from the overall context, but my images had to be serious and unsettling.

Were you familiar with this “retro, horror comic book” feel prior to doing the artwork?

Before I started working on the cover I perused a few Tales from the Crypt and similar publications. They looked wonderful and inspiring.

Could you briefly describe the four images on the cover?

The main image shows a zombie hand grasping a stack of bills, as though appearing from beneath the ground. In the background we see a crowd of ghouls in a dark moonscape (I photo of a wolf pack at night I saw once provided the inspiration). A strip of three thumbnail images accompanies the main image: a zombie version of a senior citizen, dripping blood and a dilapidated bank building.

Your official title is “Illustration Manager.” What exactly does this entail? What other types or genres of illustration do you do?

Occasionally I have to create images for PUP covers, but my main responsibility, as the Illustration Manager is to review, and to fix, if necessary, most of the illustrations before they appear in PUP books. I help our authors with illustrations by advising them, by hiring freelance illustrators and sometimes by redrawing/ fixing the figures myself. Since PUP publishes a very wide spectrum of books, I have to deal with completely different genres, types and styles of illustrations on daily basis. I enjoy this variety of challenges.


As you can see, creating a book cover that stands out and perfectly encapsulates the essence of the book involves both inspiration and inspirational people – Many thanks go to Karl and Dimitri both for the cover and for answering our questions!

What do you think about the cover and interviews? Visit us on Facebook to become a fan and weigh in!

Your New Reading List: Eric Rohmann’s Picks

Our recommendations today are courtesy of one of PUP’s very own! Eric Rohmann, Director of Sales, has been at PUP for over 20 years and in publishing for nearly 40.  Having spent so much time around books, Eric is bound to be a trustworthy source.  Here are his best of the best:

1.     Uncle Dynamite, P.G. Wodehouse, Overlook Press reprint 2006

Eric says, “One of four “Uncle Fred” novels by the master of English humor featuring Frederick Altamont Cornwallis, fifth Earl of Ickenham, whose mission in life is to spread a little joy into the lives of others.  This business of spreading joy invariably requires Lord Ickenham to perform at least one and usually a series of impostures as he helps solve life’s little problems and makes smooth the way for young lovers.  It also invariably proves particularly difficult for Lord Ickenham’s nephew Reginald “Pongo” Twistleton, who, at some point will, no doubt, be so horrified by what his uncle has done as to cause his “knotted and combined locks to part and each particular hair to stand on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine” as the Bard once noted.  Enjoy – or simply pick up any of Wodehouse’s dozens of other books and be swept away by the language!”

2.     Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde, 2009, Viking

Eric says, “Readers of Jasper Fforde’s bestselling series of “Thursday Next” novels, featuring the eponymous litera-tec agent (The Eyre Affaire, etc.) or his two “Nursery Crimes” books (The Big Over Easy – who killed Humpty Dumpty, and The Fourth Bear – featuring the maniacal serial killer The Gingerbread Man) will be surprised by this inaugural volume of a new trilogy set in a future world where after The Something That Happened humanity finds itself able to see only small slices of the spectrum leaving the world primarily grey.  Darker, stranger, but as intriguing as his other fantasy worlds, this world where people are totally blind in the dark and social status depends on which band of the spectrum you can see and how much of it is possibly his greatest invention to date.  I can’t wait for the sequel.”

3.     Empire of Liberty, Gordon Wood, Oxford, 2009

Eric says, “The latest volume in Oxford’s History of the United States tells the story of the early republic from the ratification of the Constitution to the War of 1812.  A masterful retelling of this fascinating period in our history when we “invented” all the institutions of our government.  I’ve been reading this for months because it’s so interesting and packed with so much information that I have to stop every few pages to think about what I’ve been reading.  The echoes of our own political squabbles abound, and the debates during that period on what the Constitution was, how the President should relate to Congress, the relationship between the central government and the states, the meaning and development of political parties seem as current today as they were at the time.  It’s a feast!”

As an additional note, Eric adds that he feels as young as a Wodehouse character and wishes he were as inventive as Jasper Fforde or as learned as Gordon Wood.  To compensate, he has been slowly building a treehouse for his grandchildren in spare moments over the past three summers.

We hope that you’re filling your spare moments with reading! If you have comments on our recommendations or want to share suggestions of your own, leave a comment on our blog, friend us on Facebook, or Tweet us.

Suffering from World Cup withdrawal? You are not alone!

Earlier this week, we posted Andrei Markovits’s reading list and said that, like us, he’s probably deeply depressed that the World Cup has ended. Well, we now have confirmation – Andrei is indeed heartbroken:

“you were SPOT ON with your assessment that I am devastated with the end of the World Cup.  I am ambling about aimlessly and helplessly and totally disoriented.”

Unfortunately, Andrei is suffering from a classic case of World Cup withdrawal.  Don’t worry though; he will be back on his feet in no time:

“THANK GOD for MLB’s ALL STAR Game, the resumption of the baseball season tonight, the Tour de France and The (British) Open Championship.”

So fear not, and take comfort in knowing that you will soon return to normal.

Try coping by reading one of Andrei’s books:

And remember, if Andrei can get through it, you can too!

Your New Reading List: Andrew Zimmerman’s picks

Andrew Zimmerman, author of Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South, recently told us that he has been reading some “especially good books” this summer, and we’re excited to share them with you! According to Andrew, you must read:

1) Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

Andrew’s take: “This is a fantastic novel about a man pursued by a purely conceptual shark that can maul him on the level of language and identity.  It is a fascinating retelling of Moby Dick via Jaws to an audience that is too familiar with those narratives to believe in real fish anymore.”

2) The Possessed by Elif Batuman

Andrew’s take: “It is an academic comedy-like memoir that does not display the contempt for scholarship that many academic comedies do. Its topic is the study of Russian literature and, among other gems, it makes brilliant connections between Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry stories and King Kong.”

3) Roger’s Version by John Updike

Andrew’s take: “The struggling theologian meets bright-eyed and bushy-tailed evangelical computer scientist device is a little too schematic, but, like most Updike, it is brilliant social realism, if from a perspective with which it is sometimes difficult to sympathize.”

Thanks for the recommendations, Andrew!

If you’ve read these books or have suggestions of your own, let us know on the PUP blog, friend us on Facebook, or Tweet us.

Make sure you come back tomorrow for more books to add to your reading list!

Your New Reading List: Stanton Braude’s picks

Today’s reading recommendations come from Stanton Braude, one of the editors of this year’s An Introduction to Methods and Models in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservative Biology. From fiction to political science, one (or all!) of his choices is bound to catch your interest. Find out why, according to Stanton, these books should top your list.

Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas.
“Thomas creates a new 19th century ‘private inquiry agent’ who is more akin to Batman than Sherlock Holmes. There is plenty of adventure and mystery without ignoring the development of very human characters. For the mystery reader this is a delightful read. I look forward to a long and successful series of Cyrus Barker mysteries.”

The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin.
“About the last 30 years of the supreme court. Toobin explains cases as clearly as Nina Totenberg, but this book follows the history of the court and transformation of the justices over the past 30 years. Toobin exposes the motivations and machinations behind the nomination process and we should all be more aware of those forces.”

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih.
“This classic of modern Arabic literature deals with colonialism, exclusion, and ambivalence about simple traditional life. But this is a delightful short novel, not a thinly veiled diatribe on European colonialism. Salih draws the reader into his frame narrative as deftly as Sharizad herself. Perhaps the underlying issues seem less threatening because we are 40 years removed from the historical setting of this novel?”

Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with Stanton’s take? Weigh in via the PUP Blog, Facebook, or Twitter!

Meet us right back here tomorrow for more reading suggestions!

“The Fifth Freedom” is an APSA favorite

Another PUP author who we must congratulate Anthony S. Chen.  He has been recognized by the American Political Science Association for his book The Fifth Freedom: Jobs, Politics, and Civil Rights in the United States, 1941-1972, which recently won the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics section’s 2010 Best Book Award.

The Fifth Freedom not only met but surpassed the highest standards for the award: “In addition to demonstrated superiority in scholarship on the studying of race, ethnicity, and politics, the nominated work should focus substantially or entirely on developments in the U.S. context.”

Great work, Anthony!

The Fifth Freedom is also the winner of the 2009 President’s Book Award of the Social Science History Association.

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

Your New Reading List: Andrei Markovits’s Picks

Now that World Cup fever is cooling off, you might find that you have some extra time on your hands since you’re no longer keeping track of your favorite team or practicing the vuvuzela. Why not use that time to catch up on a good book?

We asked our authors and staff to send us their recommendations for books that they can’t – and that you shouldn’t – live without. We’ve compiled an extraordinary list of books of different topics, genres, and time periods, and we’re bringing them straight to you! Starting today, we’ll be posting daily reading lists, and you’ll be sure to discover a new favorite in no time.

First up is Andrei S. Markovits’s reading list. As the author of Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism, Uncouth Nation: Why Europe  Dislikes America, and Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture, I’m sure he’s just as devastated that the World Cup is over as you are. However, he – and now you – can find comfort in the following books. Here are Andrei’s picks and a few words on why they should top your reading list:

1. “Nobody should go through the summer or year or life without having read
Jared Diamond’s GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL: The Fates of Human Societies.  It is FAR AND AWAY THE very best and most accomplished multi-disciplinary explanation and interpretation as to why Europe won, meaning why it was a group of illiterate Spanish thugs who captured the Inka king in the midst of his capital surrounded by his army as opposed to Inka warriors capturing Charles V in Madrid. Harnessing his immense knowledge of biology, virology, zoology, geography, history, sociology — just to name a few of the extant disciplines informing this amazing book — Diamond demonstrates how a confluence of forces and structures led to Europe’s military and economic superiority over the rest of the world. Amazing book!!!!”

2. R. Crumb, The Book of Genesis Illustrated
“I need not — actually cannot — explain what has made this master cartoonist SO compelling to me for decades. Sure I am a child of the sixties, for whom R. Crumb was more than a voice; he was a genuine icon. But to have this well-known and well-worn story of the Bible presented in such an original and unusual manner is nothing short of brilliant.”

3. Robert Wistrich, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad
“Must reading for all those who wishfully but erroneously believe that anti-Semitism has been vanquished by our present-day liberal democratic societies in the West. Even more important reading for those who view anti-Semitism as merely another manifestation of racism, xenophobia and prejudice. To be sure, it is all that — and then some. Having read many books on anti-Semitism in my life, I still found Wistrich’s tome compelling not only in its encyclopedic dimensions but also in its explanations and analyses.”

So there you have it – 3 books that you might not have known about but that you should certainly check out. And if these don’t whet your appetite for reading, check back with us tomorrow for more suggestions!