Three Prizes for “No Man’s Land” by Cindy Hahamovitch

Congratulations to PUP author Cindy Hahamovitch, author of No Man’s Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor.

This past weekend, Hahamovitch collected three rewards for No Man’s Land: the Philip Taft Labor History Book Award, the Organization of American Historians‘ Merle Curti Award (for the year’s best book in American social and/or American intellectual history), and the  Organization of American Historians’ James A. Rawley Prize in American History (for the year’s best book addressing the history of race relations in the United States).

According to the Curti Award Committee:

While we have considerable scholarship about migrant farmworkers in the U.S. West, Hahamovitch is the first to study those in the eastern states. No Man’s Land addresses the history of a massive global phenomenon — corporate employers relying on guestworkers who, because they are not citizens, are unable to defend themselves against exploitation and abuse of their rights as workers. No Man’s Land is a deeply comparative study, resting on extensive knowledge of and research in Jamaica and on more than 25 interviews with former guestworkers. It analyzes agents in the system—notably federal and state governments, in both their actions and their inaction, and also the growers, the Jamaican government, and the workers themselves, not only farmworkers but also the female maids and waitresses brought in after 1986.

Read more here!

“On Compromise and Rotten Compromises” wins the Hannover Institute’s 2012 Philosophical Book Award

Avishai Margalit’s book On Compromise and Rotten Compromises has been awarded the 2012 Philosophical Book Award  from the Hannover Institute of Philosophical Research. This prize is awarded for “the best new book of the last three years referring to a controversial problem in practical philosophy.  The Philosophical Book Award is designed to shed some light on urgent philosophical questions and to improve efforts to answer them.”

On Compromise and Rotten Compromises deals with the topic of political compromise, in particular “rotten compromises” made in the name of peace. A great read in the run-up to election season!

Peter J. Dougherty profiled in Princeton Magazine

Peter J. Dougherty, the Director of Princeton University Press, has been profiled in Princeton Magazine. The interviewer, Ellen Gilbert, quizzes Peter about the role of university presses, his experiences at Princeton University Press, and the future of books.

Peter, who began working at the Press as a senior economics editor in 1992 and was appointed Director in 2005, names Robert J. Shiller as a particularly influential PUP author:

There are many authors whom I’m particularly proud to have published, perhaps the most prominent of them being Yale economist Robert Shiller. In 2000, we published Shiller’s Irrational Exuberance, the book widely credited for having predicted the bursting of the stock market bubble. This spring we will be publishing Bob’s new book, Finance and the Good Society, in which he lays out the terms of a healthy and constructive relationship between Wall Street and a thriving market democracy. 

Read the rest of the Princeton Magazine interview here for other fascinating tidbits about the relationship between the Press and the University and whether we give Princeton faculty preferential treatment when it comes to publication, whether Peter owns an e-Reader and how he uses it, and the robustness of our e-publishing program.

Q&A with Maria Lindenfeldar, designer of the award-winning cover for “The First Pop Age”

This year, Princeton University Press won two awards in the AAUP Book, Jacket and Journal Show. One of the award-winning covers belonged to The First Pop Age: Painting and Subjectivity in the Art of Hamilton, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Richter, and Ruscha by Hal Foster. Maria Lindenfeldar, an Art Director here at the press and designer of the cover, answered some questions about the design process.

Maria learned book design “on the job” — she majored in Government and has a graduate degree in Architectural History. Her only formal graphic design training was one semester in the post-baccalaureate program at Moore College of Art and Design. Her experiences have taught her that you can turn a hobby into a career if you work hard enough and find someone willing to take a chance on you.

Stay tuned for another Q&A post with Jason Alejandro, the designer of the second winning cover: Whatever Gets You Through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments by Andrei Codrescu.

Q: What is the most important thing that you personally keep in mind when coming up with a cover?

A: I love this question and really appreciate your asking it.

When coming up with a cover, I always try to have the image and/or type make sense. On a very basic level, this can mean choosing a typeface for a history book from the period discussed in its pages. Stepping back a bit further, a collection of Victorian letters can be enhanced by decorative ornaments that suggest their author’s milieu. On an even more conceptual level, “making sense” can involve searching for a symbolic or metaphorical image: intertwined green and red/white/blue rings for a book about the United States diplomacy in the Muslim world; a forest of frozen trees for an account of people deserted in Siberia; a child’s outstretched hand for a book about Europe’s rise from poverty. There is a 19th-century concept of “propriety” (often invoked by architects from that era) that I always keep in mind when designing. It makes me feel very connected to the Press’s history. Very nerdy, I know, but something that is constantly with me. When I think about the Press’s building, modeled after a printing museum in Belgium, I know that the same spirit was at work.

After meeting that most fundamental criterion, I turn to style. I try to make each jacket look current as well as timeless. This is harder than it seems—I want the jacket to reflect my own taste, what is fashionable, and what is appropriate for the material. My own preferences toggle between the decorative and the minimal (and sometimes combine the two), and I prefer a constrained dignity to a “push the limits” aesthetic. Having said that, I admire (and sometimes attempt) more aggressive design, particularly if it suits the project.

Finally, I work with the details until the whole design clicks into place, and I know it is finished. It’s the most magical moment, something that any creative person experiences and that keeps him/her coming back for more.

Q: How much input do authors have into the process?

A: This varies from author to author. In the case of The First Pop Age, Hal Foster had the idea of using Richard Hamilton’s image of Mick Jagger and Hamilton’s art dealer, Robert Fraser. We had some lengthy discussions with marketing and the art editor about this. The audience for books about Pop Art might have expected a Lichtenstein or a Warhol on the cover, and we didn’t want to miss appealing to them. In the end, we did several jackets, most more predictable than this one. Fortunately, the author’s convictions helped us to be a bit risky, and we went forward with this jacket. It meets all of the criteria outlined above, and I am very happy with the results. We even got a compliment from Hamilton himself. He said, “there is a real sparkle in the embossed silver handcuffs. it’s wonderful what they can do with covers these days. it reminds me of the cover for the 1960 green box book your cover should make a good impression on the shelves and that’s where books sell. people might think they are buying a lost raymond chandler. it’s a winner, go for it man.” In this case, I had the amazing opportunity to work with a top-rate art historian and a world-class artist. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Q: What do you like the best about the two prizewinning covers?

A: I like how I integrated a clunky sans-serif typeface filled with rainbows and an iconic 1960s image for the cover of The First Pop Age. It felt vaguely irreverent and maybe a bit too “Mork ad Mindy,” but it worked. Also, I like how the back board and flaps are glossy while the image itself it matte. It’s subtle, but it makes the book feel good when it is held. The unusual trim size (a squat rectangle) and thick spine add to that positive experience.

Q: How do you integrate the cover design with the interior? What details in these particular projects achieve the goal of designing a total package?

A: I usually integrate interior and jacket by employing a repeating motif. In this case, the idea of filling bold type with pattern/color became the unifying device. I repeated the rainbow theme used for the title in the interior ornamented space break—several bullets moved from red through violet. Also, I used very large chapter numbers filled with recognizable textures for each artist discussed in the book. Similar textures were used in the numbers in the table of contents. The same typeface was used for display throughout, and the extra wide jacket flaps featured a rainbow band. I think of it as variations on a theme.

Materials can help with this as well. Rather than choose a safe endsheet color, I picked a sort of odd turquoise that could have been a blend of Jagger’s suit and tie. Headbands and cloth create the same uneasy tension. I wanted the reader to think: Is this attractive or not? Successful or not? I was trying to make it feel familiar but a bit off—something that the Pop artists seemed to be after as well.

Robert Frank to deliver McNutt Lecture at IU on March 6th, 2012

Robert Frank, the author of PUP smash hit The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good, will be delivering the 2012 Paul V. McNutt Lecture at Indiana University. This annual lecture honors Paul V. McNutt, who was dean of the IU law school, governor of Indiana,  U.S. high commissioner to the Philippines, director of the Federal Security Agency and chairman of the War Manpower Commission during World War II. Previous McNutt lectures have been delivered by Bruce J. Schulman, and Andrew J. Bacevich.

A brief summary of Frank’s book can be found in the IU press release:

In “The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good,” published in 2011 by Princeton University Press, Frank argues that Darwin’s insights about evolution help explain the workings of modern economies and why the market doesn’t always provide efficiency and serve the public good.

His case rests on Darwin’s insight that individual and group interests often diverge. For example, bull elk evolved massive antlers as effective weaponry in the competition for access to females; but the resulting antlers, which are 4 feet across and weigh 40 pounds, made the species vulnerable to predators in wooded areas. In the modern marketplace, similarly, a parent might accept a riskier job at higher pay to buy a house in a better school district. But because school quality is a relative concept, when other parents make the same choice, they succeed only in bidding up house prices.

What: 2012 Paul V. McNutt Lecture at Indiana University
Who: Robert Frank, economist at Cornell University
Topic: “The Darwin Economy”
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Where: University Club Presidents’ Room, Indiana Memorial Union

Click here for more information about the event.

Mammals Monday

Happy Monday! This week’s mammal from our Mammals of North America App is the adorable Appalachian Cottontail. These bunnies are a rare species found in the northeastern U.S.A.

Wild rabbits are common in many parts of the U.S., and plenty of people have decided to keep rabbits as pets. To start your week with some cheer, check out this unmissable video of a pet bunny who just can’t stay awake!


Previous Mammals Monday posts:

the wolverine

the American badger

the harp seal

the black bear

the chipmunk

the blue whale

the reindeer


PUP books take home 14 prizes from the 2011 PROSE Awards!

Princeton University Press rocked the house at the 2011 PROSE Awards in Washington D.C., taking home a staggering 14 prizes!

“The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in over 40 categories. Judged by peer publishers, librarians, and medical professionals since 1976, the PROSE Awards are extraordinary for their breadth and depth.”

The press took home two Awards of Excellence, five Category Award Winners, and seven Honorable Mentions! Congratulations to our fantastic authors. A full list of who won what is available after the jump!


Awards of Excellence:
Patricia S. Churchland, Braintrust: what Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality
Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award for Excellence in Biological & Life Sciences

Richard Crossley, The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds
Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award for Excellence in Reference Works


Category Award Winners
Patricia S. Churchland, Braintrust: what Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality
Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award, Biomedicine & Neuroscience

Lawrence P. Jackson, The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960
Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award, Literature

Peter Goodfellow, Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer, and Build
Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award, Popular Science & Popular Mathematics

Richard Crossley, The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds
Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award, Single Volume Reference/Science

Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron & Meera Balarajan, Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future
Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award, Sociology & Social Work


Honorable Mention Winners
David A. Weintraub, How Old Is the Universe?
2011 PROSE Award, Honorable Mention, Cosmology & Astronomy

Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters
2011 PROSE Award, Honorable Mention, Economics

Robert H. Frank, The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good
2011 PROSE Award, Honorable Mention, Economics

Daniel W. Drezner, Theories of International Politics and Zombies
2011 PROSE Award, Honorable Mention, Government & Politics

Steven Nadler, A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age
2011 PROSE Award, Honorable Mention, Philosophy

Robert Wuthnow, Remaking the Heartland: Middle America since the 1950s
2011 PROSE Award, Honorable Mention, Sociology & Social Work

Leora Batnitzky, How Judaism Became a Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought
2011 PROSE Award, Honorable Mention, Theology & Religious Studies

Timur Kuran: Upcoming events in Princeton and NYC!

Timur Kuran, author of The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East, has two events coming up later this month in Princeton and NYC. Kuran, a professor of economics and political science at Duke University, published The Long Divergence in 2010.  Read an extract from the book’s first chapter here!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

4:30 p.m in Jones 100 (campus map)

Free and open to the public

The Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia presents Timur Kuran:

“Structural Inefficiencies of Islamic Courts: Ottoman Justice and Its Implications for Modern Economic Life”

More information about the event here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012: The American Turkish Society, New York, NY
6:30 – 8:00 PM
305 East 47th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Free for members, $25 for non-members

Register for the event here, or read the full announcement!

“Beyond Mechanical Markets” is a finalist for the 2011 TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award

Roman Frydman and Michael D. Goldberg’s bookBeyond Mechanical Markets: Asset Price Swings, Risk, and the Role of the State is a finalist for the 2011 TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award. This award is named after Nobel Prize winner Paul A. Samuelson in honor of his achievements in the field of economics, as well as for his service as a CREF trustee from 1974-1985. The Samuelson Award is given annually in recognition of an outstanding research publication containing ideas that the public and private sectors can use to maintain and improve America’s lifelong financial well being.

The book was also a  Financial Times ( non-fiction favourite of 2011, and was reviewed by the FT’s John Authers:

“The debate over how to re-regulate [markets and banks] to avoid another financial crisis is urgent and it cannot conclude without resolving the problem that economics’ most basic assumption is flawed. [Beyond Mechanical Markets is one] of the most interesting contributions [to] find a new way to model markets.”

Mammals Monday

In the spotlight this week is the wolverine — no, not the kind Hugh Jackman plays in X-Men. The X-Men character was named for traits often found in wolverines such as aggressive behavior and the ability to successfully attack animals many times their own size. Wolverines are solitary animals that live in isolated Northern areas. For more information, download the new Mammals of North America App!

Check out a video of a wolverine staring down a bear, shot in Sweden:

Previous Mammals Monday posts:

the American badger

the harp seal

the black bear

the chipmunk

the blue whale

the reindeer



“The Indignant Generation” wins the 2012 BCALA Literary Award

Congratulations to Lawrence P. Jackson, whose book The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960 has won the 2012 BCALA Literary Award in the Nonfiction Category. This award recognizes excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African American authors published in 2011. According to the BCALA press release:

“The Indignant Generation is a fascinating exploration of the development of African American literature after the Harlem Renaissance to the modern day Civil Rights Movement. Lawrence P. Jackson offers readers rare insights into the lives of key players who contributed to the breadth of writing that flourished between 1934 and 1960. From Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes to James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry, Jackson highlights the unique challenges faced by the writers during the time of the Great Depression, Jim Crow, World War II and the Cold War. Dozens of illustrations and photographs enhance this stunning work that celebrates African American artistic and intellectual achievement in writing. Professor Jackson teaches English and African American Studies at Emory University.”


In Memoriam: Wisława Szymborska, 1923-2012

Wisława Szymborska, the noted poet and essayist, passed away this week at the age of 88. Szymborska published over 400 poems in her lifetime, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. The Nobel committee noted that she had been called ”the Mozart of poetry,” remarking that the title was “not without justice in view of her wealth of inspiration and the veritable ease with which her words seem to fall into place.”

In 1981, PUP published Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems by Wislawa Szymborska with translators Magnus Krynski and Robert Maguire. Of her poetry, Krynski and Maguire said:

“Her verse is marked by high seriousness, delightful inventiveness, a prodigal imagination, and enormous technical skill. She writes of the diversity, plenitude, and richness of the world, taking delight in observing and naming its phenomena. She looks on with wonder, astonishment, and amusement, but almost never with despair.”

Read on for “Memory at Last,” a wonderful  Szymborska poem about remembrance and loss. 







Memory at last has what it sought.

My mother has been found, my father glimpsed.

I dreamed up for them a table, two chairs. They sat down.

Once more they seemed close, and once more living for me.

With the lamps of their two faces, at twilight,

they suddenly gleamed as if for Rembrandt.


Only now can I relate

the many dreams in which they’ve wandered, the many throngs

in which I’ve pulled them out from under wheels,

the many death-throes where they have collapsed into my arms.

Cut off – they would grow back crooked.

Absurdity forced them into masquerade.

Small matter that this could not hurt them outside me

if it hurt them inside me.

The gawking rabble of my dreams heard me calling “mamma”

to something that hopped squealing on a branch.

And they laughed because I had a father with a ribbon in his hair.

I would wake up in shame.


Well, at long last.

On a certain ordinary night,

between a humdrum Friday and Saturday,

they suddenly appeared exactly as I wished them.

Seen in a dream, they yet seemed freed from dreams,

obedient only to themselves and nothing else.

All possibilities vanished from the background of the image,

accidents lacked a finished form.

Only they shone with beauty, for they were like themselves.

They appeared to me a long, long time, and happily.


I woke up. I opened my eyes.

I touched the world as if it were a carved frame.




–Wisława Szymborska