UVA Today writes “Poetry Encyclopedia Has Something for Everybody”

Sometimes the headline says it all! Anne E. Bromley wrote up this feature about the long-awaited Fourth Edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (PEPP), edited by an entirely new team of scholars under Editor in Chief Roland Greene.

The feature includes interviews with PEPP General Editor Stephen Cushman and Associate Editor Jahan Ramazani, both in the English Department at the University of Virginia.

If you’re on Facebook and are a fan of the new PEPP, make sure you check out (and “Like”) the Facebook page, where you can find this and other stories about the PEPP Fourth Edition.

Happy Birthday, Henry!

Happy Birthday to Henry David Thoreau! Born July 12, 1817, it’s been 195 years since the day of Henry’s birth. In honor of this day, here are a few of Henry’s own words on himself, courtesy of Jeffery Cramer’s The Quotable Thoreau.


I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born” – Walden, (pg. 372).

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion” – ‘Resistance to Civil Government’ in Reform Papers, (pg. 7).

I have never got over my surprise that I should have been born into the most estimable place in all the world, and in the very nick of time, too” –Written December 5, 1856, in his Journal, vol. IX (pg. 3).

I do not purpose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up”—Walden, (pg. 3).

It is my own way of living that I complain of as well as yours” –‘Huckleberries,’ (pg. 3).

I am freer than any planet” – Written March 21, 1840, in his Journal, vol. 1. (pg. 93).

It is impossible for me to be interested in what interests men generally. Their pursuits and interests seem to me frivolous. When I am most myself and see the clearest, men are least to be seen” – Written April 24, 1852, in his Journal, vol. 4 (pg. 7).

What’s your favorite Thoreau quote? Share with us!

Want to brush up on Henry’s life and craft? Read the Introduction to The Quotable Thoreau, here. Alternatively, check out a Henry David Thoreau Princeton Short – ‘On Reading: From Walden.’ 


FACT: “Nearly a century after the first English settlement at Jamestown, and eighty years after the ‘pilgrims’ landed at Plymouth, there were still only two colleges in the American colonies, Harvard (founded in 1636) in the north, and William and Mary (1693) in the upper south.”

College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be
by Andrew Delbanco, Winner of the 2011 National Humanities Medal

As the commercialization of American higher education accelerates, more and more students are coming to college with the narrow aim of obtaining a preprofessional credential. The traditional four-year college experience—an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers—is in danger of becoming a thing of the past.

In College, prominent cultural critic Andrew Delbanco offers a trenchant defense of such an education, and warns that it is becoming a privilege reserved for the relatively rich. In arguing for what a true college education should be, he demonstrates why making it available to as many young people as possible remains central to America’s democratic promise.

In a brisk and vivid historical narrative, Delbanco explains how the idea of college arose in the colonial period from the Puritan idea of the gathered church, how it struggled to survive in the nineteenth century in the shadow of the new research universities, and how, in the twentieth century, it slowly opened its doors to women, minorities, and students from low-income families. He describes the unique strengths of America’s colleges in our era of globalization and, while recognizing the growing centrality of science, technology, and vocational subjects in the curriculum, he mounts a vigorous defense of a broadly humanistic education for all. Acknowledging the serious financial, intellectual, and ethical challenges that all colleges face today, Delbanco considers what is at stake in the urgent effort to protect these venerable institutions for future generations.

“Those who love traditional colleges and universities, but also recognize the imperative of reducing inequalities in income and opportunity, confront a profound moral and intellectual challenge. Andrew Delbanco, one of our most humane and rigorous scholars, has turned his energies to this conundrum in his elegant and eloquent book. He writes that ‘it is an offense against democracy to presume that education should be reserved for the wellborn and the well-off.’ That is where all of our debates must start.”—E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Our Divided Political Heart

We invite you to read the Introduction here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i9651.pdf

New Literature Catalog

We invite you to check out our new 2012 literature catalog at: http://press.princeton.edu/catalogs/lit12.pdf

You will find new books such as The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Michelangelo, Enigmas of Identity, Whatever Gets You through the Night, and more. New paperbacks are also available—great titles such as Allegory, Lincoln on Race and Slavery, and Not for Profit.

The MLA meeting is going on now in Seattle. We’re there at booth no. 408. Stop by to say hello and browse new books.

A Special Holiday Giveaway

‘Tis the season for giving—and we’re feeling very generous today! We’re hosting 2 book giveaways next week, one on our main PUP Facebook page, and the other on our Princeton Birds and Natural History Facebook page. 1 winner from each page will be selected Thursday, December 22 at noon. All you have to do is “like” our Facebook pages and you’ll be entered to win! Here are the details:

On our main PUP Facebook page, the winner will get to choose a prize from 3 of our bestsellers: On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt, Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays by Joel Waldfogel, and Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk among Us by John Quiggin. The choice is yours! Just be sure to “like” us by next Thursday at noon!

Over on our Princeton Birds and Natural History Facebook page, we’re giving away a copy of The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds by Richard Crossley. This stunningly illustrated book from acclaimed birder and photographer Richard Crossley revolutionizes field guide design by providing the first real-life approach to identification. “Like” this page by Thursday at noon if you haven’t already to win!

Good luck, and Happy Holidays from Princeton University Press!


FACT: “In World War II (1939–45) more men (and women) were mobilized than in the Great War. The United States mustered 14.9 million men and women; the British Empire raised 6.2 million; the USSR 25 million; Germany 12.5 million; Japan 7.5 million. Many women entered the armed forces to fill noncombat positions. The U.S. Army Air Force had hundreds of women pilots, some of whom had such hazardous duty as flying aircraft from the United States to the war zones.”

On War and Leadership: The Words of Combat Commanders from Frederick the Great to Norman Schwarzkopf
by Owen Connelly

What can we learn about leadership and the experience of war from the best combat leaders the world has ever known? This book takes us behind the scenes and to the front lines of the major wars of the past 250 years through the words of twenty combat commanders. What they have to say—which is remarkably similar across generational, national, and ideological divides—is a fascinating take on military history by those who lived it. It is also worthwhile reading for anyone, from any walk of life, who makes executive decisions.

The leaders showcased here range from Frederick the Great to Norman Schwarzkopf. They include such diverse figures as Napoleon Bonaparte, commanders on both sides of the Civil War (William Tecumseh Sherman and Stonewall Jackson), German and American World War II generals (Rommel and Patton), a veteran of the Arab-Israeli wars (Moshe Dayan), and leaders from both sides of the Vietnam War (Vo Nguyen Giap and Harold Moore). What they have had in common is an unrivaled understanding of the art of command and a willingness to lead from the front. All earned the respect and loyalty of those they led—and moved them to risk death.

The practices of these commanders apply to any leadership situation, whether military, business, political, athletic, or other. Their words reveal techniques for anticipating the competition, leading through example, taking care of the “troops,” staying informed, turning bad luck to advantage, improvising, and making bold decisions.

Leader after leader emphasizes the importance of up-front “muddy boots” leadership and reveals what it takes to persevere and win. Identifying a pattern of proven leadership, this book will benefit anyone who aspires to lead a country, a squadron, a company, or a basketball team. It is a unique distillation of two and a half centuries of military wisdom.

“A superb and thought-provoking primer from masters of the art of command on the timeless elements of leadership that can be followed to help overcome any adversity.”—Military Heritage

“This book has a rich compilation of leadership traits, characteristics, and principles that some of the great battle captains of the past have adhered to. It provides an exceptional reference for comparison for officers toady.”—Major General Harry W. Jenkins, Marine Corps Gazette

We invite you to read Chapter 1 here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i7337.pdf

To all the veterans, we thank you!

Create Dangerously is the One Book, One Philadelphia selection

Edwidge Danticat’s collection of essays, Create Dangerously, originally published in cloth by PUP and now in paperback by Vintage, has been selected for the One Book, One Philadelphia reading program. What this means is that the Free Library of Philadelphia is encouraging all Philadelphians (Is that what they are called?) to read the book and will sponsor a series of events — readings, lectures, film screenings — to foster a dialogue around the issues in the book.

Create Dangerously is a beautiful, moving book that presents Edwidge’s thoughts on what it means to be a writer; what it means to be an immigrant writer; and what it means to be an immigrant writer, writing outside of your homeland. I love the title of this article announcing the selection: “Creating dangerously, reading collectively”, as it really captures one of the themes in the book: an author may write at their own peril in order to bring important ideas about human rights to a global audience.

While I know many will pick up the paperback for economic reasons, I hope some people will opt to purchase the hardback edition. It is such an elegant and provocative package — with a printed case and a little slip of a dust jacket that is hand-printed — that it would be a lovely addition to anyone’s personal library (especially since it can be found on some online retailers for a mere $3-$4 more than the paperback!).

Edwidge Danticat writes about Port-au-Prince for The Daily Beast/Newsweek

Edwidge Danticat, author of Create Dangerously, returns to Haiti and finds resilience and regeneration: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/08/07/edwidge-danticat-reflects-on-port-au-prince.html

Built for 200,000 people yet home to more than 2 million, Port-au-Prince is a city that constantly reminds you of the obvious, as though you were a 6-year-old. No, not everything is broken. And no, not all the people are dead. It is a city that everything—political upheaval, fires, hurricanes, the earthquake—has conspired to destroy, yet still it carries on. The still-leaning houses and the rubble that has begun to grow weeds, the tent camps that have become micro-cities of their own, all bear their own testimony to a city that should have ground to a halt long ago, yet continues to persevere.

Create Dangerously will soon be published in paperback, but the cloth edition with its exclusive cover design and half jacket is still available everywhere. One of my favorite features of this book is that the half jacket can be shifted up and down along the spine, revealing different portions of the artwork beneath. It subtly changes the cover each time I pick it up. Check it out for yourself!

Colin Dayan on ‘pariah dogs’

This is some heavy reading – especially if you love dogs – but Colin Dayan, author of this season’s The Law is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons isn’t afraid to explore the often unpleasant treatment of  canines in literature and society.  Check out her latest piece in the July/August issue of The Boston Review for a preview of what you’ll find in her engrossing and disturbing book.

Walt Whitman Reading Room

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

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

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

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

This Week’s Book Giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edwidge Danticat on Creating Dangerously

In recent weeks, we’ve had tremendous good news. Not only has Create Dangerously won OCM Bocas Prize for Nonfiction, but author Edwidge Danticat was announced as the winner of the Harold Washington Literary Award joining earlier winners like Barbara Ehrenreich (2010), Walter Mosley (2007), Grace Paley (2002), Isabel Allende (1996), and Ralph Ellison (1992). This is an amazing honor and we extend our congratulations to Edwidge!