Congratulations to The New York Review of Books on Their 50th Anniversary

Last night, the New York Review of Books celebrated its 50th anniversary with a glittering celebration at The Frick Collection. At the end of the night, party-goers received a wonderful parting gift–a copy of the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine and a facsimile of the very first issue. It was delightful to thumb through Issue #1 with articles by W.H. Auden, Nathan Glazer, Elizabeth Hardwick, Irving Howe, Normal Mailer, Adrienne Rich, Susan Sontag, and Gore Vidal, to mention just a few of the illustrious contributors.

Also wonderful to see was this full page ad for Princeton University Press books in the first issue. We have been fans of the New York Review of Books since day 1 and send our warmest congratulations to Mr. Bob Silvers and his colleagues on reaching this tremendous milestone. Thank you for inviting us all to celebrate with you.

For a superlative take on the New York Review of Books’ first 50 years, please read this article by Gerry Howard.



Princeton University Press’s best-selling books for the past week

These are the best-selling books for the past week.


k8967 Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian by A. Douglas Stone
k10054 The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton
k9687 The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman
McCallSmith_Auden What W. H. Auden Can Do for You by Alexander McCall Smith
Helmreich_NewYork The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City by William B. Helmreich
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson
Mass Flourishing Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change by Edmund Phelps
Stephenson_WarblerG The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle
k8967 On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt
How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method by G. Polya

Behind the Design: Inspiration behind the “Will You Be Alive Ten Years from Now?” front cover

Will You Be Alive Ten Years from Now? by Paul J. NahinOur very own Illustration Manager, Dimitri Karetnikov, paints a picture of the thoughts behind Paul J. Nahin’s Will You Be Alive Ten Years from Now?:

Q1: What inspired the “look” of this book cover?

“The Will You Be Alive Ten Years from Now? cover painting is a blend of two ideas. One of the ideas suggested by the author was his own portrait with a crystal ball. Knowing that Paul Nahin has a sense of humor, I decided to paint him as an automaton, like the one from the movie “Big”. So, it is an automaton bearing some of Nahin’s features. Carmina [senior designer at Princeton University Press] and I have collaborated on several Nahin’s covers, each time it is a unique challenge and and a lot of fun.

Q2: What type of editing techniques were used to put the finishing touches on this book cover?

“The image was painted by hand, then revised/retouched in Photoshop quite a bit. The title layout is inspired by the automaton booths you can still see in little shore shops.”

Q3: Is there any metaphor associated with this book cover?

“Carmina made the image continue on the spine and on the back, turning the book into a something like a fortune telling booth.”

Will You Be Alive Ten Years from Now?
And Numerous Other Curious Questions in Probability

Paul J. Nahin

What are the chances of a game-show contestant finding a chicken in a box? Is the Hanukkah dreidel a fair game? Will you be alive ten years from now? These are just some of the one-of-a-kind probability puzzles that acclaimed popular math writer Paul Nahin offers in this lively and informative book.

Nahin brings probability to life with colorful and amusing historical anecdotes as well as an electrifying approach to solving puzzles that illustrates many of the techniques that mathematicians and scientists use to grapple with probability. He looks at classic puzzles from the past–from Galileo’s dice-tossing problem to a disarming dice puzzle that would have astonished even Newton–and also includes a dozen challenge problems for you to tackle yourself, with complete solutions provided in the back of the book.

Nahin then presents twenty-five unusual probability puzzlers that you aren’t likely to find anywhere else, and which range in difficulty from ones that are easy but clever to others that are technically intricate. Each problem is accompanied by an entertaining discussion of its background and solution, and is backed up by theory and computer simulations whenever possible in order to show how theory and computer experimentation can often work together on probability questions. All the MATLAB® Monte Carlo simulation codes needed to solve the problems computationally are included in the book. With his characteristic wit, audacity, and insight, Nahin demonstrates why seemingly simple probability problems can stump even the experts.

Paul J. Nahin is professor emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire. He is the best-selling author of many popular-math books, including Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers, The Logician and the Engineer, Number-Crunching, Mrs. Perkins’s Electric Quilt, and An Imaginary Tale (all Princeton).

Find Us at BookExpo – Booth 1751

F13CvsThe exhibit doors open today in New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Center for BookExpo America – the book industry’s main event in North America. You will find Princeton University Press exhibiting books at booth #1751. Stop by to say hello, make new friends and find something good to read. Be sure to pick up our new Fall 2013 Seasonal Catalog, or download it directly to your device at Learn more about new books from our authors including; Angus Deaton, David Runciman, Robert Bartlett, Edmund Phelps, Alexander McCall Smith, Merry White, Alan Jacobs, and Martin Gardner – just to name a few. The catalog is full of great books by great authors and we hope to see you there!

Good news for book lovers, the doors open to the public on Saturday, June 1st. Get your ticket from BookExpo.

PUP Best Sellers for the Past Week

This list takes into account print and e-editions of Princeton University Press books.


j9925[1] The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order by Benn Steil
j9929[1] The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It by Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig
crossley The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors by Richard Crossley, Jerry Liguori, & Brian Sullivan
j8973[1] This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson
The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible by Lance Fortnow
The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard P. Feynman
Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell by A. Zee

Princeton University Press Director Peter Dougherty Speaks at the Lunch and Salon Hosted by the Association of American University Presses at the Princeton Club of New York

November 29, 2012: Peter Dougherty and several other press directors discuss the accomplishments of University Presses and the future direction of books at the salon gathering entitled “What’s Next for Publishing? Rethinking the University Press.” Dougherty answwered questions from a group of journalists spectating at the event:

Several comments picked up on ideas from Dougherty’s July 23 article for the Chronicle of Higher Education, entitled “The Global University Press.” As he wrote: “University presses can become an even larger and more influential force in the global theater of ideas by capitalizing on two converging trends: the growth of global scholarship and the expansion of digital communications networks.” Though university presses reach a smaller audience of readers, in difficult economic times and rapid technological change, they remain committed to their authors and, as Jordan said, will pursue the “new digital reader” and “champion the spirit of innovation.”

Click here to read the rest of the article on the official Publishers Weekly website: Panel Debates The Future of University Presses

Peter J. Dougherty was appointed Director of Princeton University Press at the March 2005 meeting of the Press’ board of trustees. “We sought an individual of broad editorial vision and were fortunate that the field of candidates was rich in such talents. Happily, however, we found Walter Lippincott’s successor right here at Princeton,” said W. Drake McFeely, chair of the Press’ board.

“Peter Dougherty has been instrumental in the Press’ success over the past 13 years,” he continued. “More than that, his 33 years of experience in publishing affords him a clear vision of how to build on Walter’s great achievements. I am delighted that he has agreed to lead the Press into its second century.”

McFeely, president and chair of W.W. Norton in New York, co-chaired the search committee with Princeton University Provost Christopher Eisgruber, who added, “Peter Dougherty will be a great leader for the Princeton University Press. He has distinguished himself as a brilliant editor of books about economics, and his list of authors and titles in that field is the envy of every other university press.

Read more about Princeton University Press Director, Peter Dougherty: Official Princeton University Press Website

Princeton University Press titles now available via Books at JSTOR

A New Chapter Begins: Books at JSTOR Launches
More than 15,000 books join the journals on JSTOR

JSTOR is pleased to announce the launch of its new books program, Books at JSTOR, which brings scholarly monographs from leading university presses and other academic publishers to the JSTOR platform. Books are deeply integrated with the 1,600 current and archival journals on JSTOR. All content is cross-searchable, and books are linked with millions of book reviews and from hundreds of thousands of book citations within the journal literature.Books at JSTOR is the result of extensive consultations with librarians, publishers, and users to develop an offering that meets and balances the needs of the scholarly community. We plan to continue the dialogue with all of our stakeholders as we learn together from our experience and usage data, add new books and publishers to the program, and refine the functionality on the platform.Books at JSTOR features:

  • A growing list of titles in core scholarly disciplines. Books from participating presses are already highly-cited within the corpus of journals on JSTOR. More than 15,000 front and backlist titles are currently offered through the program, and new titles are added every month.
  • Flexible purchase options. All books are available in a single-user model, and thousands in a multi-user model. Books are available for purchase as individual titles, disciplinary packages, and customizable collections. Volume discounts are offered. A demand-driven acquisition option is also available.
  • Preservation assured. Books are preserved in Portico (, ITHAKA’s digital preservation service.
  • Seamless integration. JSTOR currently has millions of book reviews and hundreds of thousands of book citations on the platform. Books, journal articles, and reviews are cross-searchable and linked in ways that make online research faster, easier, and more effective.


Participating Presses include:

Boydell and Brewer
Brookings Institution
Catholic University of America Press
Central European University Press
Columbia University Press
Cornell University Press
Edinburgh University Press
Harvard University Press
Hong Kong University Press
McGill-Queen’s University Press
Modern Humanities Research Association
Ohio University Press
Penn State University Press
Princeton University Press
RAND Publications
Russell Sage Foundation
Society of Biblical Literature
University of California Press
The University of Illinois Press
The University of Minnesota Press
The University of North Carolina Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
The University of Texas Press
University of Toronto Press
University Press of Mississippi
Yale University Press


Experience books on JSTOR
Books have been incorporated into the existing functionality on JSTOR, and tabs on the search results page allow for easy filtering by content type. Learn more about books on JSTOR by viewing a tutorial.The latest title list is now available. Libraries can also request trial access to books by contacting us.

In Honor of University Press Week (#UPWeek) Princeton University Press Authors Share the Importance of University Presses


“University presses have been essential not only for advancing the critical study of American literature but, perhaps more important, for making (and keeping) available reliable texts of American writers whose works don’t have the immediate commercial potential that would attract the interest of most trade publishers. The Library of America, on whose board I sit, depends on the scrupulous editorial work of university presses (other examples would be the Ohio State edition of the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne) for bringing the best texts to a broader public. My own experience with university presses–Harvard, University of Missouri (for which I co-edited one volume of Emerson’s sermons), and, most recently, Princeton–is that editorial support is first-rate, and attention to the manuscript meticulous,  And, of course, it is a gift to any author to know that his or her work is likely to remain in print long after the first phase of public attention has passed. In short, university presses are invaluable–among many other reasons– for their role in preserving our national literary culture.”

~ Andrew Delbanco, Author of  College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be


“For me, the value of university presses is immense. Among their many important contributions is their support of the so-called ‘long tail’ of the publishing industry — books that do not necessarily attract a wide audience, but nevertheless have importance for our culture or society. But university presses are also able to meld popularity with intellectual rigor. One example is Princeton’s recent  reprinting of Andrew Hodges’ extraordinary biography of Alan Turing.  It’s great that this book, described in a New Yorker review as ‘one of the finest scientific biographies ever written is available to the public in a special new edition for Turing’s centenary year.”

~ John MacCormick, Author of 9 Algorithms That Changed the Future



University presses allow us to disseminate ideas in long form and in a way that enables more people both within my field and in the social sciences more generally to learn about new research through an interdisciplinary channel.  Articles are often published in journals that are very narrow and specific, and thus can be overlooked by scholars in other fields or areas of concentration. University press books are much more accessible to a wider academic audience while maintaining academic rigor and excellence. In my world, if one is to publish books at all, a university press is essential to tenure.  Additionally, university presses are very focused on upholding the integrity of the research and reference to the scholarly context in which my work emerged from. Many editors at university presses are very up to date on the research in the field and are actively engaged in the ideas and research all along the way from inception of the idea to the page proofs.  My experience with Princeton University Press was wonderful and fun from beginning to end. I could not recommend a publishing house more.”

~ Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, Author of The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art, andMusic DriveNew York City(New Edition)


“University presses have special importance in the field of economics, and I suspect others, for two primary reasons. First, unlike journals, which are typically more stringently constrained by space, academic presses give scholars  the ‘leg room’ they require to elaborate their ideas, allowing them the opportunity to develop and share the bigger picture surrounding their scholarship. Second, unlike journals, which typically reserve space for narrower contributions the details of which have been fully worked out, university presses permit scholars to explore potentially important and ‘expansive,’ albeit at the time of writing, still largely speculative ideas–the kind of ideas that provide fertile soil for future contributions to knowledge.”

~ Pete T. Leeson, Author of The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates


“The university press serves as a signal to everyone in my field that the work has been peer reviewed to a rigorous standard and deemed valuable by experts in the field. It’s the highest endorsement for a book in Political Science. The university presses are willing to go the extra mile to publish the necessary graphics and tables that enrich my arguments and provide the real value in my books. The high quality of everything they do, from the feel of the paper down to the simplicity of the graphic design signals readers that what is inside is important.

The university presses are serving the scientific and artistic communities in a way that a commercial press could not do–it’s sort of the difference between the big-budget studio film and the quirky independent film, we love them both but for different reasons.  And books, like films, would be less complete without the smaller niche market offerings.”

~ Lynn Vavreck, author of The Message Matters: The Economy and Presidential Campaigns



Go ahead, judge a book by its cover(s)

Publishers Weekly has a great feature on U.S. vs. U.K. jackets today. This sample from Junot Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her is my favorite of the jacket comparisons, but there are 9 more at the Publishers Weekly site including the popular titles A Confederacy of Dunces, Bring up the Bodies, and The Handmaid’s Tale.



(hat tip to Marketing and Sales Director Adam Fortgang for pointing this out to me)


Celebrating University Press Week with the Princeton University Press Influence Map

This fall, the Association of American University Presses is celebrating University Press Week from November 11 – 17. It is an opportunity for Princeton University Press and our colleagues to celebrate just what it is we do–our unique contributions to publishing, the academic community, and the world at large.

As part of the celebration, the AAUP has asked member presses to create Influence Maps to demonstrate the international reach of our publishing programs. Our social networking intern Holly Jennings created this map using data from our Fall 2012 catalog of trade, academic trade, and natural history titles. It visualizes the global nature of our business: the authors we publish, the office we support in the UK, and in the case of the natural history titles, the countries that are subjects of our books.

View Princeton University Press Influence Map in a larger map

We hope our readers, authors, and colleagues will find good ways to celebrate University Press Week. Please check back periodically for more information on how Princeton University Press is celebrating!

In the meantime, here are some of our fellow University Presses’ influence maps:

MIT Press
The University of British Columbia Press
The University of Illinois Press
The University of Virginia Press

Books… the prequel to the iPhone?

Slide #8 is my favorite in this lovely article at The Huffington Post by author Leah Price. Slide 7 describes a Tumblr site called Parents on Phones, but Slide #8 demonstrates that 21st-century parents aren’t the only ones distracted by their reading material. Go read the complete article to discover other diverse ways books are used today and were used in the Victorian era.

Press Director Peter Dougherty reflects on our October book releases

October brings with it the next big wave of Princeton University Press fall titles.

First and foremost among a promising flurry of new books are a couple of recently released titles by acclaimed authors: Jill Lepore’s The Story of America: Essays on Origins, and James Scott’s Two Cheers for Anarchism. Lepore has written several prize-winning national best-sellers and is well-known to readers of The New Yorker as their history columnist. The essays collected here reveal the ways history is told, taught, used to create the story of America. Scott is author of two of the most widely-read works in social science, Seeing Like a State and Weapons of the Weak (both from Yale University Press). In Two Cheers for Anarchism, he examines the positive sides and outcomes of anarchy. We are also delighted to see the first copies of Robert Geddes’s book, Fit: An Architect’s Manifesto, which is a major new statement about the purpose and aesthetics of architecture. Fans of these writers will not be disappointed with these timely books for general readers.

And our more specialized books also provide much to intrigue and inform readers. First among a new cluster of October offerings in the social sciences, celebrated Stanford economist David Kreps returns to PUP with Microeconomic Foundations I: Choice and Competitive Markets. Having helped reshape the field of economic theory with his 1990 PUP book, A Course in Microeconomic Theory, a best-selling economic textbook, Kreps’s new Princeton book will appeal to economists and students alike all over the world.

Two vitally important October entries come from the familiar PUP field of physics: William Bialek’s recently released Biophysics: Searching for Principles, and later this month, Eric Heller’s Why You Hear What You Hear: An Experiential Approach to Sound, Music, and Psychoacoustics. Both books are stellar contributions to their respective fields and should quickly become the first choice of physicists teaching courses in each respective area.

From our history and reference lists, a duo of extremely timely titles that speak directly to political headlines all over the world also appears this month. Europe and the Islamic World: A History by John Tolan, Gilles Veinstein, and Henry Laurens, tells the story of how Muslims and Europeans have interacted from the Middle Ages until today, making the point that only by understanding the past can we truly appreciate present events. And later in the month, we will be publishing the long-awaited Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, the first reference book of its kind documenting ideas, institutions, and leading thinkers and actors in the Islamic world from its origins to today.

Thanks to the continuing efforts of editor Diana Buchwald and her team at the Einstein Papers Project, we are pleased to present the 13th volume in The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. This landmark book covers Einstein’s writing and correspondence from January 1922 through March 1923, documenting Einstein’s first trip to the Far East and revealing the consequences of his relatively new-found celebrity status.

October also welcomes two new titles from our series, The Lives of the Great Religious Books, Ronald Hendel’s The Book of Genesis: A Biography, and J.J. Collins’s The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography. This brings the total published titles in the series to seven with a dozen more planned in the coming years. The format of the series, biographies of religious books, allows the authors to explore the surprising origins and movements of these books through history, culture, and religion, whether addressing origin stories of The Bible or the controversies surrounding the discovery and translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Thanks to my colleagues for delivering these (and all the other) excellent new Princeton books with style and spirit.

Peter J Dougherty