Princeton University Press books for giving

Browse below for some of our favorite titles for gifting of the season.

Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Michael Strauss, and Richard Gott

“Reading through is akin to receiving a private museum tour from an expert scientist. . . . As Tyson, Strauss, and Gott explain the cutting-edge physics of multiverses, superstring theory, M-theory, and the benefits of colonizing space, even seasoned science readers will learn something new.”
Publishers Weekly

Universe
World War I and American Art
Robert Cozzolino, Anne Classen Knutson, and David M. Lubin

“This is the first major book to examine the repercussions of the Great War on American art. Featuring first-rate scholarship in accessible prose, the book shows how this traumatic conflict had a profound effect on American visual culture, yielding not just memorable propaganda posters, but also art that subtly acknowledged the war.”
—Cécile Whiting, author of Pop L.A.: Art and the City in the 1960s

WWI
Makers of Jewish Modernity: Thinkers, Artists, Leaders, and the World They Made
Jacques Picard, Jacques Revel, Michael P. Steinberg & Idith Zertal

“The editors of [Makers of Jewish Modernity] exceed their stated goal of showing how various Jewish public figures ‘transformed the 20th century,’ through 43 profiles of subjects both expected . . . and surprising. . . . The entries, which assume no prior knowledge, convey a great deal of information and cogent analysis in a short space.”
Publishers Weekly

Jewish
Kafka: The Early Years
Reiner Stach
Translated by Shelley Frisch

Praise for the previous volumes: “This is one of the great literary biographies, to be set up there with, or perhaps placed on an even higher shelf than, Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce, George Painter’s Marcel Proust, and Leon Edel’s Henry James. . . . [A]n eerily immediate portrait of one of literature’s most enduring and enigmatic masters.”
—John Banville, New York Review of Books

Kafka

The Grammar of Ornament : A Visual Reference of Form and Colour in Architecture and the Decorative Arts
Owen Jones

“The illustrations are delightful . . . it is easy to pick a page at random and find a bit of tasty decorative information to digest.”
—Ted Loos, Introspective Magazine

Jones
Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine
Alexander Nemerov

“[A] fascinating exploration of Hine’s work.”
—Elizabeth Roberts, Black & White Photography

Soulmaker

Living on Paper: Letters of Iris Murdoch 1934-1995
Iris Murdoch
Edited by Avril Horner and Anne Rowe

“Murdoch belonged to a generation and class for whom the handwritten letter was as necessary as breathing. . . . Although Murdoch destroyed many of her letters and journals and may well have instructed her correspondents to do the same, a mountain survives. The selection Horner and Rowe have made offers insight into many corners of her life and work.”
—John Sutherland, New York Times Book Review

Murdoch

Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies
Sara Lewis

“Lewis takes readers into the realm of fireflies. . . . An excellent option for insect fans and anyone curious about the lightning bugs in their yards.”
Library Journal, starred review

Lewis
How to Grow Old: Ancient Wisdom for the Second Half of Life
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Translated by Philip Freeman

“[A] covetable little translation.”
—Karen Shook, Times Higher Education

Old

How to Win an Argument: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Persuasion
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Edited by James M. May

“Presented with magisterial expertise, this book introduces the core principles of public speaking in a nutshell. James May’s writing is clear and charming.”
—Robert N. Gaines, The University of Alabama

Argument

Following the Wild Bees: The Craft and Science of Bee Hunting
Thomas D. Seeley

“Anyone deeply interested in natural history will ignore this mad little volume at their peril.”
—Simon Ings, New Scientist

Seeley
The Brooklyn Nobody Knows: An Urban Walking Guide
William B. Helmreich

“Even Brooklyn residents will learn something new in this inclusive book, the first of five planned New York City walking guides. . . . Crisp pictures, such as those of Mrs. Maxwell’s Bakery—New York’s largest party cake store—safety tips, and an impressive bibliography are welcome additions to an appealing work for locals, tourists, and urban explorers.”
Library Journal

Brooklyn

A Savage War
Williamson Murray and Wayne Wei-Siang Hsieh

“[An] outstanding account of the American Civil War. . . . This expertly
written narrative will draw in anyone with an interest in the Civil War
at any knowledge level.”
Library Journal, starred review

Savage

The Joy of SET: The Many Mathematical Dimensions of a Seemingly Simple Card Game
Liz McMahon, Gary Gordon, Hannah Gordon, and Rebecca Gordon

“Humorous and conversational, this book is a pleasure to read.”
—Arthur Benjamin, author of The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why

SET

PUP’s Spring 2016 Preview

This spring, we’re publishing some exciting new titles across a range of disciplines. Where Are the Woman Architects? by Despina Stratigakos examines a male-dominated profession to uncover the causes for its dearth of women. Award-winning scientist and storyteller Sean B. Carroll takes us on a quest to discover the rules of regulation and their ramifications in The Serengeti Rules. If you’ve ever wondered about the secret lives of fireflies, then Silent Sparks by noted biologist Sara Lewis is the book for you. To see these titles and many more, check out our spring preview:

PUP Best of 2015 Part Two

We’re excited to see some of our favorite titles made it onto these Best of 2015 roundups!

The Independent Irish Writers’ Top Reads 2015
The Physicist and the Philosopher by Jimena Canales

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The Federalist Notable Books of 2015
1177 B.C. by Eric Cline

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The New York Post Favorite Books of 2015
Madness in Civilization by Andrew Scull

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Paste Magazine 30 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015
Madness in Civilization by Andrew Scull

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Times Higher Education Books of 2015
The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
The Future of the Brain by Gary Marcus & Jeremy Freeman, eds.

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BusinessInsider.com Best Business Books of 2015
Phishing for Phools by George Akerlof & Robert Shiller

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Legal Theory Blog Legal Theory Bookworm Books of the Year 2015
Phishing for Phools by George Akerlof & Robert Shiller

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The Globalist Top Books of 2015
Climate Shock by Gernot Wagner & Martin L Weitzman

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Foreign Affairs Best Books of 2015
The Amazons by Adrienne Mayor

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The Washington Post Abu Aardvark’s 2015 Middle East Book Awards
Young Islam by Avi Spiegel

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The New York Times Best Poetry Books of 2015
Syllabus of Errors by Troy Jollimore

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Symmetry Magazine Physics Books of 2015
An Einstein Encyclopedia by Alice Calaprice, Daniel Kennefick, and Robert Schulmann
Relativity: The Special and General Theory, 100th Anniversary Edition by Albert Einstein

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Brainpickings The Best Science Books of 2015
The Physicist and the Philosopher by Jimena Canales

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Audubon 12 Best Bird Books of 2015
Better Birding by George L. Armistead and Brian L. Sullivan
Birds of South America: Passerines by Ber van Perlo

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Irish Times The Year in Books
Empire and Revolution by Richard Bourke
On Elizabeth Bishop by Colm Tóibín

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The Guardian Best Books of 2015
Empire and Revolution by Richard Bourke

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The Spectator Books of the Year
Empire and Revolution by Richard Bourke

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The Indian Express The stand-out books of the year 2015
Empire and Revolution by Richard Bourke

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United Nations Conference on Climate Change: Reading Roundup #COP21

For the next two weeks, representatives from countries around the world will be meeting in Paris to discuss nothing less than the future of our planet at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. Climate change is one of the most important issues facing the world today, and it behooves all of us to educate ourselves. PUP publishes a number of titles that have the information you need to understand the repercussions of climate change, and make informed choices that will promote sustainability. Browse many of them below, and be sure to take advantage of the free chapters and/or introductions that we have posted on our website. For the next two weeks, check back here to follow our Conversations on Climate blog series, including posts from Victor Olgyay and Gernot Wagner.

Morris Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels
Ian Morris
Chapter 1
Climate Climate Shock
Gernot Wagner & Martin L. Weitzman
Chapter 1
 Life Life on a Young Planet
Andrew H. Knoll
Chapter 1
 Medea The Medea Hypothesis
Peter Ward
Chapter 1
 Sun The Sun’s Influence On Climate
Joanna D. Haigh & Peter Cargill
Chapter 1
 Worst The Worst of Times
Paul B. Wignall
Chapter 1
 Extinction Extinction
Douglas H. Erwin
Chapter 1
Tambora Tambora
Gillen D’Arcy Wood
Introduction
 Design Design With Climate
Victor Olgyay
Chapter 1
 Planet The Planet Remade
Oliver Morton
Introduction
 Ocean The Great Ocean Conveyor
Wally Broecker
Chapter 1
 Rules The Serengeti Rules
Sean B. Carroll

The Work of the Dead: 15 facts on graves, ghosts, and other mortal concerns

The Work of the DeadAs the air becomes crisp and we indulge our appetite for pumpkin-spiced everything, the falling leaves serve as a memento mori, a reminder of death and dying. Fittingly, this fall PUP is publishing Thomas Laqueur’s The Work of the Dead, a cultural history examining how and why the living have engaged with the dead from antiquity to the twentieth century. Here are some interesting facts and images from the book to get you in the spirit of the season!

1. Autolysis is the process by which enzymes that once turned food into nutrients begin to break down the body. Bacteria freed from the gut then starts to devour the flesh; in later stages microbes from the soil and air join in.

2. It used to be the case that all graves in Christendom were oriented toward Jerusalem. Around the turn of the 20th century, they began to be oriented toward walkways or bodies of water.

3. Tollund Man was killed in the 4th century BCE and found by peat cutters in 1950. Because of the preservative powers of the bog that was his final resting place, today we can discern the clothes he wore when he died, a cap of wool and sheepskin, and how he died, via strangulation. Scholars say that he was most likely a human sacrifice.

Churchyard

The Work of the Dead, p. 125. 4.1 Southeast view of a church, described as St. John’s of Southwark, showing the churchyard. J.W. Edy after a painting by John Buckler, F.S.A., 1799. © British Library.

4. Certain traditions of modern Judaism insist on rapid burial, even at the risk of burying someone who is not yet dead, because of the dangers of spirits lurking around the body.

5. Christianity has had an ambivalent relationship with ghosts throughout the centuries. Augustine related a story of a dead father returning to his son to deliver vital information, for example, but by the time of the Reformation, Protestant thinkers explained continued widespread belief in ghosts as a holdover from Roman superstition.

6. In early nineteenth-century England, the potentially unquiet souls of those who had committed suicide were silenced by burying the bodies at a crossroads with a stake through the heart.

7. A Harris poll in 2003 determined that 51% of Americans believed that ghosts exist. Only 35% of those aged twenty five to twenty nine were skeptical, but 73% of those older than sixty five did not believe at all.

Hume

The Work of the Dead, p. 210. 4.13 Tomb of David Hume, Old Calton Cemetary, Edinburgh. Carlos Delgado.

8. In Chinese antiquity, thousands of men, women, and children were beaten into the ramparts of the tombs of the Shang emperors so they could serve their lords in death as they had in life.

9. In the seventeenth century, the founder of modern international law, Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), compiled a library of opinions and practices from ancient authors in support of his view that the denial of burial was so fundamentally at odds with any conceivable norm—with being human—that it was a just cause for war.

10. In the Jewish tradition, it was God who taught man how to handle the dead. Adam and Eve were mourning the death of their son Abel when a raven fell dead near them. Another raven came, made a hole, and buried his dead fellow. Adam said, “I will do as this raven did,” and buried his son’s body.

pyramid

The Work of the Dead p. 38. 1.2. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Philipp Galle (1537-1612), from the series The Eight Wonders of the World. After Maarten van Heemskerck, 1572. Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum. Gift of Robert Bradford Wheaton and Barbara Ketcham Wheaton in Honor of Mrs Arthur K. Solomon, M25955. © President and Fellows of Harvard College.

11. Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) thought that burial of the dead was one of the three “universal institutions of humanity.” The other two are matrimony and religion.

12. Other than elephants and (it is argued) some insects, humans are the only animals that care for their dead.

13. During the 1790s in France, the Pantheon was built to house the new “gods” of the nation after they died. Mirabeau was the first to be admitted in 1791. Voltaire was interred there later that year.

Marx

The Work of the Dead, p. 20. 1.5. The grave of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery, London.

14. Max Weber wrote in his study of the Protestant ethic, “the genuine Puritan even rejected all signs of religious ceremony at the grave and buried his nearest and dearest without song or ritual in order that no superstition, no trust in the effects of magical and sacramental forces of salvation, should creep in.”

15. Vladomir Nabokov said, “Our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”

For those in the Princeton area, Thomas Laqueur will be at Labyrinth Books on Friday, October 30 at 5:30pm to talk about his book. Mark your calendars!

Washington Post highlights summer reading for students

Soon, school will be out for summer, but here at PUP, our “to read” lists keep growing. The Washington Post recently highlighted a unique summer reading list — one compiled by college admissions officers and counselors.

Every year, Brennan Barnard, director of college counseling at The Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire, asks college admissions deans and high school counselors for book recommendations. These selections include books for students, parents, and general book lovers. This year, Frank Cioffi’s One Day in the Life of the English Language makes the list.

Barndard explains the inspiration behind this take on summer reading recommendations:

At The Derryfield School, summer reading has an interesting twist that would have been much more palatable for me as a high school student. Every faculty member chooses a favorite book and students can pick a title from this diverse list. Some students choose books based on their most adored teacher and some based on the brief summary provided. Then there are likely students (like I would have done) who choose the shortest book on the list regardless of topic. During the first week of school, faculty members gather with students who read their recommendation for an engaging discussion.

Inspired by this practice, I solicited summer reading recommendations from colleagues in college counseling and admission from high schools and colleges across the nation.

You can view the entire summer reading list here, courtesy of the Washington Post.

One Day in the Life of the English Language was recommended for students by Jeffrey Durso-Finley, director of college counseling at the Lawrenceville School (NJ). Read more about this anti-handbook below, and check out the introduction for yourself.

Cioffi jacket
Generations of student writers have been subjected to usage handbooks that proclaim, “This is the correct form. Learn it”—books that lay out a grammar, but don’t inspire students to use it. By contrast, this antihandbook handbook, presenting some three hundred sentences drawn from the printed works of a single, typical day in the life of the language—December 29, 2008—tries to persuade readers that good grammar and usage matter.

Using real-world sentences rather than invented ones, One Day in the Life of the English Language gives students the motivation to apply grammatical principles correctly and efficiently. Frank Cioffi argues that proper form undergirds effective communication and ultimately even makes society work more smoothly, while nonstandard English often marginalizes or stigmatizes a writer. He emphasizes the evolving nature of English usage and debunks some cherished but flawed grammar precepts. Is it acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition? It is. Can you start a sentence with a conjunction? You can. OK to split an infinitive? No problem.

 

 

 

 

Mark Zuckerberg Selects “The Muqaddimah” as his Latest Book Club Read!

MuqaddimahAs part of a 2015 initiative entitled A Year of Books, Mark Zuckerberg has selected a new book every two weeks to share and discuss with the Facebook community. For the second time, A Princeton University Press book has been selected:  The Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldun is his latest pick!

The Muqaddimah, often translated as “Introduction” or “Prolegomenon,” is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world. Written by the great fourteenth-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldûn (d. 1406), this monumental work established the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including the philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics

Mark Zuckerberg shared his personal account of the book and some reasoning behind his selection on his Facebook page:

My next book for A Year of Books is Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldun.

It’s a history of the world written by an intellectual who lived in the 1300s. It focuses on how society and culture flow, including the creation of cities, politics, commerce and science.

While much of what was believed then is now disproven after 700 more years of progress, it’s still very interesting to see what was understood at this time and the overall worldview when it’s all considered together.

Check out The Muqaddimah and join the conversation through Zuckerberg’s A Year of Books Facebook page!

You can read the introduction here.

 

 

Best-Selling books at PUP last week

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

Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game by Andrew Hodges
On Elizabeth Bishop by Colm Tóibín
The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century by Jürgen Osterhammel
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm edited by Jack Zipes
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson
“They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide by Ronald Grigor Suny
Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine by Andrew Scull
Efficiently Inefficient: How Smart Money Invests and Market Prices Are Determined by Lasse Heje Pedersen
On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt
Irrational Exuberance by Robert J. Shiller

College Decision Day Book List

Happy May Day! Or, if you’re a high school senior, good luck with one of the biggest decisions of your academic career. Many high school seniors across the country are likely deciding what college they will attend today, and a number of books Princeton has published in higher education happen to be perfect reading to accompany their journey. College, by Andrew Delbanco looks at how college has evolved and where it’s heading. Higher Education in the Digital Age by William Bowen describes higher education’s transformation with technology, while Privilege by Shamus Khan and Pedigree by Lauren Rivera analyze elite culture in higher education and how it translates to the job market respectively. Happy reading & congratulations to high school seniors!

The History of American Higher Education Privilege
Higher Education in the Digital Age Pedigree
College Higher Education in America

Best Sellers

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

Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game by Andrew Hodges
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm edited by Jack Zipes
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson
Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine by Andrew Scull
On Elizabeth Bishop by Colm Tóibín
Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge by Michael Suk-Young Chwe
One Day in the Life of the English Language: A Microcosmic Usage Handbook by Frank L. Cioffi
How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method by G. Polya
1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline
How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction by Beth Shapiro

Earth Day 2015

This year we will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of the environmental movement, Earth Day. Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, founded Earth Day to inform the public on the importance of a healthy Earth. Earth Day has since evolved to focus on global warming and clean energy. Learn more about the history of Earth Day, here. To celebrate the day, we have compiled a book list.

Climate Shock Climate Shock: The Consequences of a Hotter Planet

Gernot Wagner & Martin L. Weitzman

Climate Shock analyzes the repercussions of a hotter planet. The authors take a stance that climate change can and should be dealt with. Climate Shock depicts what could happen if we don’t deal with the environment. “This informative, convincing, and easily read book offers general audiences the basic case for global climate mitigation.” –Ian Perry, Finance & Development

Read Chapter 1.

How to Clone a Mammoth How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction

Beth Shapiro

Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. Beth Shapiro explains the process of De-extinction, what species should be restored, and anticipating how revived populations might be seen in the wild. Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. “[A] fascinating book…A great popular science title, and one that makes it clear that a future you may have imagined is already underway.” —Library Journal, starred review

Check out our behind-the-scenes, #MammothMonday blog posts.

Read Chapter 1.

OffShore Sea ID Guide Offshore Sea Life ID Guide: West Coast

Steve N.G. Howell & Brian L. Sullivan

Released in May, this Offshore Sea Life ID Guide, is designed for quick use on day trips off the West Coast. Color plates show species as they typically appear at sea, and expert text highlights identification features. “Filled with concise information and accurate illustrations, this terrific field guide will be a handy, quick reference for the layperson and serious naturalist on boat trips off the West Coast of the United States. No other useful guides for this region deal with both marine mammals and seabirds in the same book.” –Sophie Webb, coauthor of Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast

Wilson-Rich_theBee The Bee: A Natural History

Noah Wilson-Rich

With contributions from Kelly Allin, Norman Carreck & Andrea Quigley

Bees pollinate more than 130 fruit, vegetable, and seed crops that we rely on to survive. They are crucial to the reproduction and diversity of flowering plants, and the economic contributions of these irreplaceable insects measure in the tens of billions of dollars each year. Noah Wilson-Rich and his team of bee experts provide a window into the vitally important role that bees play in the life of our planet. “A well-illustrated introduction to the biology of bees.” –Ian Paulsen, Birdbooker Report

Check out 10 Bee Facts from the book, here.

Read the Introduction.

#NewBooks

Books released during the week of April 13, 2015

Among this week’s new releases is a big one for classics buffs, Josiah Ober’s The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece, one of Flavorwire’s 10 must-read academic books for 2015. You can read Chapter 1 here. Also out is Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs by Lauren A. Rivera, which goes behind the closed doors of top-tier investment banks, consulting firms, and law firms to reveal the truth about who really has a chance at scoring the nation’s highest-paying entry level jobs. If you think, like many Americans, that working hard is the path to upward mobility, guess again. As Mitchell Stevens, author of Creating a Class writes, “Rivera shows how educational stratification in the United States is particularly pronounced and caste-like at the gateway to elite professions, and how the boundary between elite colleges and the elite firms that recruit from them is so fuzzy as to be only ceremonial.” Read Chapter 1 here.

New in Hardcover

Modern Observational Physical Oceanography Pedigree
The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece Teaching Plato in Palestine

New in Paperback

The Great Mother