Get Ready for University Press Week! #UPWeek


This week we’re putting Bird Fact Friday on hold as we prepare for University Press Week, an annual event when we celebrate the many contributions that university presses make to academia and an informed society.

#UPWeek began in 1978 with President Jimmy Carter, “in recognition of the impact, both here and abroad, of American university presses on culture and scholarship.” Today that influence is stronger than ever as university presses expand their publishing programs, take advantage of the opportunities afforded by a more global society, and explore new ways to bring valuable content to readers. This helpful infographic designed by our own Jessica Massabrook summarizes a great deal of fascinating information about this segment of the publishing industry.

Here at PUP, we have some great things planned!

Our contribution to the #UPWeek blog tour will come on Wednesday, November 11 and will focus on UP Design. Chris Lapinksi will be announcing an exciting new social media development in PUP’s design department.

Other special features include:

Kellie Rendina, from Advertising, will post on children’s literature for adults, with a focus on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Check out the AAUP’s online gallery of featured titles from various university presses for more information on this and other surprising offerings!


Peter Dougherty, Director of PUP, will talk about what’s new at PUP, particularly how we’re using technology to reach our readers.

In addition, each day we’ll be bringing together daily round ups of all the great posts from our fellow university presses.


How can you get involved? Easy! Sign up to attend the November 10th online session entitled Opening Access: The Reinvention of the Academic Book and the November 13 online session called It’s Not Scary: The Art of Getting Published with a Scholarly Press. You can also check this map to find your local university presses. Follow them on social media, using the hashtag #ReadUP to join the conversation, and check their blogs for exciting new content as we celebrate academic publishing together.

Hamburgers in Paradise: 12 Facts

FrescoDepictions of paradise can be found throughout the centuries, portrayed as an impossible, unchanging ecosystem in perpetual motion that provides an abundance of food, water, and shade to sustain humans and animals in perfect harmony with no effort required. In Hamburgers in Paradise, Louise O. Fresco argues that the idea of paradise as an impossibly stable, diverse, and productive ecosystem has had a profound effect on our thinking about nature, farming, and food, and remains a powerful influence even today. Despite secularization, paradise is a frame of reference for what we think and do in relation to food.

Today at 2:30, Fresco will be presenting her book to Kenneth Quinn, the World Food Prize ambassador, at the 2015 Borlaug Dialogue, hosted by The World Food Prize. You can view the live stream online, and you can join the conversation online using #WorldFoodPrize.


A few facts from the book that may surprise you:

  • In most Western European countries, life expectancy tripled in the period 1750-2000, when food began to be available in large quantities.
  • The history of tens of thousands of years of food scarcity explains our preference for foods high in calories, proteins, and other essential nutrients.
  • All religions attribute moral and psychological properties to food. For example, the kingfisher has been seen as a symbol of abundance and prosperity, and so it was not to be eaten. In many religions fasting, or the resistance of temptation for food, is seen as the highest virtue.
  • In the U.S., the tasteless bun of a hamburger is not the norm because Americans don’t know how to bake bread, but because a certain consistency is needed to bring out the juiciness of the meat. The bun is wrapping, plate, and napkin first and a source of carbohydrates to balance out the protein of the meat second.
  • The earliest archaeological evidence of farming comes from 9,500 years ago.
  • Dependence on food introduced from elsewhere is an ancient phenomenon, reflected in the names used and the confusion surrounding them. For example, in Italian corn is called “grano turco” or “Turkish grain,” the word “Turkey” signifying oriental or exotic and not its actual origin since corn comes from Central America.
  • Without the influence of humans, neither wheat, corn, apples, nor lettuce would ever have evolved from their wild ancestors.
  • 30% of the surface of the earth is used as farmland or pasture.
  • Bread can be a symbol of plenty, but it can also be a symbol of want. There are countless examples in literature of the proverbial poor thief who steals a loaf for his family. Victor Hugo used this trope to great effect in Les Misérables.
  • Bread was so important in Ancient Rome that the killing of a baker was punished three times as severely as the killing of an ordinary citizen.
  • Archaeological remains of sieves suggest that cheese may have been made in the Alps more than 5,000 years ago.
  • In the Netherlands no more than 4.5% of people are vegetarians, in Germany perhaps 9%, and in Italy 10%.

Paul Krugman hosting free discussion at Cooper Union with authors of THRIVE

Thrive jacketTonight, Nobel-prize-winning economist Paul Krugman will host a free public discussion at Cooper Union with Richard Layard & David M. Clark, co-authors of Thrive: How Better Mental Health Care Transforms Lives and Saves Money. Richard Layard discussed the book with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Surveillance here, and both authors answered some questions on mental health policy for the PUP blog here.

Mental illness is a leading cause of suffering in the modern world. In sheer numbers, it afflicts at least 20 percent of people in developed countries. It reduces life expectancy as much as smoking does, accounts for nearly half of all disability claims, is behind half of all worker sick days, and affects educational achievement and income. There are effective tools for alleviating mental illness, but most sufferers remain untreated or undertreated. What should be done to change this? In Thrive, Richard Layard and David Clark argue for fresh policy approaches to how we think about and deal with mental illness, and they explore effective solutions to its miseries and injustices.

Richard Layard is one of the world’s leading labor economists and a member of the House of Lords. He is the author of Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, which has been translated into twenty languages.

David M. Clark is professor of psychology at the University of Oxford. Layard and Clark were the main drivers behind the UK’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies program.

Paul Krugman is an author and economist who teaches at Princeton, the London School of Economics and elsewhere. He won the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics. He is also an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times.

September 29, 2015 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Great Hall
Foundation Building
7 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003

Please RSVP here.

Birdfair 2015 at Rutland Water, UK

blue TitBirdfair 2015, the birdwatcher’s Glastonbury, took place last weekend at Rutland Water, UK.  This year’s event – three days of events and lectures with hundreds of stands for wildlife fans – was hot and thundery.  Princeton University Press and the WildGuides team were there displaying the breadth and importance of our natural history books and chatting to enthusiastic birders, authors, potential authors, booksellers, and bloggers. Andrew Brewer, PUP Europe Sales Director, called the event a huge success.

Andy Swash, Brian Clews, and Andrew Brewer at Birdfair 2015

Andy Swash, Brian Clews, and Andrew Brewer at Birdfair 2015

Seven PUP authors gave talks at the event: Adam Scott Kennedy (Birds of Kenya’s Rift Valley), David Newland (Britain’s Butterflies), James Lowen (Antarctic Wildlife), Sophie Lake (Britain’s Habitats), Dominic Couzens (The Crossley ID Guide), Dave Smallshire (Britain’s Dragonflies), Stuart Ball (Britain’s Hoverflies). All talks were well attended and followed by book sales and signings. David Newland’s talk, in which he shared tips on searching for, identifying and photographing butterflies and moths in the wild, was given to a full house. He signed copies and sold books after the event until they ran out and the queue of eager butterfly spotters moved across the large Birdfair site to continue chatting and buying at the WildSounds bookshop.

Plans are already afoot for Birdfair 2016 which will be particularly exciting as we will have our new and magnificent Britain’s Birds to share.  Perhaps we’ll see you there?

Princeton University Press gears up for MathFest 2015!

MathFest is an annual event held to celebrate mathematics with the Mathematical Association of America. This year, it will be held from August 5-8 in Washington, D.C.  Keep an eye out for all of the exciting things happening at the Princeton University Press Booth at this year’s MathFest, including book raffles, author readings, and more!

Below is a list of what you can look forward to at MathFest from our authors!

Thursday, August 6th

10:30AM – 11:30AM: Author Colin Adams gives a dramatic reading from Zombies and Calculus

2:00PM – 3:00PM: Author Tim Chartier demonstrates one of the popular hands-on approaches to math that he outlines in his book Math Bytes: the Candy pi-calculator

3:00PM – 4:00PM: Single Digits author Marc Chamberland shows videos from his popular YouTube channel Tipping Point Math

4:00PM – 5:00PM: Arthur Benjamin, author of The Fascinating World of Graph Theory, gives an author meet and greet, along with book plate signing

 Friday, August 7th

11:00AM – 12:00PM: Jim Henle, author of The Proof and the Pudding: What Mathematicians, Cooks, and You Have in Common, presents a personalized puzzle printing

1:00PM – 2:00PM: Frank Farris, author of Creating Symmetry, hosts a symmetry patterned scarf giveaway

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, Princeton University Press launches books by Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn

The Road to RelativityOn July 15th, Princeton University Press proudly launched two books by Professor Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn, Relativity and The Road to Relativity, at the 14th Marcel Grossman meeting on relativistic physics in Rome.

The two books are being published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s formulation of the theory of general relativity in 1915, and so it was fitting to launch them at a conference that demonstrates the ongoing influence of Einstein’s theory on cutting edge work on black holes, pulsars, quantum gravity, and other areas fundamental to our understanding of the universe.

The launch took place at the Besso Foundation, the family home of Albert Einstein’s friend and colleague, Michele Besso, during an exhibition, organized by Professor Gutfreund, of original Einstein letters and notebooks from the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

relativity jacketMore than 150 distinguished physicists and invited guests, including the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo di Segni, and members of the Besso and Grossman families, listened to Professor Gutfreund and Professor Renn provide a compelling overview of their research and of the new insights it has brought to the history of the development of general relativity. Professor Gutfreund stressed the fundamental insights into Einstein’s work provided by the rich Archives in Jerusalem, while Renn dismissed the notion of Albert Einstein as an isolated and idiosyncratic genius, stressing his network of collaborators and colleagues, including Besso.


Renn and Gutfreund

Professor Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn at the book launch in Rome

Photo from Renn and Gutfreund launch

Launch for Relativity and The Road to Relativity, at the 14th Marcel Grossman meeting on relativistic physics in Rome


Hay Festival – A Literary Vacation on the Welsh Border

Hay Festival is truly a highlight in the bookworm’s calendar. On a typical day at Hay, you might spend the morning sipping coffee on a sofa in the café marquee with a newspaper and croissant on your lap, followed by a talk on Shakespeare’s Women, then a journey into the future of science with the Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, before tripping along to a live lunchtime recording of BBC Radio 3’s The Verb (don’t laugh too loudly or your cackle will be heard by millions!). Over lunch you might catch a glimpse of Stephen Fry walking along in the sunshine, or meet a fellow bumble-bee enthusiast at the next table. Whilst admiring the myriad display of colourful wellies everywhere you look, you rifle through your programme deciding what to go to next. You make a last-minute decision and rush to a talk about homo sapiens, followed by a browse in the books tent and an ice-cream and a read in a deck chair in the sun. Next up, a talk about a better future world and a glimpse at a real page of the Magna Carta, hosted by Stephen Fry and the hilarious Sandi Toksvig, before ending your day dancing at one of the wonderful concerts held in the large Tata Tent.

Hay Festival

Hay Festival gets underway

Princeton University Press has a strong and long-standing relationship with Hay Festival, and we are proud that this year proved to be no exception. Our week was kicked off by the wonderful Beth Shapiro, on the subject of her new book, How to Clone a Mammoth. Is it possible to bring back the mammoth, the dodo, or the sabre-toothed cat? Why would we want to? And, much more importantly, should we? If you’re wishing you could have been there, fear not, as Beth Shapiro gave the same talk at the Royal Institution earlier in the week, and the whole thing can be watched online, here.

Hay Festival Shapiro

Beth Shapiro at Hay Festival

Best-selling Irish novelist Colm Tóibín spoke about his new novel, Nora Webster, and his Princeton book On Elizabeth Bishop at Hay’s opening weekend. Despite covering themes of loss and death that recur in Bishop’s poetry, he had the whole audience of 1100 people roaring with laughter.

Toibin at Hay

Colm Tóibín amusing the crowd at Hay

On Saturday evening, Beth Shapiro and Colm Tóibín were joined by historian Yuval Noah Harari and novelist Owen Sheers to record a live audience programme for Start the Week, to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4. A fascinating discussion encompassing pre-historic animals and humans to 20th century poetry and everything in-between. You can listen to the programme online here.

Toibin on Start the Week

Colm Tóibín on Start the Week

Other Princeton author events, which this Princeton publicist would love to have attended but had to go back to her day job (perhaps I should take a week-long vacation during Hay Festival next year…) were talks on dark matter and dark energy by Katherine Freese, director of Nordita, the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics and author of The Cosmic Cocktail, and a talk about the process by which artists such as Michelangelo, Dürer, and Titian became early modern celebrities by Maria Loh, author of the beautiful Still Lives.

Who knows who next year will bring to delight the crowds on the Welsh borders. One thing is for sure: it’s worth blocking out your calendar even before you’ve seen the line-up.

Princeton attends Book Expo America 2015

BEA-5.28_ShowFloor1Photo courtesy of Book Expo America.

This week, we packed our books and headed to NYC to take part in Book Expo America. This year, BEA was held in the Javits Center in Manhattan. The event included three days of book signings, author events, and checking out what’s new in the publishing industry. Publishers, booksellers, librarians, retailers, book industry professionals (and fans!) mingled and talked about books–what could be better than a building filled with book lovers?

If you missed BEA this year, don’t worry! You can visit our “digital booth” and page through a few books that we had on display:



The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö


These fairy tales may not be what you remember from bedtime. This is a translation of the original Grimm fairy tales. The tales, from the 1812 and 1815 editions, are unique—they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms’ later, more embellished collections of tales.

This book has had a big year. It was one of the Independent’s Best Books of 2014 and one of South China Morning Post’s Best Books of 2014. Page through Chapter One here.


The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World
Adrienne Mayor


Amazons—fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world—were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks.  But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before.

View Chapter One for yourself here.

Life’s Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable
Paul G. Falkowski



Paul Falkowski looks “under the hood” of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built—and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies.

Flip through Chapter One here.

Be sure to peruse our full digital catalogs. Our Fall 2015 list was recently announced!

Come visit us at BookExpo 2015: Booth #1538

Fall 2015 seasonalIt’s a big day for authors, publishers, and the entire publishing industry. Book Expo America begins today at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Center, where the main exhibit hall opens at 1 pm, and an assortment of conferences, author signings, and other special events will be taking place between today and Friday, May 29. We hope you’ll stop by and see Princeton University Press at booth #1538, and pick up our new Fall 2015 seasonal catalog (you can download it directly to your device here.) We have quite a diverse and impressive lineup this season, with new books from Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, philosopher (and author of #1 New York Times Bestseller, On Bullshit) Harry Frankfurt, economist Robert Gordon, interdisciplinary scholar Lynn Gamwell, architectural historian Neil Levine, and many more. We appreciate the dedicated work of the authors and staff that helped to make this list possible, and can’t wait to share it with you.

You can find out more about purchasing tickets at the BEA website. Hope to see you there!

PUP authors to appear at philosophy and music festival, How the Light Gets In

The world’s largest philosophy and music festival, How The Light Gets In, is back at Hay-on-Wye in Wales on May 21. Over the course of 11 days and 650 events, this year’s theme, “Fantasy and Reality”, will be explored through a variety of creative expression, including poetry, debates, film, and music.  Total Politics calls this festival “Europe’s answer to TED”. This year promises to be extra special: their entire new Riverside site will be home to a special new music venue, The Hat, which will be hosting long-table banquets and parties. You can find the full program here, and be sure to check out the following presentations by Princeton University Press authors:

5/23/15: In Search of the Self, Simon Blackburn, Colin Blakemore, Mary Midgley. Robert Rowland-Smith hosts.

5/24/15: The Really Real, Simon Blackburn, Philip Blond, Myrian Francois-Cerrah. Hilary Lawson hosts.

5/25/15: Vanity Fair, Simon Blackburn, George Galloway, Margaret Heffernan, Suzannah Lipscomb. Ritula Shah hosts.

5/26/15: Your Life in Your Hands, Clare Carlisle, Ann Furedi, John Harris. Afua Hirsch hosts.

5/26/15: In Place of Prejudice, Clare Carlisle, Naomi Goulder, John Harris. Afua Hirsch hosts.

5/26/15: Mind Misreadings, John Harris.

5/27/15: The Future of Money, Nigel Dodd.

5/28/15:Being Free and Making Choices, Nigel Dodd, Elaine Glaser, Julian Le Grand. Jacques Peretti hosts.

5/28/15: How to Be Human, Julian Le Grand, Finn Mackay, Neel Mukherjee. Elaine Glaser hosts.

5/28/15: The Fantasy of Money, Sarah Bird, Nigel Dodd, Kieron O’Hara. Jacques Peretti hosts.

5/28/15: Democracy, Freedom and Choice, Julian Le Grand.

5/31/15: The Infinite Boom, Michael Howard, Ann Petitifor, Robert Shiller. Isabel Hilton hosts.





Announcing Beth Shapiro’s “Mammoth” US & UK Book Tour

Hot on the heels of scientists sequencing the full mammoth genome and announcing they had created living elephant cells containing synthesised mammoth DNA, Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction, will be touring the US and UK, giving lectures on her book. Save the date for her visit to a town near you, and be sure to check out #MammothMonday blog posts and Chapter 1 of the book. Also, read Shapiro’s terrific piece on “de-extinction” on The Guardian website here.

US Tour:

5/3/15            Skeptics, Pasadena CA
5/4/15            Smithsonian
5/5/15            92nd St. Y
5/5/15            Princeton Public Library
5/6/15            Harvard Book Store
5/7/15            Philadelphia Free Library
5/11/15          Long Now Foundation
5/12/15          Seattle Town Hall/Pac Sci
5/13/15          Powell’s Books
6/25/15          Commonwealth Club

Shapiro Image for blog 3.30.15

UK Tour:

5/19/15        Natural History Museum, Oxford
5/20/15        How to Academy
5/21/15        Royal Institution
5/22/15        Bristol Festival of Ideas
5/23/15        Hay Festival

Beth Shapiro at Kepler’s

Shapiro at Kelper's

Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth, has begun her book tour across the US and the UK. Last Thursday, April 16, Beth had a wonderful event at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, CA, where she gave an overview of her intriguing book and fielded questions from the audience. We are featuring content related to How to Clone a Mammoth every Monday on our blog as part of our #MammothMonday series. Be sure to read the first chapter and pick up a copy of the book.

Kelper's blog 3