Congratulations to Janet Yellen, new Federal Reserve chair nominee

Yesterday, President Obama announced the selection of Janet Yellen as his nominee to chair the Federal Reserve, soon to be vacated by Ben Bernanke. If confirmed, she would become the first women chair of the Fed.

To commemorate this momentous occasion, Princeton University Press would like to share Chapter 16 from our edited collection ADVANCES IN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS, which was co-authored by Janet Yellen and her husband Nobel economist George Akerlof, a two-time Princeton University Press author.

Please click here to access the full chapter titled “The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment.”

“Dreams of Other Worlds”: Voyager and Cassini #WSW2013

Houston, we have lift off!

All week long for World Space Week, we will be posting exclusive excerpts from Chris Impey and Holly Henry’s new book, Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration. Each day will include an excerpt from a different chapter(s) about a different unmanned spacecraft, along with a picture of the craft that doubles as an iPhone background!

Today we have two excerpts. The first is from Chapter 4, and our excerpt does its best to describe exactly how far away the Voyager spacecrafts are, and how completely wild that is. The second excerpt is from Chapter 5, which describes the way in which Cassini travels around Saturn without getting sucked into its gravitational pull.

Tomorrow will bring another chapter and another adventure, so stay tuned!

voyager77-13To see why these spacecraft represented such a leap in our voyaging through space, consider a scale model of the Solar System where the Earth is the size of a golf ball. On this scale, the Moon is a grape where the two objects are held apart with outstretched arms. That gap is the farthest humans have ever traveled, and it took $150 billion at 2011 prices to get two dozen men there. Mars on this scale is the size of a large marble at the distance of
1,100 feet at its closest approach. As we’ve seen, it took an arduous effort spanning more than a decade before NASA successfully landed a probe on our nearest neighbor. A very deep breath is needed to explore the outer Solar System. In our scale model, Jupiter and Saturn are large beach balls 1.5 and 3.5 miles away from Earth, respectively, and Uranus and Neptune are soccer balls 7 and 12 miles from the Earth. This large step up in distance was a great challenge for spacecraft designers and engineers. On this scale, the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are metallic “motes of dust” 48 and 37 miles from home, respectively.
cassini97-13Over its core mission, Cassini orbited Saturn 140 times. To see Saturn, its rings, its largest moons, and its magnetosphere from all conceivable angles, Cassini is using its rockets and seventy gravity-assist flybys of Titan to tweak its orbit size, period, velocity, and inclination from Saturn. As the largest moon, Titan isthe most useful in “steering” Cassini around the Saturnian system. Each Titan flyby is engineered to return Cassini into the proper trajectory for its next Titan flyby. Encounters with other moons are performed opportunistically with what’s called a targeted flyby. About fifteen are planned by the end of the mission, half to the intriguing small moon Enceladus. From 2004 through 2011, Cassini did a dizzying hundred flybys, with another dozen completed in 2012. NASA hosts a clock counting down the time until the next swooping visit to a moon and coyly calls these “Tour Dates” to appeal to a younger generation.26 By clever planning, NASA engineers have doubled the length of the mission even though just a quarter tank of fuel remains.

Think you know all about these missions? Take our quiz and find out!
Proud of your score? Tweet it! #WSW2013

“Dreams of Other Worlds”: A Chapter A Day #WSW2013

VikingHouston, we have lift off!

All week long for World Space Week, we will be posting exclusive excerpts from Chris Impey and Holly Henry’s new book, Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration. Each day will include an excerpt from a different chapter about a different unmanned spacecraft, along with a picture of the craft that doubles as an iPhone background!

Today’s excerpt is from Chapter 2, and it discusses what it was like when, in 1976, we first landed a spacecraft on Mars.

Tomorrow will bring another chapter and another adventure, so stay tuned!

The Vikings Reach Mars

On July 20, 1976, a small spacecraft emerged from a cloudless, apricot-colored Martian sky and fell toward the western Chryse Planitia, the “Golden Plain.” Its heat shield glowed as it buffeted through the tenuous atmosphere.27 About four miles up, the parachutes deployed, the heat shield was jettisoned, and three landing legs unfolded like a claw. At one mile up, the retrorockets fired, and less than a minute later the Viking 1 lander decelerated to six miles per hour, reaching the surface with a slight jolt.28 It was a landmark of technological prowess, the first time humans had ever soft-landed an emissary on another planet.
The twin Viking missions were the most complex planetary probes ever designed. Their total price tag was around $1 billion, equivalent to $4 billion today after adjusting for inflation. That can be compared to the $80 million cost of Mariner 4. Mission planners were well aware of the challenges; the Soviets had previously failed four times to soft land on Mars.29 Each Viking consisted of an orbiter designed to image the planet and a lander equipped to carry out detailed experiments on the surface.30 For the most part, the hardware worked flawlessly, but there were tense moments for the engineers and scientists on the team. After ten months and 100 million miles of traveling, the Vikings reached Mars two weeks apart.

Think you know all about these missions? Take our quiz and find out!
Proud of your score? Tweet it! #WSW2013

A Back To School Round Up

It’s never easy going back to school. You have to get up earlier, you have to do homework, and worst of all, you’ll probably have to step outside your comfort zone at some point and try something new. Usually the start of a new school year involves diving in and just hoping for the best, but this year I’m offering you all a little help. Having the right strategy can be the key to surviving a new year, whether it be on a math test, a research paper, or just trying to figure out where that crusty book in the back of the library is hiding.
If you need help with any of those things, check out some of our school-friendly titles below:

The Five Elements of Effective Thinking

1) The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
By: Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird

This book presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. By using these straightforward and thought-provoking techniques, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself–revealing previously hidden opportunities.

 Check out the introduction here.


2) The CalculThe Calculus Lifesaverus Lifesaver: All the Tools You Need to Excel at Calculus
By: Adrian Banner

For many students, calculus can be the most mystifying and frustrating course they will ever take. The Calculus Lifesaver provides students with the essential tools they need not only to learn calculus, but to excel at it. The book combines ease of use and readability with the depth of content and mathematical rigor of the best calculus textbooks.

 Check out the first chapter here.

3) How to SolHow To Solve Itve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method
By: G. Polya

In this best-selling classic, George Pólya revealed in lucid and appealing prose how the mathematical method of demonstrating a proof or finding an unknown can be of help in attacking any problem that can be “reasoned” out–from building a bridge to winning a game of anagrams. Generations of readers have relished Pólya’s deft instructions on stripping away irrelevancies and going straight to the heart of a problem.

Check out a preview here.
4) The ElThe Elements of Library Researchements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know
By: Mary W. George

This short, practical book introduces students to the important components of the information-seeking process. It provides a foundation for success in any research assignment, from a freshman paper to a senior thesis. Unlike guides that describe the research process but do not explain its logic, this book focuses entirely on basic concepts, strategies, tools, and tactics for research–in both electronic and print formats.

Check out the first chapter here.

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!

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.

Are You Happy Now?

Happiness today is not just a possibility or an option but a requirement and a duty. To fail to be happy is to fail utterly. Happiness has become a religion–one whose smiley-faced god looks down in rebuke upon everyone who hasn’t yet attained the blessed state of perpetual euphoria. How has a liberating principle of the Enlightenment–the right to pursue happiness–become the unavoidable and burdensome responsibility to be happy? How did we become unhappy about not being happy–and what might we do to escape this predicament? In Perpetual Euphoria, Pascal Bruckner takes up these questions with all his unconventional wit, force, and brilliance, arguing that we might be happier if we simply abandoned our mad pursuit of happiness.

A stimulating and entertaining meditation on the unhappiness at the heart of the modern cult of happiness, Perpetual Euphoria is a book for everyone who has ever bristled at the command to “be happy.”

Pascal Bruckner is the award-winning author of many books of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bitter Moon, which was made into a film by Roman Polanski. Bruckner’s nonfiction books include The Tyranny of Guilt (Princeton), The Temptation of Innocence, and The Tears of the White Man (Free Press).

We invite you to read the introduction online:

Perpetual Euphoria:
On the Duty to Be Happy

By Pascal Bruckner
Translated by Steven Rendall

The Most Comprehensive Collection of Einstein Quotes Ever Published

Here is the definitive new edition of the hugely popular collection of Einstein quotations that has sold tens of thousands of copies worldwide and been translated into twenty-five languages.

The Ultimate Quotable Einstein features 400 additional quotes, bringing the total to roughly 1,600 in all. This ultimate edition includes new sections–”On and to Children,” “On Race and Prejudice,” and “Einstein’s Verses: A Small Selection”–as well as a chronology of Einstein’s life and accomplishments, Freeman Dyson’s authoritative foreword, and new commentary by Alice Calaprice.

In The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, readers will also find quotes by others about Einstein along with quotes attributed to him. Every quotation in this informative and entertaining collection is fully documented, and Calaprice has carefully selected new photographs and cartoons to introduce each section.

We invite you to take a look at chapter one online:

“A happy man is too satisfied with the present to think too much about the future.”
–Einstein (age 17)

The Ultimate Quotable Einstein
Collected and edited by Alice Calaprice

With a foreword by Freeman Dyson

How and Why Animals Produce Group Behaviors

Fish travel in schools, birds migrate in flocks, honeybees swarm, and ants build trails. How and why do these collective behaviors occur? Exploring how coordinated group patterns emerge from individual interactions, Collective Animal Behavior reveals why animals produce group behaviors and examines their evolution across a range of species.

Collective Animal Behavior
By David J. T. Sumpter

We invite you to read chapter one online:

How Ordinary Citizens Band Together To Bring About Real Change

In an America where the rich and fortunate have free rein to do as they please, can the ideal of liberty and justice for all be anything but an empty slogan? Many Americans are doubtful, and have withdrawn into apathy and cynicism. But thousands of others are not ready to give up on democracy just yet. Working outside the notice of the national media, ordinary citizens across the nation are meeting in living rooms, church basements, synagogues, and schools to identify shared concerns, select and cultivate leaders, and take action. Their goal is to hold big government and big business accountable. In this important new book, Jeffrey Stout bears witness to the successes and failures of progressive grassroots organizing, and the daunting forces now arrayed against it.  Stout tells vivid stories of people fighting entrenched economic and political interests around the country.

Jeffrey Stout is professor of religion at Princeton University. His books include Ethics After Babel and Democracy and Tradition (both Princeton). He is past president of the American Academy of Religion and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

We invite you to read chapter one online:
Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America
By Jeffrey Stout

If you’re attending #AAR2010, stop by our booth (no. 406) and say hello.

First In-Depth Look at Bush’s Presidency by America’s Top Historians

The Presidency of George W. Bush brings together some of today’s top American historians to offer the first in-depth look at one of the most controversial U.S. presidencies. Emotions surrounding the Bush presidency continue to run high–conservatives steadfastly defend its achievements, liberals call it a disgrace. This book examines the successes as well as the failures, covering every major aspect of Bush’s two terms in office. It puts issues in broad historical context to reveal the forces that shaped and constrained Bush’s presidency–and the ways his presidency reshaped the nation.

The Presidency of George W. Bush features contributions by Mary L. Dudziak, Gary Gerstle, David Greenberg, Meg Jacobs, Michael Kazin, Kevin M. Kruse, Nelson Lichtenstein, Fredrik Logevall, Timothy Naftali, James T. Patterson, and the book’s editor, Julian E. Zelizer. Each chapter tackles some important aspect of Bush’s administration–such as presidential power, law, the war on terror, the Iraq invasion, economic policy, and religion–and helps readers understand why Bush made the decisions he did.

History will be the ultimate judge of Bush’s legacy, and the assessment begins with this book.

We invite you to read chapter one at:

The Presidency of George W. Bush:
A First Historical Assessment

Edited by Julian E. Zelizer

A Powerful New Argument for Reviving the Ideal of Racial Integration

More than forty years have passed since Congress, in response to the Civil Rights Movement, enacted sweeping antidiscrimination laws in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As a signal achievement of that legacy, in 2008, Americans elected their first African American president. Some would argue that we have finally arrived at a postracial America, but The Imperative of Integration indicates otherwise. Elizabeth Anderson demonstrates that, despite progress toward racial equality, African Americans remain disadvantaged on virtually all measures of well-being. Segregation remains a key cause of these problems, and Anderson skillfully shows why racial integration is needed to address these issues. Weaving together extensive social science findings–in economics, sociology, and psychology–with political theory, this book provides a compelling argument for reviving the ideal of racial integration to overcome injustice and inequality, and to build a better democracy.

The Imperative of Integration
By Elizabeth Anderson
We invite you to read chapter one online: