Stuart Mitchner on Princeton University Press: “The University Publisher”

Stuart Mitchner has a very nice piece on Princeton University Press in the most recent issue of Princeton Magazine, which includes mention of several recent books and authors. To give you a feel, here is the introductory paragraph:

Princeton University Press celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005 with the publication of A Century in Books, which showcased 100 volumes that “best typify what has been most lasting, most defining, and most distinctive about our publishing,” according to the introduction by outgoing director Walter Lippincott, who was succeeded in March of that year by the current director Peter J. Dougherty. The co- chair of the search committee at the time was University Provost Christopher Eisgruber, the University’s newly installed twentieth president and the subject of this issue’s cover story. What the provost said about the new director eight years ago could be said by the president today, that he’s looking forward to working with Dougherty “to sustain the healthy relationship between the Press and the University.”

To illustrate the depth of the rest of Mitchner’s piece, here is a slideshow of the important books featured in the article:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

To read Mitchner’s full article in Princeton Magazine, click here.

Weekly Best Seller List

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

 

jacket Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman by Jeremy Adelman
jacket Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson
jacket
No Joke: Making Jewish Humor
by Ruth R. Wisse
jacket Niccolò Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography by Corrado Vivanti
jacket The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It by Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig
jacket The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird
jacket Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy by Mark P. Witton
jacket Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
jacket The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order by Benn Steil
jacket QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard P. Feynman

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

University Press Week Blog Tour, the final day round-up

NYU Press kicks things off today with a quick note from author and New York Times editor Connie Rosenblum on the importance of University Presses in telling regional stories, such as the one found in her recent book Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. She writes,

“At first glance, the subject might have seemed intensely local. But to my mind, the story of one of the most iconic, and most battered, urban areas in the nation was of profound importance, and I’m immensely grateful that NYU Press made it possible for that story to reach a broad audience.”

Columbia University Press earns bonus points for posting not one, but two, articles on the importance of university presses and their possible futures. The first is by Sheldon Pollock, who is the Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies at Columbia University. Pollock calls upon the university and its faculty to become more involved with university presses. The second from Jennifer Crewe, editorial director and associate director at Columbia University Press, describes university presses’ willingness and ability to innovate to meet new intellectual and economic challenges.

University of North Carolina Press offers a fascinating article from John Sherer, director of UNC Press, in which he reflects on his rewarding return to university press publishing after years of being “higher on the publishing food chain” in NYC trade publishing.

While there’s no doubt that the print runs and advances are smaller here, the world of university press publishing is hardly less complicated than its corporate cousins; nor is it less open to risk and reward. In fact, the challenges that university presses face are leading to a new spirit of entrepreneurship and putting a spotlight on the critical role they play in the academic and publishing ecosystems.

University of Virginia Press opens the forum to their author Catherine Allgor. Like so many university press authors, following the success of her earlier book, Dr. Allgor dipped a toe into trade publishing, only to discover the experience paled in comparison with the “holistic business” approach of a university press. I always have mixed feelings when I hear our authors are being courted by trade houses — it means we did our job of promoting their earlier books well and of course who can begrudge authors for wanting to be paid well for their work, but I am also secretly worried that they might not get the attention they deserve, too. Maybe some of them will eventually return to their university press roots, but for now, here is the “B-School takeaway” from Dr. Allgor:

“Excellence. Integrity. Unanimity. From beginning to end, the integrity of the ideas and the commitment to making the best book we could drove every decision. Author, editor, contributors, production people, marketing staff—we all had one aim in mind. We who wrote and edited struggled to fulfill the intellectual potential of presenting Mary Cutts’s biography of her famous aunt to a reading public. The process of creating this book with UVP has truly been an exercise in holistic business.”

And the final stop in the University Press Week Blog Tour is Oregon State University Press where they offer up a virtual smorgasbord of posts from authors and interns. The final post is from Jessica Kibbler, the George P. Griffis Publishing Intern, and reflects on how her experiences at OSU Press have opened her eyes to the digital possibilities in publishing. But, I encourage you to check out earlier articles from authors Richard Etulain (“University Presses: A Love Affair”), Robert Michael Pyle “(University Presses: Writing of Substance”), Brian Doyle (“University Presses: Telling Stories That Wouldn’t Be Told”), Ana Maria Spagna (“University Presses: What They Are (and Aren’t)“).

 

To revisit any of our earlier posts about University Press Week, please click here.

 

 

University Press Week (#UPWeek) Blog Tour, Day 4 round up

Day 5 of the Princeton University Press Week Blog Tour is already underway, but we thought Day 4 was a particularly exciting day on the tour (and not just because Princeton University Press’s scheduled slot kicked things off!). We posted an insightful Q&A with local bookstore owner, Dorothea von Moltke. Labyrinth Books is a fixture in Princeton, NJ, and they have been true supporters and partners for the types of books and authors university presses publish. We are grateful she agreed to participate in the festivities surrounding University Press Week this year, though truly, every week seems to be University Press Week in her store.

The next leg of the tour took us to Indiana University Press where former intern Nico Perrino, made a case for university presses as an essential cog in the “Sophistication Machine”:

Just as actors need a stage to put on a performance and a factory needs a loading dock to send customers their widgets, scholars and researchers need these university presses to disseminate their research to students, politicians, and other scholars and scientists who depend on their work to innovate and push the endless quest for knowledge forward.

Fordham University Press Director Fredric Nachbaur describes one of the critically important ways university presses impact the world around us. Whenever something unexpected occurs in the world — it doesn’t always have to be a disaster, but conceivably could be something really positive as well — the media turn to university press resources, books, and authors to explain what is happening, what history led to this moment, and what it means for the future.

Witnessing all the damage caused by Sandy has me feeling a melancholy. I was born and raised in New Jersey and spent many summers “down the shore.” In recent summers I have taken my daughter to some of the same beaches I enjoyed as a kid. I’ve been a New Yorker since 1991 and am a regular visitor to Coney Island, and lived for a short time in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is quite devastating to see all the massive destruction done to our great city and state and to our neighbors in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. As I was preparing to write my post for University Press Week, I reflected on how university presses have bonded together in the past during times of tragedy to help us all understand what is happening at the moment and how we can move forward. “Books for Understanding” was developed by the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) soon after 9/11 to bring the latest and most valuable scholarship to readers in an easy to find and easy to use place. The AAUP instantly became a resource for people who wanted to know more and to find it from reliable sources—University Presses—the pillars of knowledge. The day after hurricane Sandy hit, a reporter from the Huffington Post contacted me about a Fordham University Press (FUP) author who wrote a history of the NYC subways. She wanted to interview him about the flooding of the tunnels and the mass transit shutdown. It is a prime example of how the media turns to university presses for expertise during times of crisis.

Texas A&M University Press author Loren Steffy reflects on his family’s relationship with TAMU Press. Both he and his father are authors, and neither of their stories could have been told anywhere else, according to Steffy. He also provides a lovely take-away thought, “The value of a university press, like an ancient shipwreck, can’t be measured in dollars or commercial success.”

Jacqueline Beilhart, the publicist at Georgetown University Press, explores the unique role university press’s have in language teaching. Prompted by Nina Ayoub’s observation that university presses offer a lot of books in Less Commonly Taught Languages. She also helpfully provides a complete list of the offerings from university presses, including our own Princeton Language Program: Modern Chinese (http://press.princeton.edu/catalogs/series/plpmc.html)

For a complete schedule of the tour, click here.

Visit our previous round-ups to link to more terrific articles.

 

University Press Blog Tour (#UPWeek), A Conversation with the Co-owner of Labyrinth Books

This post is part of the University Press Week Blog Tour (A complete blog tour schedule is also available here). After reading this Q&A, please head over to the next stop on the tour at Indiana University Press.

While local, independent bookstores seem to be an endangered species, they remain a key partner for University Presses. For this reason, we were thrilled when Dorothea von Moltke, co-owner of Princeton’s local book store Labyrinth Books, agreed to participate in a quick interview about how she views university presses and what our books mean for her business.

 


Dorothea von Moltke, co-owner of Labyrinth Books

 

PUP: Labyrinth is a fixture in Princeton and you have also opened stores near Yale and Columbia. You are not a “university book store,” but you are a “university town book store” which seems to be a unique niche that influences everything from your events program to the books on your shelves. Was this a conscious decision to go into university towns and why?

Dorothea von Moltke: Oh very much so. Fundamentally, what kind of bookstore you have will always depend on what kind of readers you are. My husband, Cliff Simms, and I are students of the humanities in particular and my brother-in-law, Peter Simms, who is also co-owner, shares our broad interests across the literary and visual arts.  Proximity to the intellectual and cultural life of a university has mattered, moreover, to us personally from the outset.

But the idea has always been to be a two-way conduit between a university and its broader context, or at least an intersection for the two. Our events programming is, as a result, very eclectic, ranging from scholarly discussions around academic titles, to poetry and literary readings, civic forums or film screenings. Ideally, not everyone already knows everyone else in the room on these occasions.

PUP: Labyrinth offers best-sellers alongside a deep list of academic titles. How heavily do University Presses figure into your business model? How do you select the university press books you are going to sell?

DvM: Our ambition is in fact to carry both a broad range of front list titles and deep backlist sections from University Presses as well as trade publishers. We spend a lot of time with all University Press catalogs in ordering, inviting input from all booksellers with particular interests and knowledge in specific fields. One of the real rewards of being in the book industry comes from the fact that there are lots of great people both in publishing and at other independent stores — over time, these become relationships that also feed into what you know and how you buy. We then invite publishers’ reps to the store for conversations with our staff about the current season’s titles so that there is a more generalized familiarity with the inventory and a chance for comments and questions.

Our commitment to the backlist, meaning to books that have been around for more than 9 months, means that we also source academic and other remainders with a lot of determination so as to bring things back to the shelves and tables that the market may have given up elsewhere.

PUP: What are some of the breakout, or particularly memorable, university press books you’ve sold in recent years? Could you share any anecdotes about author events?

DvM: What to choose? Certainly, Peter Brown’s new book this fall, Through the Eye of a Needle, one of your books at PUP, is exciting to see strong sales on. This is a 806 page social and economic history of the church in late antiquity by one of this country’s foremost classicists and it is selling incredibly well. We’ll hold an event in December, which will be a dialog between Peter Brown and Elaine Pagels. I can’t imagine a more perfect pair for talking about the social and political aspects of early Church history. It is true that Princeton University Press works hard to keep prices affordable, which certainly makes a difference. This is an example of real buzz around an academic title in our store.

I could name lots of other titles that have done well, but our focus throughout the store and nowhere more than with University Press books is to give books a long life. They don’t need to be flashy, they don’t need to sell fast, they just need to still seem relevant to a deeper understanding of our past, present, or future. By the same token, it isn’t always the event that brings an audience of 250 that is most memorable: I think back to a conversation with Leo Bersani about his book Intimacies (University of Chicago Press) more often than I think back to last spring’s event with Slavoj Žižek for God in Pain: Inversions of the Apocalypse (Seven Stories Press) and his big book on Hegel, Less Than Nothing (Verso). Both were exciting, but the small event with Bersani was full of surprises and felt like a seminar more than anything else.

PUP: Independent book stores and university presses seem to have been thrown into the same boat in the broad narrative of the future of the trade. I can no more imagine a world without a Labyrinth Books as I can a world without a Princeton University Press. What do you think the future holds for book-selling, and more specifically for academic book-selling?

DvM: You know: I can imagine a future without Labyrinth Books. It isn’t so hard to do. That doesn’t mean I think it’s imminent or inevitable. But already a project such as ours can exist only on the margins of the culture at large; we are extremely lucky in this town and in our partnership with Princeton University. I can think of a handful of contexts in which our model might be reproducible but not many, which is how you know that what you do can only exist outside of what is considered the mainstream. But outside of the mainstream is, for us, anyway the place to be.

Especially in conversations about e-books, there is often a tendency to talk as if the future is something pre-formed that just hasn’t made it here yet rather than that which we all bring about and shape. So again: I think there is room for invention and reinvention within a horizon of narrowing possibilities.

I see University Presses re-imagining themselves constantly as well. The e-book is, to my mind, actually perfect for many academic monographs. Other University Press books will, I believe, be precisely the kinds of books that many will want to continue to read in print. The trend towards e-books is, as you know, not at all even across all genres of books. It’s in this kind of unevenness that bookstores and University Presses both have to find their equilibrium, by definition a challenging task, but an interesting one.

PUP: Some bookstores are already making the leap to selling e-books. I apologize for not knowing this already, but does Labyrinth sell eBooks? Is that something you would consider if you don’t? Can the role of a bookstore as “tastemaker” and curator of books continue into the e-market?

DvM: I think that increasingly independent bookstores with whom we are in regular dialog and who have tested this–and as we are part of a wonderful network called the Independent Booksellers Consortium there are many–are increasingly coming to a similar conclusion: the idea that independent bookstores have a role to play in the selling of e-books is a kind of mirage: you think there is a purpose there, though profitability is certainly not it, but perhaps customer retention could be?, and then it turns out there is, effectively, none.

The experiment between Google Books and independent bookstores via the American Bookseller’s Association, which was much discussed last year, has not been a success. As part of our general service in providing coursebooks, we certainly are able to and do meet any demand from professors to source e-books for their students, but you’d be amazed at how rare those requests are.

PUP: Existing in a “university town” offers unique opportunities for collaboration and partnerships, can you describe a few of the more successful initiatives?

DvM: I can’t think of much that we do that doesn’t involve collaborations with others. The University itself is in many ways our most important partner and we have, for instance, been able to re-tool how we buy and sell coursebooks as a result. But we constantly join with departments on campus, with arts or other cultural organizations around town and in the area, with schools, with civic groups between New Brunswick and Trenton, and simply with folks in town who come to us with an idea for an event or maybe for a window display, etc.

Currently, there is an incredibly active handful of people connected to a church in Princeton, who have mobilized broadly to read Michelle Alexander’s hugely important book The New Jim Crow in the community and to schedule programming around the issues of deep, structural and continued racism in the US. Of course, this is something we want to participate in in any way we can, pooling resources for getting word out about this programming, heavily discounting the book to readers, etc.

 

More about Labyrinth Books:

 

Labyrinth Books is an acclaimed academic and community bookstore located in Princeton, NJ. Princeton residents and visitors know the store can always be relied upon to provide recent books that form the backbone of current debates both inside and outside of the universities. But, they are equally committed to the longevity of books, so they stock backlist titles with the greatest of care, mindful that “kites rise against the wind, not with it.” (L. Mumford)

Labyrinth strives to be a place in which to get lost and discover what you didn’t know you were looking for. Through its robust program of in-store events and ongoing collaborations with local partners including Princeton University Press, the store remains an important site for the exchange of ideas.

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 (portico.org), 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.

University Press Week Blog Tour, Day 3 Round-up #UPWeek

 

Today, the University Press Blog Tour kicks off at University of Chicago Press where Scott Esposito, editor of the online journal Quarterly Conversation, riffs on one essential Chicago text that has been particularly influential on Esposito’s own work:  Modernist Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent by Wayne C. Booth. This exercise could be repeated a hundred times at each university press — the reality is we publish important books that change the way people think about their own work and the world. The Chicago blog sums it up saying, ” we couldn’t think of a better reason for why university presses matter than their continued commitment to foster thinkers like Booth and to take pride in watching their ideas blossom for another generation.”

 

The tour continues at the University of Illinois Press Blog where Stephen Wade argues that the hallmark of University Press publishing is a “commitment to humane scholarship: to publish learned books that neither hide behind grad school theory nor deaden themselves with verbal opacity. Instead, they seek works whose authors are willing, in the words of former University of Illinois Press editor Judith McCulloh, to ‘write for the world.’”

 

Onward to University of Nebraska Press where the manager of regional imprint Bison Books explains why university presses matter to their regions. University Presses can take on local authors, histories, cookbooks, you name it, because we are dedicated to serving the various communities in which we operate. Princeton University Press doesn’t dip into regional publishing (as in NJ, East Coast) but we do publish regional books — particularly field guides and natural history books — for countless countries and locales around the world. In doing so, we are also giving a “voice” to these places, as Tom Swanson so eloquently describes.

 

Syracuse University Press signs off for the day with longtime author and former series editor Laurence M. Hauptman’s thoughts on why University Presses matter. The three main reasons he describes are:

First, university presses generally work closer and spend more time collaborating with authors, especially new ones to the field, performing more of an educational role by teaching scholars the ropes of the publishing process.

Secondly, university presses are incubators for new ideas and directions in scholarship.

Finally, university presses have in-house expertise and draw from their location on campuses of higher learning.

The University Press Blog Tour continues tomorrow, including our own contribution of a Q&A with Labyrinth Books co-owner Dorothea von Moltke. Check out the complete schedule here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/111775029/University-Press-Week-blog-tour-schedule

 

University Press Blog Tour (#UPWeek), University Press of Florida interns on their “hands-on education”

Like so many of my colleagues, my career in University Press publishing started with an internship. One of the unsung benefits of having a university press in your community is that students have access to diverse publishing internships without having to trek to one of the publishing hub cities in the United States. Princeton University Press offers a range of internships and we recently posted a Q&A with our current roster of interns.

For their contribution to the University Press Week Blog Tour, the University Press of Florida invites three interns (from editorial, acquisitions, and marketing) to describe their experiences working for the press.

This post is part of the University Press Week Blog Tour (complete schedule here).

University Press Blog Tour (#UPWeek), Wilfrid Laurier University Press

 

Wilfrid Laurier University Press invites author Bruce Elder to riff on the unique role University Presses play at the juncture of knowledge, technology, and humanity. He argues that our dedication to monograph publishing is at the core of our contribution to “an era of sweeping, convulsive change.”

What is required for the humanistic study of technology, for an approach to understanding technology that is aware of it being a branch of ethics? Thinking about any topic well requires, more than ever, a careful, wide-ranging, and painstaking deliberation that (almost paradoxically) issues an original synthesis, reflecting the protean character of our historical situation. Such originality does not thrive when hurry-up thinking is demanded, or when writers are encouraged to characterize the issues in overly broad strokes.

The form of exposition best suited to this undertaking is the scholarly monograph: for at its best, it offers a form of complete unity that mirrors the broad field effects of the sweeping technological transformations now taking place. Such monographs are expensive to produce, and they are hardly bait for trade publishers. But we would do without them at our peril, for our moral substance is at stake. The fate of the scholarly monograph is ultimately in the hands of university presses and university libraries, which have struggled to keep it alive under frightful circumstances.

Read the complete post and leave a comment with your thoughts on Elder’s article at the Wilfrid Laurier University Press blog.

 

Part of the University Press Week Blog Tour (complete schedule here).

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

 

 

NetGalley features new galleys from University Presses #UPWeek

In honor of the first annual University Press Week and their partnership with the AAUP, Net Galley is showcasing these new titles from university presses.

 

The Rise of the National Basketball Association

By David George Surdam

Before Magic, Michael, and Kobe. Today’s National Basketball Association commands millions of spectators worldwide, and its many franchises are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But the league wasn’t always so successful or glamorous: in the 1940s and 1950s, the NBA and its predecessor, the Basketball Association of America, were scrambling to attract fans. Teams frequently played in dingy gymnasiums, players traveled as best they could, and their paychecks could bounce higher than a basketball. How did the NBA evolve from an obscure organization facing financial losses to a successful fledgling sports enterprise by 1960?

Drawing on information from numerous archives, newspaper and periodical articles, and Congressional hearings, The Rise of the National Basketball Association chronicles the league’s growing pains and points to the innovations that helped the NBA become the powerhouse that it is today.

University of Illinois Press ~ Pub Date: Nov 18 2012 ~ ISBN: 9780252078668


 

 

 


Mad Men, Mad World 
Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s

By Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky, and Robert A. Rushing

Since the show’s debut in 2007, Mad Men has invited viewers to immerse themselves in the lush period settings, ruthless Madison Avenue advertising culture, and arresting characters at the center of its 1960s fictional world.

Mad Men, Mad Worldis a comprehensive analysis of this groundbreaking TV series. Scholars from across the humanities consider the AMC drama from a fascinating array of perspectives, including fashion, history, architecture, civil rights, feminism, consumerism, art, cinema, and the serial format, as well as through theoretical frames such as critical race theory, gender, queer theory, global studies, and psychoanalysis.

Duke University Press Books ~ Pub Date: Mar 4 2013 ~ ISBN: 9780822354185


 

 

 


TV on Strike 
Why Hollywood Went to War over the Internet  

By Cynthia Littleton

TV on Strike examines the 2007 upheaval in the entertainment industry by telling the inside story of the hundred-day writers’ strike that crippled Hollywood. The television industry’s uneasy transition to the digital age was the driving force behind the most significant labor dispute of the twenty-first century.

With both sides afraid of losing millions in future profits, a critical communication breakdown spurred a brief but fierce fight with repercussions that continue today. The saga of the Writers Guild of America strike is told here as seen through the eyes of key players on both sides of the negotiating table and of the foot soldiers who shocked even themselves with the strength of their resolve to fight for their rights in the face of an ambiguous future.

Syracuse University Press ~ Pub Date: Nov 21 2012  ISBN: 9780815610083


 

 

 


Monte Cassino

By Peter Caddick-Adams

The most horrific battles of World War II ring in the popular memory: Stalingrad, the Bulge, Iwo Jima, to name a few. Monte Cassino should stand among them. Waged deep in the Italian mountains beneath a medieval monastery, it was an astonishingly brutal encounter, grinding up ten armies in conditions as bad as the Eastern Front at its worst.

Now the battle has the chronicle it deserves. In Monte Cassino, military historian Peter Caddick-Adams provides a vivid account of how an array of men from across the globe fought the most lengthy and devastating engagement of the Italian campaign in an ancient monastery town. Not simply Americans, British, and Germans, but Russians, Indians, Georgians, Nepalese, Ukrainians, French, Slovaks, Armenians, New Zealanders, and Poles, among others, fought and died there. Caddick-Adams offers a panoramic view, surveying the strategic heights and peering over the shoulders of troops fruitlessly digging for cover in the stony soil.

Oxford University Press ~ Pub Date: Nov 7 2012  ISBN: 9780199974641


 

 

 


How to Run a Country

An Ancient Guide for Modern Leaders

By Marcus Tullius Cicero
Selected, translated, and with an introduction by Philip Freeman

Marcus Cicero, Rome’s greatest statesman and orator, was elected to the Roman Republic’s highest office at a time when his beloved country was threatened by power-hungry politicians, dire economic troubles, foreign turmoil, and political parties that refused to work together. Sound familiar? Cicero’s letters, speeches, and other writings are filled with timeless wisdom and practical insight about how to solve these and other problems of leadership and politics. How to Run a Country collects the best of these writings to provide an entertaining, common sense guide for modern leaders and citizens. This brief book, a sequel to How to Win an Election, gathers Cicero’s most perceptive thoughts on topics such as leadership, corruption, the balance of power, taxes, war, immigration, and the importance of compromise. These writings have influenced great leaders – including America’s Founding Fathers – for two thousand years, and they are just as instructive today as when they were first written.

Princeton University Press ~ Pub Date: Feb 6 2013 ISBN: 9780691156576


 

 

 


Two Presidents Are Better Than One 

The Case for a Bipartisan Executive Branch
By David Orentlicher

When talking heads and political pundits make their “What’s Wrong with America” lists, two concerns invariably rise to the top: the growing presidential abuse of power and the toxic political atmosphere in Washington. In Two Presidents Are Better Than One, David Orentlicher shows how the “imperial presidency” and partisan conflict are largely the result of a deeper problem – the Constitution’s placement of a single president atop the executive branch. Accordingly, writes Orentlicher, we can fix our broken political system by replacing the one-person, one-party presidency with a two-person, two-party executive branch.

 

Analyzing the histories of other countries with a plural executive branch and past examples of bipartisan cooperation within Congress, Orentlicher shows us why and how to implement a two-person, two-party presidency. Ultimately, Two Presidents Are Better Than One demonstrates why we need constitutional reform to rebalance power between the executive and legislative branches and contain partisan conflict in Washington.

 

NYU Press ~ Pub Date: Mar 13 2013 ISBN: 9780814789490


 

 

 


The Global Farms Race

Land Grabs, Agricultural Investment, and the Scramble for Food Security

By Michael Kugelman and Susan L. Levenstein

We have entered a new phase of the global food crisis. Wealthy countries that import much of their food, along with private investors, are racing to buy or lease huge swaths of farmland abroad. The Global Farms Race is the first book to examine this burgeoning trend in all its complexity, considering the implications for investors, host countries, and the world as a whole.
The debate over large-scale land acquisition is typically polarized, with critics lambasting it as a form of “neocolonialism,” and proponents lauding it as a cure-all for global agriculture. The Global Farms Race instead offers diverse perspectives, featuring contributions from agricultural investment consultants, farmers’ organizations, international NGOs, and academics. This critical resource addresses historical context, environmental impacts, and social effects, and covers all the major geographic areas of investment.

Island Press ~ Pub Date: Oct 4 2012  ISBN: 9781610911870


 

 

 


Behind the Kitchen Door

By Saru Jayaraman

How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions – discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens – affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Saru Jayaraman, who launched the national restaurant workers’ organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers in New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Detroit, and New Orleans.

  

Blending personal narrative and investigative journalism, Jayaraman shows us that the quality of the food that arrives at our restaurant tables depends not only on the sourcing of the ingredients. Our meals benefit from the attention and skill of the people who chop, grill, saute, and serve. Behind the Kitchen Door is a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out. Jayaraman focuses on the stories of individuals, like Daniel, who grew up on a farm in Ecuador and sought to improve the conditions for employees at Del Posto; the treatment of workers behind the scenes belied the high-toned Slow Food ethic on display in the front of the house.

Cornell University Press ~ Pub Date:  Feb 12 2013 ~ ISBN: 9780801451720


 

 

 


Encyclopedia of Media and Communication

By Marcel Danesi

 

The first comprehensive encyclopedia for the growing fields of media and communication studies, the Encyclopedia of Media and Communication is an essential resource for beginners and seasoned academics alike. Contributions from over fifty experts and practitioners provide an accessible introduction to these disciplines’ most important concepts, figures, and schools of thought – from Jean Baudrillard to Tim Berners Lee, and podcasting to Peircean semiotics.

 

Detailed and up-to-date, the Encyclopedia of Media and Communication synthesizes a wide array of works and perspectives on the making of meaning. The appendix includes timelines covering the whole historical record for each medium, from either antiquity or their inception to the present day. Each entry also features a bibliography linking readers to relevant resources for further reading. The most coherent treatment yet of these fields, the Encyclopedia of Media and Communication promises to be the standard reference text for the next generation of media and communication students and scholars.

University of Toronto Press ~ Pub Date:  Jan 8 2013  ISBN: 9781442611696


 

 

 


Wm & H’ry
Literature, Love, and the Letters between Wiliam and Henry James

By J. C. Hallman

Readers generally know only one of the two famous James brothers. Literary types know Henry James; psychologists, philosophers, and religion scholars know William James. In reality, the brothers’ minds were inseparable, as the more than eight hundred letters they wrote to each other reveal. In this book, J. C. Hallman mines the letters for mutual affection and influence, painting a moving portrait of a relationship between two extraordinary men. Deeply intimate, sometimes antagonistic, rife with wit, and on the cutting edge of art and science, the letters portray the brothers’ relationship and measure the manner in which their dialogue helped shape, through the influence of their literary and intellectual output, the philosophy, science, and literature of the century that followed.

University Of Iowa Press ~ Pub Date:  Mar 15 2013  ISBN: 9781609381516


 

 

 


Stories from Jonestown

By Leigh Fondakowski

The saga of Jonestown didn’t end on the day in November 1978 when more than nine hundred Americans died in a mass murder-suicide in the Guyanese jungle. While only a handful of people present at the agricultural project survived that day in Jonestown, more than eighty members of Peoples Temple, led by Jim Jones, were elsewhere in Guyana on that day, and thousands more members of the movement still lived in California. Emmy-nominated writer Leigh Fondakowski, who is best known for her work on the play and HBO film The Laramie Project, spent three years traveling the United States to interview these survivors, many of whom have never talked publicly about the tragedy. Using more than two hundred hours of interview material, Fondakowski creates intimate portraits of these survivors as they tell their unforgettable stories.

What emerges are portrayals both haunting and hopeful – of unimaginable sadness, guilt, and shame but also resilience and redemption. Weaving her own artistic journey of discovery throughout the book in a compelling historical context, Fondakowski delivers, with both empathy and clarity, one of the most gripping, moving, and humanizing accounts of Jonestown ever written.

University Of Minnesota Press ~ Pub Date:  Feb 1 2013  ISBN: 9780816678082


 

 

 


Shocking The Conscience
A Reporter’s Account of the Civil Rights Movement

By Simeon Booker with Carol McCabe Booker

An unforgettable chronicle by the first full-time African American reporter for the Washington Post, and Jet magazine’s White House correspondent for a half-century.

 

Within a few years of its first issue in 1951, Jet, a pocket-size magazine, became the “bible” for news of the civil rights movement. It was said, only half-jokingly, “if it wasn’t in Jet, it didn’t happen.” Writing for the magazine and its glossy, big sister, Ebony, for fifty-three years, longer than any other journalist, Washington bureau chief Simeon Booker was on the front lines of virtually every major event of the revolution that transformed America.

This is the story of the century that changed everything about journalism, politics, and more in America, as only Simeon Booker, the dean of the black press, could tell it.

University Press of Mississippi ~ Pub Date: Apr 2 2013  ISBN: 9781617037894


 

 

 


Creamy and Crunchy
An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food

By Jon Krampner

The first popular account of one of America’s most beloved foods (consumed by more than seventy-five percent of the population), Creamy and Crunchy is a comprehensive and entertaining history of peanut butter’s development and integration into the American diet. Richly illustrated and filled with anecdotes and facts culled from unusual and engaging sources, the book is a mix of interviews, research, travels in the peanut-growing regions of the South, personal histories and recipes, focusing on the manufacture of the food from the 1890s to the present, while also covering its cultural, nutritional, and even molecular evolution.

 

Krampner investigates the resurgence of natural, or old-fashioned, peanut butter; the five ways today’s product is different from the original; why Americans love peanut butter so much more than people from most other nations; and the future trajectory of the industry. He also provides tips on peanut butter etiquette (if eating it straight from the jar, use a teaspoon – unless your girlfriend has just brutally dumped you, in which case a tablespoon is considered acceptable) and concludes with a “best of” list featuring top, taste-tested peanut butters and a timeline of key figures and events.

Columbia University Press ~ Pub Date:  Nov 27 2012  ISBN: 9780231162326