#NewBooks

Books released during the week of March 2, 2015

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An Uncertain Glory:
India and its Contradictions

Jean Drèze & Amartya Sen

“It’s an urgent, passionate, political work that makes the case that India cannot move forward without investing significantly–as every other major industrialized country has already done–in public services….This book is…a heartfelt plea to rethink what progress in a poor country ought to look like.” –Jyoti Thottam, New York Times Book Review

 

bookjacket Analytical Psychology in Exile:
The Correspondence of C. G. Jung and Erich Neumann

C. G. Jung & Erich Neumann
Edited and introduced by Martin Liebscher
Translated by Heather McCartney

“Erich Neumann’s place in the history of analytical psychology may finally find the positive reassessment it deserves via this collection of his correspondence with Carl Jung….Perhaps most importantly, these letters allow us to see a mutually enriching exchange of ideas that formed a significant, though under appreciated, passage of intellectual history. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the theoretical origins of psychoanalysis.” –Publishers Weekly

 

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Beyond the Brain:
How Body and Environment Shape Animal and Human Minds

Louise BarrettBeyond the Brain is an astonishingly good book, both substantive and fun to read….Barrett re-centers the field on the study of animal cognition. I think this is an excellent decision, and not just because it allows her to tell some great animal stories. The main advantage is not narrative but substantive: her careful reconstruction of the grounds of natural cognition is simply more convincing and more relevant than even the best discussion of artificial intelligence could ever be….Beyond the Brain is full of…interesting and heterodox discussions, and is sure to engage, enrage, and inspire in differential measure depending on the reader’s theoretical proclivities.” –Michael L. Anderson, Journal of Consciousness Studies 

 

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Cells to Civilizations:
The Principles of Change That Shape Life

Enrico Coen“This attempt at a grand theoretical synthesis within biology explores the transformative powers and creative forces that have brought about the living world from the first cells to the latest developments in cultural and technological evolution…[Coen's] eloquently written book offers a programmatic synthesis and an empirically grounded proposal for a theory of biology….Cells to Civilizations will stimulate many productive discussions about the origins and development of life in all its complexities.” -Manfred D. Laubichler, Science

 

bookjacket The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Volume 14:
The Berlin Years: Writings & Correspondence, April 1923–May 1925 (English Translation Supplement)

Documentary edition
Albert Einstein
Edited by Diana Kormos Buchwald, József Illy, Ze’ev Rosenkranz, Tilman Sauer & Osik Moses
Translated by Ann M. Hentschel & Jennifer Nollar James
Klaus Hentschel, consultant
In almost one hundred writings and more than one thousand letters included in this volume, Einstein is revealed yet again as the consummate puzzler of myriad scientific problems as well as the invested participant in social and political engagements.

 

bookjacket The Confidence Trap:
A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present

Updated edition
David Runciman
With a new afterword by the author”His rich and refreshing book will be of intense interest to anyone puzzled by the near paralysis that seems to afflict democratic government in a number of countries, not least the United States. Runciman’s account of the workings of the confidence trap-the belief that democracy will always survive-will serve as an antidote to the moods of alarm and triumph by which writers on democracy are regularly seized.” –John Gray, New York Review of Books

 

bookjacket Extinction:
How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago

Updated edition
Douglas H. Erwin
With a new preface by the author”Theories and mysteries can be dispelled with good data from the geologic record, and Erwin (a paleobiologist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History) offers an authoritative account of the search for these data and for the cause of the extinction. . . . Extinction provides a great reference for researchers and the interested lay reader alike.”–Andrew M. Bush, Science

 

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Flatland:
A Romance of Many Dimensions

Edwin Abbott Abbott
With an introduction by Thomas Banchoff”One of the most imaginative, delightful and, yes, touching works of mathematics, this slender 1884 book purports to be the memoir of A. Square, a citizen of an entirely two-dimensional world.”–The Washington Post Book World

 

bookjacket Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels:
How Human Values Evolve

Updated edition
Ian Morris
Edited and with an introduction by Stephen Macedo
With commentary by Richard Seaford, Jonathan D. Spence, Christine M. Korsgaard, and Margaret Atwood”A provocative explanation for the evolution and divergence of ethical values. . . . In the hands of this talented writer and thinker, [the] material becomes an engaging intellectual adventure.”–Kirkus

 

bookjacket  From Ancient to Modern:
Archaeology and Aesthetics

Edited by Jennifer Y. Chi & Pedro AzaraThis beautifully illustrated volume is the accompanying catalog for the exhibition at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and focuses on fifty objects from three iconic sites in the ancient Near East: Ur, Diyala, and Kish.

 

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Heart Beats:
Everyday Life and the Memorized Poem

Catherine Robson“It’s tempting to sentimentalize an era in which poetry–memorized, recited poetry–held so prominent a place in the culture. But its once-substantial role turns out to be a mixed and complicated tale, as thoroughly chronicled [by] Catherine Robson.”–Brad Leithauser, NewYorker.com

 

bookjacket Higher Education in America
Revised edition
Derek Bok”Magisterial.”–Stanley Fish, New York Times

 

bookjacket In-Your-Face Politics:
The Consequences of Uncivil Media

Diana C. Mutz“With ample humor and sufficient exposition for a lay audience, she conducts and analyzes a series of experiments carefully crafted to study how extreme close-ups and uncivil behavior in political TV affect the public discourse. . . . An approachable yet scientifically rigorous look at what passes for political discourse in America.”–Kirkus

 

bookjacket Life on a Young Planet:
The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth

Updated edition
Andrew H. Knoll
With a new preface by the author”A fascinating book. . . . The catastrophic surface narrative of this impressive and intriguing book would surely have pleased Stephen Jay Gould; but I think its deterministic subtext would have pleased Charles Darwin still more.”–Matt Cartmill, Times Literary Supplement

 

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Mass Flourishing:
How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change

Edmund Phelps“The book eloquently discusses the culture of innovation, which can refer to both an entrepreneurial mind-set and the cultural achievements during an age of change. . . . The dismal science becomes a little brighter when Mr. Phelps draws the connections between the economic ferment of the industrial age and the art of Beethoven, Verdi and Rodin.”–Edward Glaeser, Wall Street Journal

 

bookjacket On Elizabeth Bishop
Colm Tóibín“Novelist Tóibín (Nora Webster) gives an intimate and engaging look at Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry and its influence on his own work. . . . Tóibín is also present in the book, and his relationship to Bishop’s work and admiration of her style gives the book much of its power. Whether one is familiar with Bishop’s life and work or is looking to Tóibín to learn more, this book will appeal to many readers.”–Publishers Weekly starred review

 

bookjacket Pagans and Philosophers:
The Problem of Paganism from Augustine to Leibniz

John Marenbon“In this book, John Marenbon exhibits remarkable erudition and a formidable command of the relevant texts, both scholastic and literary. He is adept at setting out complex issues in a clear way, and his book incorporates much little-known and fascinating material in the history of ideas.”–Anthony Kenny, author of A New History of Western Philosophy

 

bookjacket Pleasure and Piety:
The Art of Joachim Wtewael

James Clifton, Liesbeth M. Helmus & Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.
With contributions by Stijn Alsteens & Anne W. Lowenthal”The definitive study of one of the period’s most significant artists.”–H. Rodney Nevitt Jr., University of Houston

 

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Political Bubbles:
Financial Crises and the Failure of American Democracy

Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole & Howard Rosenthal“As pundits debate the causes of the 2008 economic crisis, the authors contend that financial crises have inherently political dimensions. McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal argue persuasively that political bubbles and market bubbles are highly similar, with policy biases contributing to and amplifying market behavior. . . . The authors provide an exhaustive review of structural problems that they believe impede effective government response to new catastrophic economic developments. Their arguments transcend the academic to include historical precedents and specifics on Wall Street machinations.”–Publishers Weekly

 

bookjacket Still Lives:
Death, Desire, and the Portrait of the Old Master

Maria H. Loh“This ambitious and complex book opens up the study of the Italian Renaissance with renewed theoretical and scholarly vigor. Maria Loh paints a vivid portrait of the messy politics of studio culture and the new pictorial economies resulting from the printing press.”–Todd Olson, University of California, Berkeley

 

bookjacket “They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else”:
A History of the Armenian Genocide

Ronald Grigor Suny“[A] deeply researched, fair-minded study. . . . Suny creates a compelling narrative of vengeance and terror.”–Kirkus, starred review

 

bookjacket Thinking About the Presidency:
The Primacy of Power

William G. Howell
With David Milton Brent
With a new preface by the author”Thinking about the Presidency is a relatively brief book which would do well in any survey-level course on executive leadership or the structure of American government. . . . By looking at the presidency through the lens of expanding presidential power, Howell and Brent left this reader asking for more: such as why government works this way or why Congress reacts as it does. That it leaves open those questions indicates that this book is a valuable addition to any graduate-level course.”–Seth Offenbach, Journal of American Studies

 

bookjacket Watchdogs on the Hill:
The Decline of Congressional Oversight of U.S. Foreign Relations

Linda L. Fowler“Examining the evolution and deterioration of oversight on the Senate side of the Capitol, this thorough and theoretically grounded work offers systematic insight into the national security watchdog that doesn’t always bark. Fowler’s call to ‘renew foreign policy oversight’ will be deeply interesting to scholars, practitioners, and citizens alike.”–Christopher J. Deering, George Washington University

 

bookjacket White Backlash:
Immigration, Race, and American Politics

Marisa Abrajano & Zoltan L. HajnalWhite Backlash is one of the best books I have read in the last half century. Based on rigorous analyses of multiple data sets and presented in remarkably clear prose, the book advances a compelling and original argument that will change the way we talk about immigration and electoral politics. I highly recommend this important work to anyone seeking an understanding of the current and growing racial divide in U.S. politics.”–Willliam Julius Wilson, author of More than Just Race

 

 

Q&A with Leah Wright Rigueur, author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican

This week, Leah Wright Rigueur took the time to talk with us about her new book, The Loneliness of the Black Republican. Read the introduction for free, here.

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How did you come up with the title and jacket?

LR: The title of the book comes from a 1987 Heritage Foundation speech by Clarence Thomas, originally titled, “Why Black Americans Should Look to Conservative Policies.” In 1991, when George H.W. Bush nominated Thomas to a seat on the Supreme Court, newspapers and journals re-printed the speech under the header, “No Room at the Inn: The Loneliness of the Black Conservative.” In 1999, conservative writer Shelby Steele later borrowed this title for an essay for the Hoover Institution and a chapter in his book The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America.

I slightly amended the title to reflect the stories of those African Americans that joined the Republican Party, an ideological gamut that encompassed liberal, moderate, and of course, conservative factions. Of all the titles I considered, The Loneliness of the Black Republican felt the most “right.” Since 1936, black Republicans – of all ideological backgrounds – have complained of being isolated because of their small numbers; they constantly bemoaned their outsider status from both their political party and racial community. At the same time, the title holds some irony, since black Republicans played a significant role in the modern GOP. Over the course of nearly 50 years, the Republican Party strategically implemented some of black party members’ ideas and policies. Black Republicans ideas also occasionally gained support from outside the GOP, as well – from the black press, black Democrats, and even black voters.

The jacket image is a photograph of Jewel Lafontant at the 1960 Republican National Convention, courtesy of the Oberlin College Archives. She’s seconding the presidential nomination of Richard Nixon. Lafontant was a prominent Chicago attorney and civil rights advocate (she helped co-found the Congress of Racial Equality – CORE), who became a Republican advisor for Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Cabot Lodge, Richard Nixon, and George H.W. Bush. The photograph immediately stood out when I first came across it while doing research for the book. Here is this powerful and brilliant black woman, with her eyes lowered – almost demurely – surrounded by white faces, none of whom seem to be paying attention! The photo also felt provocative since black women are the least likely of any racial/gender demographic to support the GOP. Considering all of that, I had to have this picture on the cover, as it so perfectly captured the idea of “loneliness.”

What would you have been if not an historian?

LR: I would have been a print or broadcast journalist. I love all things newsworthy, political and pop-culture related!

Who do you see as the audience for this book?

LR: Everyone! All kidding aside, I wrote this book for a general audience interested in politics, history, and civil rights. Within The Loneliness of the Black Republican, I took a measured approach to better understanding the role that African Americans have played in shaping the modern Republican Party. The book also holds lessons for members of both the GOP and the Democratic Party; in short, there’s something here for people of varying ideological backgrounds interested in the experiences of marginalized groups of people trying to gain power within a two-party political system.

My book inverts our understanding of the American political system – how and why people vote the way that they do and how they behave, politically. A great example of this is Jackie Robinson’s story, which I cover in detail, in the book. Nearly everyone knows Robinson for his baseball accomplishments, but few people know about his work with the GOP. Robinson described himself as a “militant black Republican” – he worked extensively with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and lobbied aggressively, on a national stage, to rid the party of its racist and segregationist element.

Although my book is a work of history, it also holds relevant lessons for contemporary politics.

What was the biggest challenge involved with bringing this book to life?

LR: When I first started my research, I feared that I wouldn’t find enough evidence to support a book-length project. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I found thousands of stories of black Republicans, spanning nearly a century. I was overwhelmed with information – the challenge thus became choosing whose story to tell and how. Initially, I felt terrible that I had to leave out so many stories, but as an author, I had to carve out a representative guide to black Republicanism. On a happier note, I have enough material to begin work on my next project, which will look at black Republican politics, 1980 – present day.

What are you reading right now?

LR: I recently read Megan Francis’ book, Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State, which re-conceptualizes the significance of the NAACP in American politics in the early part of the 20th Century. Next up is Lily Geismer’s book, Don’t Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party and Kevin Kruse’s One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (April 2015). I’ve known all of these authors for years, and it is exciting to see their projects develop, take shape, transform and grow. I’m also trying to work my way though Stephen King’s novel Revival.

What was the most interesting thing you learned from writing this book?

LR: It’s clear that the characters in The Loneliness of the Black Republican influenced modern day black Republican thought – there are direct links to figures ranging from Clarence Thomas, Tim Scott and Mia Love, to Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Michael Steele. But what completely blew me away was the way in which some of the figures in my book influenced, in part, modern black Democrats. It is uncanny how similar President Barack Obama, New Jersey Senator Corey Booker and even Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick are to Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke, for example. If we erased the political labels, I’d assume all of the officials came from the same political party.

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you:

LR: I just had a baby girl in December 2014! I also have a two-year old son.
Our household is a lot of fun, to say the least!


 

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The Loneliness of the Black Republican:
Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power
Leah Wright Rigueur

CLIMATE SHOCK authors on TheAtlantic.com: Will camels roam Canada again?

Climate ShockThe last time concentrations of carbon dioxide were as high as they are today, write Marty Weitzman and Gernot Wagner, authors of Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet, camels lived in Canada. That was a bit over 3 million years ago, of course. But how how certain does science have to be for the world to act? Wagner and Weitzman had a terrific op-ed appear today on The Atlantic.com where they argue that climate is best thought of as a global-scale risk management problem. Check it out here:

Will Camels Roam Canada Again?

What we know about climate change is bad enough. What we don’t could make it even worse.

Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman

You are cruising down the highway at 65 miles per hour, reading a book in your self-driving car. Your life is in the hands of a machine—an eminently benevolent one. Meanwhile, in the lane next to you, an 18-wheeler using decidedly last-century technology—relying on a fallible human driver—appears to be swerving your way.

Your car’s computer is on the case. Equipped with orders of magnitude more computing power than the Apollo moon lander, it determines with all the confidence it can muster that there’s a greater-than-50-percent chance—it’s “more likely than not”—that the truck is about to hit you.

You may want to look up from your book. More importantly, you want to know with certainty that your onboard computer will hit the brakes, even if there’s a 49-percent chance that doing so will be a false alarm.

If, instead of “more likely than not,” the danger were “likely,” “very likely,” or even “extremely likely,” the answer would be clearer still. Even if there’s a 95-percent probability of a crash, there’s still a 1-in-20 chance that nothing will happen—but no one would gamble their life on those odds. Your car’s computer hopefully will have engaged the anti-lock braking systems already.

A perfect self-driving car doesn’t exist yet, nor has the world solved global warming. But it’s surprising that, by the standards that we’d expect in a car to keep its occupants safe, the governments of the world haven’t stepped on the brakes to avoid planetary-scale global warming disaster—a 100-year-storm hitting New York every other year, frequent and massive droughts, inundated coastal cities. In 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared that it was “more likely than not” the case that global warming was caused by human activity. By 2001, it had progressed to “likely.” By 2007, it was “very likely.” By 2013, it was “extremely likely.” There’s only one step left in official IPCC lingo: “virtually certain.”

Read the rest at The Atlantic.com here.

 

Win an Autographed Copy of Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?

AMC’s The Walking Dead just had its mid-season premiere recently. Gain a deeper understanding of zombism by entering to win an autographed copy of Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain by Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek.

How to win? There are three ways to enter: visit Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep‘s Facebook page; email us at blog@press.princeton.edu; or follow @PrincetonUPress on Twitter. Just follow the steps in the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected on or around March 11, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

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Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?
A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain
Timothy Verstynen & Bradley Voytek 


A Late Winter Challenge: Learn all of the Eastern Spring Warbler Songs

 

Magnolia Warbler, Spring Male, credit Scott Whittle

 

Together with Dennis H and the Brooklyn Bird Club, we are crafting a series of playlists designed to help you learn all of the spring warbler songs for our area by the time they arrive. Each set of songs can be added to an iTunes playlist, which will enable you to learn all the warbler songs just in time for spring migration.

The first playlist is here! It is based on the Cornell Song and Call Companion for The Warbler Guide. Add the songs to your iTunes library, create a mnemonic image, and test your knowledge using the “shuffle” feature on iTunes. Listen to the playlist, here. Stay tuned to The Warbler Guide‘s Facebook page for updated playlists.

Good luck! Leave a comment below with your progress.

190 c Black-throated Blue Type A1
258 c Common Yellowthroat Type A1
322 c Louisiana Waterthrush Type A1
408 c Pine Type A
488 c Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Type A1
164 c Black-and-white Type A1

Women’s History Month Book List

We have just welcomed March, which happens to be National Women’s History Month. Each year, the National Women’s History Project chooses a commemorative theme. This year’s theme is “Weaving the Story of Women’s Lives.”  Read more about the theme, here. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we have curated a must-read book list.

 

bookjacket The Match Girl and the Heiress
Seth Koven

 

bookjacket On Elizabeth Bishop
Colm Tóibín

 

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Mothers of Conservatism:
Women and the Postwar Right

Michelle M. Nickerson

 

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Why Gender Matters in Economics
Mukesh Eswaran

 

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The Silent Sex:
Gender, Deliberation, and Institutions

Christopher F. Karpowitz & Tali Mendelberg

 

bookjacket The Great Mother:
An Analysis of the Archetype
*
Erich Neumann
Translated by Ralph Manheim
With a new foreword by Martin Liebscher

*published April 2015

 

 

Q&A with Maud S. Mandel, author of Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict

We recently sat down for a Q&A with Maud S. Mandel to talk about her new book Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict. Read the introduction for free, here.

20130924_Brown_JudaicStudies_headshots_StephanieEwensPhoto001(3)

How does your book speak to the current dialogue about tensions between Muslims and Jews in France, particularly in the wake of Charlie Hebdo?

MM: First, my book helps contextualize recent events by placing them in a longer history of Muslim-Jewish relations in France. It thus helps us understand why the violent outburst against Charlie Hebdo became intertwined with an attack against a kosher market, two sites that might not seem obviously linked to contemporary on-lookers. Secondly, I think it also helps us understand the diversity of Muslim-Jewish responses during and after the violence. While French-born Muslim citizens perpetuated the attacks, a French-Muslim policeman died in the conflict and a Muslim immigrant hid Jews in the grocery store. Some Jews have opted in the aftermath to leave France for other countries, while many have never considered such an option. My book helps us get a better grasp on this diversity of possible responses by showing the complex evolution of Muslims and Jews to the French state and each other.

Why did you write this book?

MM: I wrote this book in response to the outbreak of anti-Jewish violence in France in 2000, after which a number of stories came out in the media referring to the “new antisemitism” in France. The term “new” often gives an historian pause, and so I became interested in investigating what was “new” about the events that were unfolding in France. What had changed in Muslim-Jewish relations over time? And what were the forces shaping the evolution of those relations?

What was the most interesting thing you learned from writing this book?

MM: Given the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle to so much of the media coverage of Muslim-Jewish conflict in France, I had expected the story I was writing to focus largely on that issue. And yet the further I delved into the topic, the more clear it became that the legacy of French colonialism and the evolution of French politics had as great an impact on Muslim-Jewish relations as events in Israel/Palestine. Although this conclusion should not have been a surprise to an historian, given the significance of context to the study of history, I was surprised by the long shadow of French colonialism in shaping my story.

What do you think is the book’s most important contribution?

MM: As in all historical projects, my goal is to complicate simplistic understandings of the problem before us, to challenge notions of inevitability, to force us to question how and why the past took the shape that it did, and to push against monocausal explanations. This approach has pointed me to the diversity of socio-religious relationships between Muslims and Jews in France; conflict is not the only–or even the primary–way of understanding these relationships. This approach has also directed me away from conceptualizing Muslim-Jewish relations in France as arising inevitably from conflict in the Middle East. Rather, I argue that where conflict does exist, its origins and explanation are as much about France and French history as they are about Middle Eastern conflict. While global developments created fault lines around which activists began to mobilize, the nature of that mobilization (i.e. who was involved), the political rhetoric employed, and the success or lack thereof of their appeal emerged from French political transformations.

What was the biggest challenge involved with bringing this book to life?

MM: The biggest challenge involved with bringing this book to life was my stage of life when I wrote it. Newly tenured at Brown and with two young children, I faced the difficulty of finding long stretches of time away from campus and the responsibilities of home life to conduct research abroad. This book would have benefited from much longer periods of ethnographic research in Marseille, one of my key sites of investigation, but it was extremely difficult to balance all the demands of my life in such a way as to accommodate long research trips. The result was that it took me a long time to write this book, and I never felt I could immerse myself as deeply in the project as I desired.

Describe your writing process. How long did it take you to finish your book? Where do you write?

MM: As I mentioned in my answer to the last question, the book took me a long time to write. I began the research when my oldest child was two years old and it came out in print just before he turned fourteen! I wrote most of it in my home office that I share with my husband. Much of the writing happened during a couple of sabbaticals in which we shared that space with several cats. I have fond memories of those long days of writing. My process is to write everything out in long detail and then to pare down to my central argument. First drafts of most chapters thus numbered around 250-300 pages. The work of crafting chapters came in the revisions process, which I really enjoy.

What is the biggest misunderstanding people have about what you do?

MM: People often assume the study of history is either a process of learning about the facts of the past (dates and names) or laying out new information. To my mind, however, the study of history is far more of a humanistic exercise than a social science. Historians are storytellers and interpreters.


 

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Muslims and Jews in France:
History of a Conflict
Maud S. Mandel

Tracing proto-Indo-European

At a first glance, Indian, Iranian, English, and the European languages appear to have few similarities. Nevertheless, historical linguists have discovered the parallel between the languages, proto-Indo-European. This antiquated language has proven quite difficult to trace and has caused debates amongst linguists. Read more about the origins of modern languages in The New York Times. Delve deeper in this interesting topic by reading The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by David W. Anthony. You can read the first chapter for free, here.

 

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The Horse, the Wheel, and Language:
How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World

David W. Anthony

Calculus predicts more snow for Boston

Are we there yet? And by “there,” we mean spring and all the lovely weather that comes with it. This winter has been a tough one, and as the New York Times says, “this winter has gotten old.”

snow big[Photo Credit: John Talbot]

Our friends in Boston are feeling the winter blues after seven feet of precipitation over three weeks. But how much is still to come? You may not be the betting kind, but for those with shoveling duty, the probability of more winter weather may give you chills.

For this, we turn to mathematician Oscar Fernandez, professor at Wellesley College. Professor Fernandez uses calculus to predict the probability of Boston getting more snow, and the results may surprise you. In an article for the Huffington Post, he writes:

There are still 12 days left in February, and since we’ve already logged the snowiest month since record-keeping began in 1872 (45.5 inches of snow… so far), every Bostonian is thinking the same thing: how much more snow will we get?

We can answer that question with math, but we need to rephrase it just a bit. Here’s the version we’ll work with: what’s the probability that Boston will get at least s more inches of snow this month?

Check out the full article — including the prediction — over at the Huffington Post.

Math has some pretty cool applications, doesn’t it? Try this one: what is the most effective number of hours of sleep? Or — for those who need to work on the good night’s rest routine — how does hot coffee cool? These and other answers can be found through calculus, and Professor Fernandez shows us how in his book, Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All around Us.

This book was named one of American Association for the Advancement of Science’s “Books for General Audiences and Young Adults” in 2014. See Chapter One for yourself.

For more from Professor Fernandez, head over to his website, Surrounded by Math.

 

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laserstars/.

Win a copy of The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

In anticipation of Cinderella‘s movie release on March 13, we are giving away a copy of The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. The total value of this prize is $35.00.

How to win? There are three ways to enter: visit The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm’s Facebook page; email us at blog@press.princeton.edu; or follow @PrincetonUPress on Twitter. Just follow the steps in the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected on March 5, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Update: This giveaway has concluded and the winner has been notified, 3/4/15]


 

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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