‘On Conan Doyle’ Wins Edgar Award

Princeton University Press would like to congratulate Michael Dirda on winning Best Critical Biography for On Conan Doyle  at the Edgar Awards last night.  Named for Edgar Allan Poe, the awards are presented each year by the Mystery Writers of America and honor to best mystery writers in fiction, non-fiction, youth, stage and screen.

Michael, may the bust of Poe smile upon you always.


P.S. They’re baaaaaaack!

The much-anticipated second installment of the Princeton Shorts series arrives in April with entries from Larry Bartels, James Kloppenberg, Peter Leeson, Thomas Barfield, and Jeremy Mynott.

For a peak at the behind-the-scenes selection process, check out Digital Sales Director of PUP, Priscilla Treadwell’s post on the AAUP blog.

Einstein Online

Jerusalem’s Hebrew University announced yesterday that it will be launching a new public website in conjunction with the efforts of the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology to make the entirety of Einstein’s writings available online.  The CNN blog Light Years provides additional details.  Princeton University Press and the Einstein Papers Project have so far published twelve volumes of Einstein’s writing and this new public website will unite the efforts.

Very exciting stuff for relativity fans.  Check out the Einstein Archives Online and the 2,000 documents currently offered to the public.  There should be close to 30,000 available this time next year!

Can’t get enough Einstein?  Check out more highlights in Einstein Before Israel and The Ultimate Quotable Einstein available now.




Books for Lovers: The Philosophy of Love

Now as a special treat, some Valentine’s wishes from Philosophy and Classics Editor Rob Tempio:

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than reading some philosophy with your sweetheart, beau, or paramour, right? Okay, maybe not, but if it’s depth you’re after in your love life and not just superficial passion or infatuation, then do we have the books for you.

First stop, the origins of romantic love.  In this classic work, Love in the Western World, Dennis de Rougemont explores the psychology of love from the legend of Tristan and Isolde to Hollywood. At the heart of his exploration is the inescapable conflict in the West between marriage and passion. Mais oui!

The French may consider themselves the world’s greatest lovers, but are they also the greatest philosophers of love? Judge for yourself in French provocateur Pascal Bruckner’s new book, The Paradox of Love.

Today may not be the best day to wonder why we love what we love, but in his book, The Reasons of Love philosopher Harry Frankfurt says that self-love is at the heart of all else that we love. Try using that to explain why you got yourself chocolates and flowers. Also, if your significant other gives you a copy of Harry Frankfurt’s best-selling book Harry Frankfurt’s best-selling book On Bullshit today, things may be on the rocks. Just saying.

Love is irrational and blind, guided by passion not reason. Not exactly says philosopher and poet Troy Jollimore in his book, Love’s Vision.  In this beautifully written book chock full of wonderful examples from poetry, literature, and music, Troy Jollimore show that love is a “vision” which combines the irrational and the rational, reason and passion, and guides us away from an excessive self-concern. And what says Valentine’s Day more than poetry, so why not read some of Jollimore’s poetry to your beloved as well: At Lake Scugogg.

Last but not least, no discussion of the philosophy of love would be complete without the Great Dane himself, Soren Kierkegaard.  Yes, the man gave up the one great love of his life to devote himself to philosophy, but nevertheless it freed him up to write the many beautiful works on love that he did, including the aptly named Works of Love.

BBut, for those unattached and looking for love… at least for Valentine’s Day, pick up a copy of The Seducer’s Diary for all the tips sure to win you the favor of someone special.  Satisfaction guaranteed…we hope.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Princeton University Press.

The Paradox of Love is now available in cloth and electronic form!

Three PUP authors to receive National Humanities Medal today

Princeton University Press is pleased to congratulate Kwame Anthony Appiah (The Ethics of Identity), Andrew Delbanco (College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be), and Teofilo Ruiz (The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization), all of whom will receive a National Humanities Medal today.  A total of eight writers will be honored, including poet John Ashbery, historian Robert Darnton, musical scholar Charles Rosen, literary scholar Ramón Saldívar, and Amartya Sen,  Nobel laureate in economics.

From the White House press release:

Kwame Anthony Appiah for seeking eternal truths in the contemporary world. His books and essays within and beyond his academic discipline have shed moral and intellectual light on the individual in an era of globalization and evolving group identities.

Andrew Delbanco for his insight into the American character, past and present. He has been called “America’s best social critic” for his essays on current issues and higher education. As a professor in American studies, he reveals how classics by Melville and Emerson have shaped our history and contemporary life.

Teofilo Ruiz, medieval historian, for his inspired teaching and writing. His erudite studies have deepened our understanding of medieval Spain and Europe, while his late examination of how society has coped with terror has taught important lessons about the dark side of western progress.

The ceremony will begin streaming live at 1:45 PM Eastern time and you can watch it here.



Do you know the way to Dura-Europos?

Yeah…me neither.

But John Noble Wilford of the New York Times does!  Check out his article on the intersection of empires and learn about the fascinating exhibit at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World open through January 8, 2012.  ISAW has a co-pub with PUP to put out the gorgeous exhibition catalog.

Impress your relatives this holiday season with your knowledge of the forgotten ruins in Syria.


Princeton Shorts: On Victory and Defeat

As American forces prepare to leave Iraq at the end of the month, questions abound as to the final outcome of the war: Can America forces count this as a victory? Have the enemies they spent the last eight years fighting been defeated? Although, the nature of warfare has changed dramatically, the Princeton Shorts selection, On Victory and Defeat, from Carl von Clausewitz’s classic On War, may offer some insight into the what victory means and how we know when our enemies have been defeated.

Thanks to Philosophy and Classics Editor, Rob Tempio, for this post.

Sherlock Holmes and the case of the Library Phantom

The jig is up! Or is it?  The Edinburgh Library Phantom, an anonymous literary artist, has left a farewell note right out of the pages of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  NPR’s Krulwich Wonders has a post with the Phantom’s portfolio to date and look!  There’s a  T. rex in the pages of The Lost World.

Two weeks until the premiere of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on December 16.  Need a sleuthing fix till then?  Check out Michael Dirda’s On Conan Doyle on sale now.


Inquiring minds look beyond traditional publishing gigs

Attention aspiring literary types: the New York Times profile on up-and-coming journal darling, The New Inquiry, should provide a balm to your aching joints – you know, the ones at risk of chronic fatigue from typing all those cover letters, seemingly in vain – and curb your anxieties over what becomes of bright young things after college.  At the very least, it offers hope.

Would-be literary luminaries are seeking refuge in an offbeat, alt-uni publishing realm which novelist Jonathan Lethem terms “extrainstitutional intellectualism.”  For every New Yorker rejection letter or unreturned phone call from the gazillionth internship application, this group seems particularly bent on forging their own way in literary criticism.  Sure, they modeled their exploits on the smoky salons of yore but this is not the Lost Generation of gin-drinking gadabouts.  This is a bourbon-toting crowd of crackling talent waiting to be kindled into something greater.  Call them the Must Generation, refusing to compromise passion in favor of a stable income.  They must write, they must publish, they must keep believing it somehow gets better.

PUP has been in contact with The New Inquiry since early 2010 and we are proud to support their efforts by sending review copies for consideration.   Now my question is: how do we get an invite to the invite-only meetings?

Gift Books for Geeks: 2011 Edition

It’s Black Friday.  Make use of this frenzied shopping day and pick up a gift that keeps on giving!

We are proud to offer the following general interest titles that are sure to appeal to birders, historians and literature buffs in this year’s Princeton University Press Holiday Gift Book Roundup.


(c) iStockphoto.com



Or, the Whole Art of Storytelling

Michael Dirda

For The Lit Crit Geek: you armchair-dwelling, brandy-swilling, tweed-wearing, Masterpiece Mystery!– watching bibliophile, you.  Get ready to journey beyond Holmes with Dirda as your guide.

Cloth | $19.95

ISBN: 978-0-691-15135-9

224 pp. | 4 1/2 x 7


Eastern Birds

Richard Crossley

For The Birder Geek: you know who you are.  This guide provides naturalistic artwork in real settings- urban, suburban, and rural- for the birder of every feather.

Cloth Flexibound  | $35.00

ISBN: 978-0-691-14778-9

544 pp. | 7-1/2 x 10 | 10,000 color images


Edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer

For The Transcendentalist  Geek: deep thinker and quoter of deep thoughts such as, “Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”  Henry David Thoreau: a crunchy granola visionary.

Cloth | $19.95

ISBN: 978-0-691-13997-5

552 pp. | 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 | 20 halftones.


Global Events at a Glance

John Haywood

For The Map Geek: here it is, all in one place; an at-a-glance comparison across centuries and continents, tracing trade routes, religion, and culture (in full color.)  Geek out!

Cloth | $49.50

ISBN: 978-0-691-15269-1

256 pp. | 12 1/2 x 11 | 350 color illus. 10 line illus. 55 maps


The 50 Best Wildflower Sites in the World

Bob Gibbons with a foreword by Richard Mabey

For The Stop-and-Smell-the-Flowers Geek: Wish you could take a mental snapshot of every lovely bloom you’ve ever seen?  Buy this book and you can own some truly stunning professional photographs.

Cloth | $27.95

ISBN13: 978-0-691-15229-5

192 pp. | 8 1/2 x 10 | 200 color photos


Collected and Edited by John P. Kaminski

For The Founding Father Groupie Geek: you love American History and probably majored in political science or foreign relations.  You also know that democracy “will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”  Hear, hear, Mr. Jefferson.

Cloth | $19.95

ISBN13: 978-0-691- 12267-0

576 pp. | 4 x 7 | 11 halftones


Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays
Joel Waldfogel

For The Anti-Consumerist Geek: You think reindeer sweaters and singing fish are bad gifts.  So does Joel Waldfogel.  This is the wry antidote to mindless cheer and you can’t wait to buy this book for all your friends.

Cloth | $9.95
ISBN: 978-0-691-14264-7
186 pp. | 4 x 6


How Birds Design, Engineer & Build

Peter Goodfellow

For The Naturalist Geek: you’re not quite a birder, not quite an ornithologist but you appreciate nature and a detailed, visual guide to the architecture of a bird’s habitat.

Cloth | $27.95

ISBN: 978-0-691-14849-6

160 pp. | 8 x 10 | 300 color illus.


Collected and Edited by Alice Calaprice

For The Einstein Fan Club Geek: don’t be shy.  This is your chance to own the granddaddy of quotables with all of his greatest hits.  We know you’ve memorized them (in alphabetical order by topic, no less.)

Cloth | $24.95

ISBN: 978-0-691-13817-6

576 pp. | 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 | 27 halftones.


Gregory S. Paul

For The Jurassic Park Geek: you know all the species and all the lines.  You’ll recognize the illustrations from Paul, who was a lead dino-designer on set, and you’ll be fighting your eight-year-old kid for posession of the book.

Cloth | $35.00

ISBN: 978-0-691-13720-9

320 pp. | 8 1/2 x 11 | 156 color illus. 448 line illus.

Princeton Shorts Series Launches Today

The greatly anticipated Princeton Shorts Series is now available for purchase via all major eBook retailers.   Check out PUP’s swanky new webpage for the series.   Congratulations to everyone involved with producing this trailblazing new venture in digital publishing!

The Game is Afoot!

Happy Pub Date to Michael Dirda and On Conan Doyle, the third installment of PUP’s ‘Writers on Writers’ series!    Two great new Q&A’s with our very own Mystery Man have just appeared in the Seattle Times and Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Exactly one month from today is the premiere of the new RDJ/Jude Law Sherlock Holmes film, “A Game of Shadows.”  Paging Professor Moriarty!