Fall books available on NetGalley

We’ve got quite a few gems in our NetGalley catalog this fall, all available for advance review now. Book reviewers, journalists, bloggers, librarians, professors, and booksellerswe welcome you to submit a request!

Not familiar with NetGalley? Learn more about how it works.

Buzz: Urban Beekeeping and the Power of the Bee by Lisa Jean Moore and Mary Kosut (September 27, 2013)

We think Booklist said it best: “In this fascinating blend of sociology, ecology, ethnographic research, and personal memoir, the authors range through all of the aspects of the human relationship with the honeybee.”

Ever thought of honeybees as sexy? You might after watching Mary Kosut discuss the sensual nature of beekeeping.


Cut It Out: The C-Section Epidemic in America by Theresa Morris (October 7, 2013)

In Cut It Out, Theresa Morris offers a riveting and comprehensive look at this little-known epidemic, as well as concrete solutions “that deserve the attention of policymakers” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

C-sections are just as safe as vaginal births, right? Not true, says Theresa Morris. Watch her discusses this and other misconceptions on our YouTube channel.


Hanukkah in America: A History by Dianne Ashton (October 14, 2013)

Hanukkah will fall on Thanksgiving this year for the first time ever—and the last time for another 70,000 years. Brush up on your knowledge of the holiday in time to celebrate the once-in-an-eternity event. Publishers Weekly, in another starred review, promises a “scholarly but accessible guide to the evolution of the Festival of Lights in America.”

Stay tuned for our interview with the author!

Browse all of our e-galleys available for review on NetGalley.

Another kind of women’s work

—Melissa R. Klapper

The current media fascination with women and power, sparked by elaborate controversies over Yahoo executive Marissa Mayer and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, might seem both disappointing and amusing to the legions of American women engaged in social and political activism during the first decades of the twentieth century. The disappointment is easy to understand. Why, they might ask, after more than 100 years of feminism, are we still disconcerted by women in positions of authority? And why do we still have to confront systemic conflicts between work and family? And why don’t women support each other more, and better?

The amusement may require more explanation. Much of the commentary in recent weeks has assumed that there was once upon a time a golden age when women didn’t work, when men provided for the families women took care of. Only after the feminism of the 1960s and 1970s did everything fall apart as women entered the workforce. Any undergraduate in a women’s history class can tell you how very wrong this understanding is. Women have always worked, out of both necessity and desire; not all women have had a male provider in their lives; one individual’s wages have rarely been sufficient to support a family.

Apart from this critical perspective, I think there is another element of the historical record that demands attention. There is no denying that some women, typically of middle and upper class status, did not work for wages. That does not mean, however, that they did not work. During the early twentieth century, the mostly unpaid but extremely professional women who belonged to voluntary organizations affected every level of public life in the United States.

In my new book Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940, I explore the many roles Jewish women played in the suffrage, birth control, and peace movements. Whether as individuals committed to a cause, members of inevitably politically active Jewish women’s organizations like the National Council of Jewish Women, or members of international women’s activist groups like the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Jewish women accomplished with pen and paper and the occasional telegram or phone call what huge NGOs strive to do today.

The millions of American women who participated in social movements traveled constantly, lobbied public officials, attended innumerable meetings, read voraciously and participated in study groups, drew up position papers and set policies, monitored the press and wrote frequent letters to editors, and sustained voluminous correspondences, usually without secretarial help. Freedom from paid labor enabled these women to do this kind of work, and they often began by trying to improve the circumstances of other women who had fewer choices.

Civil society depended on women’s volunteer efforts, and the success of these women in making change in government at every level from municipal to federal played a critical role in the development of the responsive government and social welfare provisions we take for granted today. So I think that the activist women of the early twentieth century would also be amused by today’s controversies. Why, they might ask, would anybody think that women have not always grasped the opportunity to shape the world they live in?

Melissa R. Klapper is a professor of history, Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. She is the author of Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940 (NYU Press, 2013).

City of Promises named Jewish Book of the Year

Awards season is officially in full swing, and we at NYU Press couldn’t be more proud to announce our latest achievement. Our landmark publication, City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York, was selected by the Jewish Book Council as the Jewish Book of the Year in its’ 2012 National Jewish Book Awards!

Three cheers for the trilogy, and congratulations to Deborah Dash Moore (editor of all 3-volumes), the authors, and everyone at the Press who worked so incredibly hard on this absolutely beautiful set!

The annual National Jewish Book Awards are presented by the Jewish Book Council. Read the complete list of this year’s winners and finalists here.

NYU Press award-winning book designs!

We are so excited to announce that the NYU Press has won three design awards in the 2013 New York Book Show!

Sponsored by the Bookbinders’ Guild of New York, the New York Book Show celebrates excellence in book design and production. The event is a North American competition, with only five awards given per entry category. Thus, we have some prestigious company, including Alfred A. Knopf, McGraw Hill, Oxford University Press, Penguin, Princeton University Press, Random House, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Congratulations to our design team! Here are the winning book designs:

Winner in Scholarly/Professional Book Design
Designer: (our very own) Adam Bohannon

Winner in Scholarly/Professional Cover Design
Designer: Charles B. Hames (also from NYU Press)

Winner in Scholarly/Professional Book Set Design
Designer: Kathleen Szawiola

Announcing our Spring 2013 Catalog…

NYU Press Spring 2013 Catalog is now online, featuring an exciting range of new books in history, media studies, law, and more!

Highlights include:
TWO PRESIDENTS ARE BETTER THAN ONE: Making the case for a two-party, two-person presidency, this “pipe dream of a book” presents a “novel and provocative thesis worth hearing out” (Kirkus Reviews).

A DEATH AT CROOKED CREEK: Marion Wesson, author of best-selling and prize-winning legal novels including Render up the Body, combines drama and intrigue  with cutting-edge forensic investigation techniques and legal theory in this superbly imagined historical novel.

CAPITAL OF THE WORLD: Charlene Mires tells the dramatic, surprising, and at times comic story of hometown promoters in an extraordinary race to host the U.N. headquarters at a pivotal moment in history.

(You can also click here to access this catalog via our website, or find our catalogs available on Edelweiss.)

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah!

Happy Jewish New Year! Check out the video below from Deborah Dash Moore, editor of City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York. And be sure to take a peek at our book sale on the NYU Press website for 20% off selected titles!

Also, join us at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum this Thursday for a City of Promises event… Hasia Diner introduces Tenement Museum Vice President, Annie Polland and co-author Daniel Soyer for a talk and performance on Emerging Metropolis, the second volume in the City of Promises series. It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday and watch the story of urban Jewish immigrant society come to life!

Events for City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York

New York Jews, so visible and integral to the culture, economy and politics of America’s greatest city, has eluded the grasp of historians for decades, until the new groundbreaking history, City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York.

The three-volume series, overseen by editor Deborah Dash Moore, has just published, and we’ve lined up a series of events to celebrate! Check them out below:

PREMIERE event for City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York
TONIGHT, Monday, September 10, 2012
at the 92Y, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
8:15pm | Join a panel of historical pioneers to explore their new, comprehensive interpretation of a Jewish urban community, at once the largest in history and most important in the modern world. The authors will be selling and signing copies of CITY OF PROMISES following the event.

Talk and performance on NY Jews in the Age of Immigration
on Thursday, September 20, 2012
at the LES Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard Street
6:30 pm | Hasia Diner introduces Tenement Museum VP, Annie Polland and co-editor Daniel Soyer for a talk and performance on Emerging Metropolis, the second volume in the CITY OF PROMISES series. They partner with actors to bring to life primary sources and tell the story of urban Jewish immigrant society.

Annie Polland on Emerging Metropolis: NY Jews in the Age of Immigration
on Tuesday, October 09, 2012
at 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street
12:00 pm | Annie Polland, the VP of Education for the LES Tenement Museum and author of CITY OF PROMISES, brings to life the urban tenements and banks, synagogues and shops, department stores and settlement houses that, together, created the fabric of Jewish immigrant life.

Book signing at the Gotham Center
on Tuesday, October 16, 2012
at Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave at 34th Street
6:30pm | Deborah Dash Moore and Howard B. Rock will be joined by Annie Polland, Jeffrey Gurock, and Daniel Soyer to discuss the new three-volume set of original research, CITY OF PROMISES.

Authors and editors at the Miami Book Fair
on Sunday, November 18, 2012
at N.E. Second Ave between 2nd and 3rd Streets
CITY OF PROMISES authors and editors will be at the Miami Book Fair on Sunday, November 18, 2012. More details to come!

Talk at Stern College
on Tuesday, November 27, 2012
at 254 Lexington Avenue at 35th Street
Come out and support the CITY OF PROMISES authors and editors as they discuss the findings for their groundbreaking historical account of New York Jews. More details to come!

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball of Asian-Jewish Relationships

—Helen K. Kim and Noah S. Leavitt

A quick search through the internet uncovers many comments about romantic attachments between Asian-Americans and Jews, ranging from the serious to the silly. One of the most famous examples of this is a series of discussions on Jewlicious, a site for all things Jewish, about whether Asian-American women are among the most frequent visitors to Jewish dating websites like JDate.com. No matter what their tone or perspective, though, these stories demonstrate the strong emotional reactions that such couples evoke.

No recent Asian-Jewish couple besides, perhaps, Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen has gotten as much media scrutiny than Dr. Priscilla Chan and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Gazing into the crystal ball of the Chan-Zuckerberg marriage, one might wonder how these two—and other Asian-Jewish couples—incorporate their backgrounds into their shared daily domestic life. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to ignore the question, “What is going to happen with their kids?”

Intrigued by these kinds of questions, we recently spent a year and a half travelling the country to interview Asian American and Jewish American couples to understand how they describe their relationships. And, in the forthcoming Sustaining Faith Traditions: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion among the Latino and Asian American Second Generation, we spend a chapter focusing on the worldviews and reflections of the second generation Asian-American spouses or partners in sixteen of the Asian-Jewish couples we talked to.

While all couples are unique in many ways, based on what our interviewees shared with us, we’ve made a few predictions about the Chan-Zuckerberg relationship:

  1. Dr. Chan and Mr. Zuckerberg will share a fundamental value system focused on high educational achievement, close-knit families, and hard work, which is a version of what scholar Will Herberg called, in 1955, a type of common faith that he defined as “the American way of life.”
  2. Dr. Chan will not incorporate her religion of origin into the household religious or spiritual practice to create a dual-religious, or a syncretic, practice.
  3. If there comes a time when Chan-Zuckerberg kids appear (we think this highly likely, even with Dr. Chan and Mr. Zuckerberg’s very full professional lives—a characteristic they share with many of our interviewees), they will be raised Jewish, and Dr. Chan—regardless of any religious affiliation she grew up with or claimed—will be an equal, if not the, catalyst for this being the primary identity of the kids.
  4. Their kids might have trouble seeing themselves as tracing their identity through Dr. Chan’s family.
  5. In the end, the couples’ differences will be harmonized and the family will endure.

While critics of Jewish intermarriage often fret about the loss of a Jewish identity in a mixed household, we found that Asian-Jewish households often wind up, surprisingly, becoming Jewish.

Are the Asian-American members of these households losing their religion? Maybe.  Are they trying to acquire status in a still-white dominated nation? Perhaps. Or maybe they are trading their own spiritual practices for a harmonious household. To paraphrase one of our interviewees, a Chinese-American physician on the West Coast, “There are only a few million of my wife’s people but there are a billion of mine. Is one more really needed?”

Helen K. Kim is Associate Professor of Sociology at Whitman College, and Noah S. Leavitt is Assistant Dean of Students and a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at Whitman College. Both are contributing writers to the forthcoming edition of Sustaining Faith Traditions: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion Among the Latino and Asian American Second Generation (NYU Press, 2012).