12 Days of Books!: A Christmas Reading List

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a book by NYU Press.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me, two brand new books, and a(nother) book by NYU Press.

On the third day of Christmas…Look, we could keep going, but you get the gist! Happy Christmas!

We’re kicking off this season with a cozy sale on some of our most delightful titles at 25% off and free shipping when you order online at  www.nyupress.org. Just use promocode 12DAYS25 at checkout!

In our hearts, books are always the best gift to give and receive. Well, books and socks. Check out some of our featured books below.


Wanamaker’s Temple

The Business of Religion in an Iconic Department Store

By Nicole C. Kirk

Wanamaker’s Temple examines how and why Wanamaker blended business and religion in his Philadelphia store, offering a historical exploration of the relationships between religion, commerce, and urban life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and illuminating how they merged in unexpected and public ways. Wanamaker’s marriage of religion and retail had a pivotal role in the way American Protestantism was expressed and shaped in American life, and opened a new door for the intertwining of personal values with public commerce.

“[A] trenchant…study of John Wanamaker and Wanamaker’s department stores through the lens of evangelical Protestantism at the turn of the 20th century… Kirk persuasively shows that Wanamaker’s Christian faith and business acumen informed one another within his own life and work.” —Publishers Weekly

 

Make Art Not War

Political Protest Posters from the Twentieth Century

Edited by Ralph Young

Drawing on the celebrated collection in the Tamiment Library’s Poster and Broadside Collection at New York University, Ralph Young has compiled an extraordinarily visceral collection of posters that represent the progressive protest movements of the twentieth Century:  labor, civil rights, the Vietnam War, LGBT rights, feminism and other minority rights. Make Art Not War can be enjoyed on aesthetic grounds alone, and also offers fascinating and revealing insights into twentieth century cultural, social and political history.

“This collection of posters—a sampling of the art and design of dissent—is a wonderful visual counterpart to the protest music of the age. Every page should provoke discussion.”—Beth Bailey, Foundation Professor, Department of History, University of Kansas

 

The Landmarks of New York

An Illustrated, Comprehensive Record of New York City’s Historic Buildings

By Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

The Landmarks of New York includes such iconic structures as Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall, as well as those that may be less well known but are of significant historical and architectural value: the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Brooklyn, the oldest structure in New York City; the Bowne House in Queens, the birthplace of American religious freedom; the Watchtower in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem; the New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx; and Sailors Snug Harbor on Staten Island. The sixth edition adds 106 new individual landmarks, two special addenda on the hotly-contested “back-log” and resultant 30 pending designations, over 150 new photographs, and new historic district maps.

“A spectacular book….Diamonstein-Spielvogel has proven that New York City cares deeply about its past and its connections to the present and future.” —Gotham Magazine

“To read this book from cover to cover is to reread the past 400 years of New York history.…Highly recommended.”—Library Journal

 

America’s Dark Theologian

The Religious Imagination of Stephen King

By Douglas E. Cowan

Considering works such as CarrieThe Dead ZoneMiseryThe Shining, and many more, Douglas Cowan explores the religious imagery, themes, characters, and, most importantly, questions that haunt Stephen King’s horror stories. Religion and its trappings are found throughout King’s fiction, but what Cowan reveals is a writer skeptical of the certainty of religious belief. Describing himself as a “fallen away” Methodist, King is less concerned with providing answers to our questions, than constantly challenging both those who claim to have answers and the answers they proclaim. Whether he is pondering the existence of other worlds, exploring the origins of religious belief and how it is passed on, probing the nature of the religious experience, or contemplating the existence of God, King invites us to question everything we think we know.

“[An] incisive, accessible work . . . Cowan’s insightful exploration of the religious questions raised by King provides a fresh way for viewing the religious dimensions of popular culture.”—Publishers Weekly

 

A Description of the New York Central Park

Making Worship Music in Evangelical America

Introduction by Maureen Meister

Written by Clarence C Cook

Central Park receives millions of visitors every year, tourists and locals alike.  A Description of the New York Central Park, published in 1869, is recognized today as the most important book about the park to appear during its early years. The lively, often wry, text was written by Clarence C. Cook, a distinguished Victorian art critic, while the illustrations were drawn by the popular Albert Fitch Bellows. The author and artist examine many sites in the park that survive to this day as well as features that have vanished over time. It was published to champion Olmsted and Vaux and to advocate for their vision—a dream for a magnificent public park that has come to be regarded as New York City’s achievement and a model for the nation.

“A Description of the New York Central Park by Clarence Cook was one of the first comprehensive guides to Central Park and it remains one of the finest. This book is a must for anyone who cherishes Central Park and understands its historic significance as a masterpiece of landscape architecture.”—Douglas Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy and Central Park Administrator

 

Tales for Little Rebels

A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature

Edited by Julia L. Mickenberg and Philip Nel

Foreword by Jack Zipes

In 1912, a revolutionary chick cries, “Strike down the wall!” and liberates itself from the “egg state.” In 1940, ostriches pull their heads out of the sand and unite to fight fascism. In 1972, Baby X grows up without a gender and is happy about it. Rather than teaching children to obey authority, to conform, or to seek redemption through prayer, twentieth-century leftists encouraged children to question the authority of those in power. Tales for Little Rebels collects forty-three mostly out-of-print stories, poems, comic strips, primers, and other texts for children that embody this radical tradition. Some of the authors and illustrators are familiar, including Langston Hughes, Walt Kelly, Carl Sandburg, and Dr. Seuss. Others are relatively unknown today, but their work deserves to be remembered. From the anti-advertising message of Johnny Get Your Money’s Worth (and Jane Too)! (1938) to the entertaining lessons in ecology provided by The Day They Parachuted Cats on Borneo(1971), and Sandburg’s mockery of war in Rootabaga Pigeons (1923), these pieces will thrill readers intrigued by politics and history—and anyone with a love of children’s literature, no matter what age.

“I have a soft spot for beautiful and thoughtful children’s books, especially children’s literature with timeless philosophy for grown-ups…Tales for Little Rebels made me think of the subtle ideological messages in some of my favorite recent children’s books.”—Maria Popova, The Atlantic
“Marxist principles have been dripping steadily into the minds of American youth for more than a century. .  .  As America backs cautiously away from its laissez-faire disasters and reluctantly into an unfamiliar, communal style of politics, some of us may find ourselves wishing we had been scared with such rhymes in kindergarten instead of having had to live through them as adults.”—The New York Times Book Review

 

The Art of Ill Will

The Story of American Political Cartoons

By Donald Dewey

The Art of Ill Will is a comprehensive history of American political cartooning, featuring over two hundred illustrations. From the colonial period to contemporary cartoonists like Pat Oliphant and Jimmy Margulies, Donald Dewey highlights these artists uncanny ability to encapsulate the essence of a situation and to steer the public mood with a single drawing and caption. The Art of Ill Will provides a survey of American history writ large, capturing the voice of the people?hopeful, angry, patriotic, frustrated?in times of peace and war, prosperity and depression.

Despite the increasing threats they face as daily newspapers merge or vanish, cartoonists have given us some of our most memorable images, from Theodore Roosevelt’s pince-nez and mustache to Richard Nixon’s Pinocchio nose to Jimmy Carters Chiclet teeth. At a time when domestic and foreign political developments have made these artists more necessary than ever, The Art of Ill Will is a rich collection of the wickedly clever images that puncture pomposity and personalize American history.

“Not just a story of cartoons but a history of America through cartoons. A great gift book.”—Brian Lehrer Live

“An afternoon with The Art of Ill Will is time well spent, especially when followed by Funny Times, the cartoon monthly, and The Colbert Report.”—New York Times Book Review

 

Cecil Dreeme

A Novel

By Theodore Winthrop

Introduction by Peter Coviello

Cecil Dreeme is one of the queerest American novels of the 19th century. This edition, which includes a new introduction contextualizing the sexual history of the period and queer longings of the book, brings a rare, almost forgotten, sensational gothic novel set in New York’s West Village back to light. Published posthumously in 1861, the novel centers on Robert Byng, a young man who moves back to New York after traveling abroad and finds himself unmarried and underemployed, adrift in the heathenish dens of lower Manhattan.  When he takes up rooms in “Chrysalis College”—a thinly veiled version of the 19th-century New York University building in Washington Square—he quickly finds himself infatuated with a young painter lodging there, named Cecil Dreeme. As their friendship grows and the novel unfolds against the backdrop of the bohemian West Village, Robert confesses that he “loves Cecil with a love passing the love of women.” Yet, there are dark forces at work in the form of the sinister and magnetic Densdeth, a charismatic figure of bad intention, who seeks to ensnare Robert for his own. Full of romantic entanglements, mistaken identity, blackmail, and the dramas of temptation and submission, Cecil Dreeme is a gothic novel at its finest. Poetically written—with flashes of Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens, and Oscar Wilde— Cecil Dreeme is an early example of that rare bird, a queer novel from the 19th century.

“Cecil Dreeme is remarkable, compelling, and completely unclassifiable…This prophetic and rich novel whose very existence must be seen as surprising against the backdrop of 21st century skepticism as to the possibility of ‘gay’ literature in pre-modern times.  It deserves the widest possible readership.”—The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review

 

Eight Stories

Tale of War and Loss

By Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front

German-American novelist Erich Maria Remarque captured the emotional anguish of a generation in his World War I masterpiece, All Quiet on the Western Front, as well as in an impressive selection of novels, plays, and short stories. This exquisite collection revives Remarque’s unforgettable voice, presenting a series of short stories that have long ago faded from public memory. In this collection, we follow the trials of naïve war widow Annette Stoll, reflect on the power of small acts of kindness toward a dying soldier, and join Johann Bartok, a weary prisoner of war, in his struggle to reunite with his wife.

Although a century has passed since the end of the Great War, Remarque’s writing offers a timeless reflection on the many costs of war. Eight Stories offers a beautiful tribute to the pain that war inflicts on soldiers and civilians alike, and resurrects the work of a master author whose legacy – like the war itself – will endure for generations to come.

“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review

 

Ark Encounter

The Making of a Creationist Theme Park

By James S. Beilo

Opened to the public in July 2016, Ark Encounter is a creationist theme park in Kentucky. The park features an all-timber re-creation of Noah’s ark, built full scale to creationist specifications drawn from the text of Genesis, as well as exhibits that imagine the Bible’s account of life before the flood.  More than merely religious spectacle, Ark Encounter offers important insights about the relationship between religion and entertainment, religious publicity and creativity, and fundamentalist Christian claims to the public sphere.

James S. Bielo examines these themes, drawing on his unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the Ark Encounter creative team during the initial design of the park. Taking readers from inside the park’s planning rooms to other fundamentalist projects and diverse Christian tourist attractions, Bielo illuminates how creationist cultural producers seek to reach both their constituents and the larger culture. For believers and non-believers alike, this book is an invaluable glimpse into the complicated web of religious entertainment and cultural production.

“This compelling and readable ethnography shows that creationism must stake its bid for cultural authority in terms of the largely unquestioned values and techniques of our culture of entertainment.”—Peter Stromberg, University of Tulsa

Use promocode 12DAYS25 for free shipping and 25% off when you buy at nyupress.org now!