The NYU Press Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for gift inspiration this year? Find the perfect read for everyone on your list in our holiday gift guide. Browse just a few of the fantastic books we’ve published this year, and find more at Place your order on and directly support a few of our favorite NYC bookstores, or your local shop!

For the history buff

The Untold Story of Shields GreenThe Untold Story of Shields Green

The Life and Death of a Harper’s Ferry Raider

by Louis A. DeCaro, Jr.

“DeCaro seeks to rescue the story of one Black raider, ‘Emperor’ Shields Green from history’s shadows.… DeCaro does an excellent job interrogating the sources, and attempting to find the real Green among the racist stereotypes and language found in both Southern and Northern newspapers. What emerges is a portrait of a man willing to die if it meant an end to slavery.”—Library Journal

Order from Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

For the feminist reader


Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court

by Hannah Brenner Johnson and Renee Knake Jefferson

“Piecing together their personal papers and archives, as well as relevant news coverage, Johnson and Jefferson introduce readers to the ambitious women who built influential legal careers and advanced a female presence in the federal courts, especially the Supreme Court…. The authors compellingly argue that representation of diverse women in leadership positions is in everybody’s best interest. An excellent contribution…and essential for anyone who values diversity.”—Library Journal

Order from McNally Jackson Books in SoHo

For the magic enthusiast

Enchanted New YorkEnchanted New York

A Journey along Broadway through Manhattan’s Magical Past

by Kevin Dann

“Packed with fascinating details and arresting insights, Enchanted New York is a page-turner that illuminates forgotten corners of our cultural past.”—Jackson Lears, author of Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920

“There are no ancient monuments to mark New York City’s magical history; in their place, Dann’s historical guide chronicles the city’s lesser-known magical past.”—Foreword Reviews

Order from Book Culture on the Upper West Side

For the fantasy fan

The Dark FantasticThe Dark Fantastic

Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games

by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

Now available in paperback!

The Dark Fantastic is a wakeup call to all who research, teach, or create young adult speculative fiction … Thomas issues a call to decolonize the speculative fiction genre and to ensure more texts, films, and television shows that include a Black female protagonist become the norm to influence a new generation of readers and writers. The Dark Fantastic is a must-read.”Booklist

Order from Shakespeare & Co. on the Upper East Side

For the foodie

The Truth about Baked BeansThe Truth about Baked Beans

An Edible History of New England

by Meg Muckenhoupt

“Like a carving knife cutting up a Thanksgiving turkey, Muckenhoupt deftly takes apart legends about New England cuisine. Showing us the recent and invented ‘traditions’ about all sorts of ye olde foods, from Boston Baked Beans to Cranberry Sauce, Muckenhoupt reveals the multi-ethnic New England behind the Yankee image; the real-world fish-sticks as well as the pseudo-traditional clambake. Thanksgiving will never seem the same.”Paul Freedman, Yale University

Order from WORD in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

For the home-schooling parent

Hyper EducationHyper Education

Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough

by Pawan Dhingra

“Why do so many Asian American parents seek hyper education for their children? Through his fascinating exploration of spelling bees, math competitions, and enrichment centers, Pawan Dhingra gets to the root of education obsessions to expose our global anxieties, national biases, and parental hopes for our sons and daughters.”Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires and National Book Award Finalist, Pachinko

Order from Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

For kids of all ages

Honey on the PageHoney on the Page

A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature

Edited and translated by Miriam Udel

“Miriam Udel’s essential, rich collection of Yiddish tales revives the appealing stories that early twentieth century Jewish children were told as introductions to their history and tradition.”—Foreword Magazine

“An extensive collection of Yiddish literary texts for children translated into English, this anthology contains works from familiar as well as not so widely known Yiddish language writers… [A] comprehensive and valuable set of stories and poetry.”—Kirkus Reviews

Order from McNally Jackson Books in SoHo

For the photography lover

Ordinary People, Extraordinary LivesOrdinary People, Extraordinary Lives

A Pictorial History of Working People in New York City

by Debra E. Bernhardt and Rachel Bernstein

“This superb study glimpses the diverse traditions that immigrants brought with them from abroad, and the solidarity, diversity, struggles, and relief they found in their new homes and neighborhoods of New York.”DoubleTake

Order from Book Culture on the Upper West Side

For the social media user


A Biography

by Jean Burgess and Nancy K. Baym

“Burgess and Baym have accomplished a rare feat: They have revealed the history of Twitter to be dynamic and fascinating, have put the users of Twitter in the forefront of the story, and have embedded the story with so many gems of brilliant insight that students, scholars, and retweeters alike will all learn much and enjoy this book.”—Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy

Order from Shakespeare & Co. on the Upper East Side

For anyone curious about vaccine trials

Adverse EventsAdverse Events

Race, Inequality, and the Testing of New Pharmaceuticals

by Jill A. Fisher

Adverse Events damns the industry with simple description, but Fisher’s analysis has a bigger concern. The industry is a symptom of the American problem of racist capitalism, and in the book, Fisher documents how a racist, wildly unequal economy leads people who are already in precarious positions to take part in first-in-human trials. Ten years ago, when she started her research, she could hardly have predicted its immediacy.”—The New Republic

Order from WORD in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

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