Category Archives: Politics

Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times by Eyal Press

Beautiful SoulsBeautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times
Eyal Press
Picador / $15.00 / 208 pages
On Sale: February 5, 2013
Political Science

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Eyal, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

 

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

PRAISE FOR BEAUTIFUL SOULS
“A hymn to the mystery of disobedience…What makes you eager to push this book into the hands of the next person you meet are the small, still moments, epics captured in miniature. … Essential.”—The New York Times

“Evocative…A valentine to the human spirit.”—The Wall Street Journal

“On stage and in the pulpit, moral dilemmas of this kind tend to have a black-and-white clarity. Working from life, Mr. Press brings out the grays….Rich in personal, circumstantial details that analytical thinkers in search of clear principles may overlook.”—The Economist

“Press examines his subjects carefully….In some ways Beautiful Souls is a thoughtful gesture of support. That might sound like a small thing, but it’s not. Compassion never is.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Provides rich, provocative narratives of moral choice…Press makes us wonder if we would have the strength to act against the crowd, and in so doing spread a bit of light in our own dark times.”—The Washington Post

“Fantastic…A brilliant meditation on [the] very difficult decisions of conscience that people have to make…I just want to urge everybody, please read this book.”—The Nation

“A fascinating study in the better angels of our nature.”—George Packer, The New Yorker

ABOUT BEAUTIFUL SOULS
History has produced many specimens of the banality of evil, but what about its flip side, what impels ordinary people to defy the sway of authority and convention? Through these dramatic stories of unlikely resisters, Eyal Press’ Beautiful Souls shows that the boldest acts of dissent are often carried out not only by radicals seeking to overthrow the system but also by true believers who cling with unusual fierceness to their convictions. Drawing on groundbreaking research by moral psychologists and neuroscientists, this deeply reported work of narrative journalism examines the choices and dilemmas we all face when our principles collide with the loyalties we harbor and the duties we are expected to fulfill.

ABOUT EYAL PRESS
Eyal Press is an author and journalist based in New York. His work has appeared in the New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Raritan Review and numerous other publications. A 2011 Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, he is the author of Absolute Convictions, and a past recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

MORE INFORMATION
Cover image for download
Eyal Press on Democracy Now!
Eyal Press on NPR Talk of the Nation

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Politics, Sociology

The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad by John R. Schmidt

The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad
John R. Schmidt
On Sale: October 30, 2012
Picador
Current Affairs / Politics

For a review copy (US and Canada only) or to schedule an interview with John R. Schmidt, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

PRAISE FOR THE UNRAVELING
“Pakistan is where all the headaches of the twenty-first century come together. In The Unraveling, John R. Schmidt draws upon his firsthand experience as a diplomat in that nation to explain why. This is a book filled with useful information, objectively presented and offered at precisely the right time.”—Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997–2001

“John R. Schmidt pulls no punches in this timely book. He makes a powerful case that Pakistan’s ‘feudal political class’ is that deserving but conflicted country’s worst enemy. He is just as frank in his critique of U.S. policy. His motive is entirely constructive: he administers a bracing and necessary dose of tough love to one of the most important and troubled interstate relations on earth.”—Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution

“This thought-provoking, evenhanded, and sobering history is a ‘cautionary tale’ about the choices Pakistan’s ruling classes have made that threaten to bring it to the brink of destruction.”Publishers Weekly

“A rare lucid take on the turmoil in Pakistan . . . [Schmidt] offers a cogent analysis of the havoc caused by a nettlesome concoction of feudal lords, strong military, American pressure and radical Islamist factions all vying for dominance . . . A deeply thoughtful study geared for the lay reader.”Kirkus Reviews

“[Schmidt] provides here a succinct history of Pakistan and examines, in highly readable and informative prose, how the country became a haven for jihadist groups . . . Because of Schmidt’s years of inside foreign policy experience, his book contains distinct details and observations that outsiders writing cannot offer. Recommended to all serious readers interested in a policymaker’s perspective.”Library Journal

ABOUT THE UNRAVELING
How did a nation founded as a homeland for South Asian Muslims become a haven for Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups? In this groundbreaking work, former U.S. diplomat John R. Schmidt, who served in Pakistan in the years leading up to 9/11, takes a detailed look at the country’s relationship with radical Islam. The Unraveling is the clearest account yet of the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and jihadist groups—and how the rulers’ decisions have led their nation to the brink of disaster and put the world at great risk.

ABOUT JOHN R. SCHMIDT
John R. Schmidt teaches at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He served in the State Department during a thirty-year service career, including as political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Islamabad in the years leading up to 9/11.

MORE INFORMATION
Cover image for download
Panel discussion with John R. Schmidt on India and Pakistan (C-Span)

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Politics

Planning Ahead: Summer 2012

Here’s a list of books I’m working on for our Summer 2012 season. I have a limited number of galleys but feel free to request. As review copies become available each title will have its own page. Please follow Books on Tap on Facebook for updates. Please email me at Gabrielle.Gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com to be included on a book’s mailing list. More information about these titles will be posted as it becomes available.

May
As the Crow Flies
Craig Johnson
Viking (Hardcover)
On Sale: May 14, 2012
Category: Mystery / Western
Author’s website

In AS THE CROW FLIES, the eighth book in Craig Johnson’s Sheriff Walt Longmire series, Walt is forced, on the eve of hisdaughter’s wedding, to lead adarkly complex investigation into thedeath of Audrey Last Bull, an Iraqi war veteran, on the Cheyenne Reservation.

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet
Robert M. Hazen
Viking (Hardcover)
On Sale: April 30, 2012
Category: Science / Earth Science

THE STORY OF EARTH: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet by Robert M. Hazen takes readers on an astonishing journey across space and time to bring to life the story of the only home any of us has ever known.

Jack’s Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac
Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee
Penguin Paperback
On Sale:  April 24, 2012
Category: Biography

Here, in what has become a classic of its kind since its publication in 1978, is the fascinating story of Jack Kerouac, “King of the Beats” and American literary legend, recorded through the voices of his friends and lovers.

June
The Obamians: How a Band of Newcomers Redefined American Power
James Mann
Viking (Hardcover)
On Sale: June 18, 2012
Category: Politics / Current Events

THE OBAMIANS is the definitive analysis of the events, ideas, personalities, and conflicts that have defined Obama’s foreign policy.

Witness the Night: A Novel
Kishwar Desai
Penguin Paperback Original
On Sale: May 29, 2012
Category: Fiction / Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Costa First Novel Award winner WITNESS THE NIGHT: A Novel by Kishwar Desai is adazzling mystery that takes readers into the heart of India.

Autobiographical Writings
Mark Twain
Penguin Classics
On Sale: May 29, 2012
Category:  Classics, Memoir, Autobiography, Essays

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITINGS is a curated collection of Mark Twain’s autobiographical writings with particular attention to texts reflecting his early life.

July
Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time
Carissa Phelps
Viking (Hardcover)
On Sale: July 9, 2012
Category: Memoir
Author’s website 

RUNAWAY GIRL is Carissa’s story, the tale of a girl who lost herself and survived, against all odds, through the generosity of strangers. It is an inspiring true story about finding the courage to run toward healing and summoning the strength to light the way for others.

August
Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools andBusiness for the 21st Century
Cathy N. Davidson
Penguin Paperback
On Sale: July 31, 2012
Category: Education / Technology
Author’s website

Pyg: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig
Russell Potter
Penguin Paperback Original
On Sale: July 31, 2012
Category: Fiction

Blending the sophisticated satire of Jonathan Swift with the charming exuberance of a Pixar film, PYG tells the story of Toby, a truly exceptional pig who lived in late eighteenth-centuryEngland.

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Filed under Classics, Current Events / Politics, Education, Fiction, Literary, Memoir, Mystery, Paperback Original, Politics, Science, Season Roundup, Technology

Walking with the Comrades by Arundhati Roy

Walking with the Comrades
Arundhati Roy
Penguin Paperback
On Sale: October 25, 2011
This title is available on Netgalley

Praise for WALKING WITH THE COMRADES
“Informed, impassioned, at times strident, and fleet and fascinating when describing life on the ground among the rebels, Roy’s prose will both rouse and ruffle.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A bell-clear exposé of corporate greed and governmental malfeasance that should—if there is any justice in the world—provoke a furious backlash in the name of human dignity.” Kirkus

. . .

Deep in the forests, under the pretenses of battling Maoist guerrillas, the Indian government is waging a vicious total war against its own citizens. Allied with the mining and banking conglomerates eager to exploit the rare minerals buried in tribal lands, government soldiers are daily committing unspeakable atrocities, undocumented by a weak domestic press and unnoticed by an indifferent world.

In WALKING WITH THE COMRADES, a Penguin Paperback Original on sale October 25, 2011, acclaimed writer Arundhati Roy, the author of The God of Small Things and a firebrand investigative journalist, documents this secret war.

Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 1997. Since then she has produced numerous works of political commentary and investigative journalism including The Algebra of Infinite Justice, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, and Listening to Grasshoppers. A collection of her interviews, The Shape of Beasts, was published in 2008.

For More Information
Press release for download
Cover image for download
Author photo for download
Excerpt: Available upon publication date

To request a review copy, email: gabrielle.gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com

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Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Decline by Steven Pinker

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Steven Pinker

Viking
On Sale: October 4, 2011
This title is available on Netgalley

“Classic Pinker, jammed with facts, figures, and points of speculative departure; a big, complex book, well worth the effort for the good news that it delivers.”—Kirkus Reviews

In his most important and provocative book to date, Steven Pinker broadens his ongoing inquiry into the nature of human nature to tackle a paradox of modern life: that contrary to what most people believe, violence has been in decline for millennia, and we may be living in the most peaceful era in human history. In THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: Why Violence Has Declined (Viking; On-Sale Date: October 4, 2011; ISBN: 978-0670022953; Pages: 848; $40.00), Pinker—psychologist, cognitive neuroscientist, linguist, intellectual polymath—pulls out all the stops in this dazzling sweep across centuries of human life.

About the Author:
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. Currently Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received six honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and often writes for The New York Times, Time, and The New Republic. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine’s “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

For More Information:
Press Release for Download
Interview Alert with Talking Points For Download
Cover Image for Download
Author Photo for Download
Author’s website
Steven Pinker at TED on the myth of violence (opens with sound)

For a review copy, please contact gabrielle.gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, History, Politics, Psychology, Sociology