Friday, April 29, 2011

Wade Graham Discusses AMERICAN EDEN With Stephen Colbert!

AMERICAN EDEN by Wade GrahamLast night, Wade Graham was interviewed on The Colbert Report to discuss his recently released book American Eden. This sweeping social history of our nation’s landscapes and the visionaries behind them, offers an exciting new perspective—from the garden path—on the drama of American self-creation.

In the inteview below, Graham describes how American gardens—unlike their European counterparts—represent our national identity as an expression of our liberty and freedom. Starting with Thomas Jefferson, the founder of American gardening, all the way up through the First Lady Michelle Obama, American Eden tells the story of America—and Americans—through its most significant gardens and their creators.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Wade Graham
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Thursday, April 28, 2011

SuperFreakonomics in Paperback!

SUPERFREAKONOMICS by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. DubnerThe paperback edition of Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s sequel to Freakonomics is now available in paperback—with new material, including 16 pages of color illustrations and an author Q&A.

By applying economic thinking and carefully explained data analysis to current social concerns, SuperFreakonomics shows students how to think critically. Whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why TV caused a rise in crime, Levitt and Dubner see the world for what it really is—good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, superfreaky.

Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics are required reading in courses on everything from composition to statistics. And, we've produced free teaching materials for professors of composition, rhetoric, economics, quantitative analysis, and statistics.

“An inventive and even useful application of economics to unusual subjects. . . . The strength of this book, as of the original, is in how it applies the time-tested tools of economics in unusual places to turn up surprising conclusions.”—BusinessWeek

If you would like to consider SuperFreakonomics (9780060889586, $15.99, paperback) as required reading for one of your courses, please use our desk copy form.*

*No phone calls please. This offer is valid in the United States only and will expire on June 1, 2011. No more than one book per person. Ship to college address only. Proof of employment at college must be given upon request. Limited supply. Requests will be filled while supplies last. Our receipt of a request does not guarantee fulfillment.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Galley Giveaway: Dan Fante’s Touching Memoir: FANTE

FANTE by Dan Fante
In Fante: A Family’s Legacy of Writing, Drinking, and Surviving, Dan Fante traces his family’s history from the hillsides of Italy to the immigrant neighborhoods of Colorado to Los Angeles. There, his father—respected novelist—John Fante struggles to gain the literary recognition he so badly craves; despite the publication of his best known work, Ask the Dust, he turns to the steady paycheck of Hollywood, working as a screenwriter to support his family.

We follow Dan through a troubled childhood to his discovery of life’s vices through work as a carnival barker and later as he hitchhikes to New York City, where he drives a taxi for twelve years. While John Fante’s rage over his perceived failures as a writer and his struggle with debilitating diabetes make him more and more miserable, Dan struggles with alcoholic blackouts, suicidal thoughts and what he deems a broken mind.

In straightforward unapologetic prose, Dan Fante lays bare his family’s story from his point of view, with the rage and passion of a writer, which he feels was his true inheritance and his father’s greatest gift.

Can’t wait until August to find out more? You might not have to! If you are one of the first 5 respondents to email*, you will receive a galley of Fante. In your email, please be sure to provide:

1. Name
2. Position
3. Institution/School
4. Campus/School Shipping Address

*You will receive a confirmation email If you are one of the first 5 people to respondents. If you do not get a response, you were not one of the first 5 to reply. Please allow 1-2 weeks from the date of the confirmation email for the galley to arrive.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A New Text for Comparative Religion Courses from Stephen Prothero

GOD IS NOT ONE by Stephen ProtheroIn God Is Not One, Stephen Prothero, chair of the religion department at Boston University and author of the bestselling Religious Literacy, provides a concise guide to the world's great religions as he makes a fresh and provocative argument that, contrary to popular understanding, all religions are not simply different paths to the same end. Here is a new context for the study of religion in the 21st century that disproves the assumptions most students make about the way the major religions work.

“By giving us the best compact guide to world religions in years, Stephen Prothero has done an estimable public service in addressing religious illiteracy. With his usual combination of wit, insight, and breezy prose, he shows us that comparative religion can be both important and fun. His core point—that religions are diverse and plural, not necessarily mystical expressions of the same inner truth—is bracing and relevant. God Is Not One is the ideal jumping-off point for anyone who wants a single book that captures the core ideals and values of the leading religious traditions.”
—Noah Feldman, Bemis Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and author of The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State

To request a complimentary desk copy of God Is Not One (9780061571282, paperback, $16.99) to consider for your course, please fill out this form—which can be emailed to us. *

*No phone calls please. This offer is valid in the United States only and will expire on June 1, 2011. No more than one book per person. Ship to college address only. Proof of employment at college must be given upon request. Limited supply. Requests will be filled while supplies last. Our receipt of a request does not guarantee fulfillment.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Professors Give David Orr's BEAUTIFUL & POINTLESS Great Praise!

Beautiful and Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry
By David Orr
Perfect for the closing weeks of National Poetry Month, David Orr’s Beautiful and Pointless serves as a guide for students struggling to read—and write—poetry. Orr argues that true appreciation of poetry relies more on building a personal relationship with a piece—rather than working through a checklist of analysis. Engaging, amusing, and stimulating, this is a book that allows students to see how an individual reads and writes poetry, helping them become better equipped to connect with poetry.

Beautiful and Pointless has already received amazing praise from some prestigious professors including:

  • "Beautiful and Pointless has the Horatian virtues: it instructs and delights. Witty, surprising, yet also profound, David Orr uses his laser-like intelligence to illuminate everything from the stakes of poetic form to the sizzle of poetry-world chat: his book is that rare thing, a simultaneously pleasurable and edifying adventure. Here is a book for poetry-lovers and poetry-phobes, for insiders as well as those who've never willingly read a poem. Unafraid of polemic yet animated by a companionable generosity, this is a book to hook students and provoke experts. Orr doesn't just play the poetry game; he redraws the field and invites us all in."—Maureen McLane, Associate Professor of English, New York University
  • Beautiful and Pointless is a lot of fun. It should also see a lot of use: in classrooms at several levels, as well as in cars and on kitchen tables and in libraries (collegiate and otherwise), wherever people want an un-stuffy, informed, sometimes funny and consistently useful introduction to the big whirl of bright lights and fainter constellations that constitutes present-day poetry. As you might expect from his award-winning columns in the New York Times Book Review, Poetry magazine, and elsewhere, Orr says just what he thinks—about individual poems and poets, about their motives and their techniques, and about why some their work has changed him. Beginners will enjoy the demystifications, the wisecracks, and the asides (as well as the insights adjoining them); more advanced students, especially those who might someday (perhaps next week) be teaching beginners themselves, have something to learn not just from Orr's tastes and ideas but from the ways in which he sets them forth.”—Stephen Burt, Associate Professor of English, Harvard University
  • “David Orr is an authentic iconoclast. His criticism is exuberant and original. Dr. Johnson, my critical hero, urged us to clear our mind of can’t. Orr has cleared his. He will enhance the perception of his readers.”—Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities, Yale University
Students will reap the benefits of this clear-eyed journey through the world of modern poetry, all while gaining greater insight into their inner-poet. This is sure to be a mainstay in classrooms for years to come.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Elaine Hall, The Miracle Project, Autism: The Musical, and a Story of Hope

NOW IS SEE THE MOON by Elaine HallWhen her son, Neal, was diagnosed with autism, former Hollywood acting coach Elaine Hall, aka Coach E, took matters into her own hands and used her resources to guide him toward an increasingly independent life. In the process, she founded The Miracle Project, a groundbreaking organization that uses the performing arts to connect with children with autism.

Both controversial and unorthodox, Elaine's innovative approach has been praised by leaders in the field of autism—and she and The Miracle Project became the subject of the Emmy-Award-winning documentary Autism: The Musical.

In Now I See the Moon: A Mother, a Son, and the Miracle of Autism, Elaine tells her own story—giving parents and educators new tools to work with as they strive to make better futures for children with autism. (9780061743818, paperback, $14.99)

"A miracle of ingenuity, human intimacy, and creativity. This magnificent work vividly demonstrates the joy and hope of discovering the creative and emotional capacities that exist in all children."—Dr. Stanley Greenspan, author of Engaging Autism

Educators may request a desk copy by using this form.

A Year in the Life of a Nurse

CRITICAL CARE by Theresa BrownCritical Care is the powerful and absorbing memoir of Theresa Brown—a regular contributor to the New York Times blog “Well”—about her experiences during the first year on the job as an oncology nurse. With great compassion and a disarming sense of humor, she shares the trials and triumphs of her patients and comes to realize that caring for them means much more than simply treating a disease.

“If Theresa Brown tends her patients as well as she tells her story, they are lucky patients indeed.”—Julie Salamon, author of Hospital

Professors may request a desk copy of
Critical Care (9780061791543, paperback, $14.99) by filling out this form.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Father of Modern Media. PULITZER: A LIFE IN POLITICS, PRINT, AND POWER by James McGrath Morris


Like Alfred Nobel, Joseph Pulitzer is better known today for the prize that bears his name than for his contribution to history. Yet, in 19th-century industrial America, while Carnegie provided the steel, Rockefeller the oil, Morgan the money, and Vanderbilt the railroads, Pulitzer ushered in the modern mass media.

In Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power, James McGrath Morris traces the epic story of this Jewish Hungarian immigrant's rise through American politics and into journalism where he accumulated immense power and wealth, only to fall blind and become a lonely, tormented recluse wandering the globe. But not before Pulitzer transformed American journalism into a medium of mass consumption and immense influence. As the first media baron to recognize the vast social changes of the industrial revolution, he harnessed all the converging elements of entertainment, technology, business, and demographics, and made the newspaper an essential feature of urban life. Pulitzer used his influence to advance a progressive political agenda and his power to fight those who opposed him. The course he followed led him to battle Theodore Roosevelt who, when President, tried to send Pulitzer to prison. The grueling legal battles Pulitzer endured for freedom of the press changed the landscape of American newspapers and politics.

Based on years of research and newly discovered documents, Pulitzer is a classic, magisterial biography and a gripping portrait of an American icon.

Praise for Pulitzer:

"An excellent book: a thorough, possibly definitive biography of the man who shaped the modern newspaper more than anyone else
being published at the precise moment when the modern newspaper is staring into the abyss. . . . There have been other biographies of Pulitzer, most notably W. A. Swanberg's published in 1967, but James McGrath Morris's is the best. It is authoritative, lucid and fair to its complicated subject."
Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

"Morris paints a vivid picture, portraying his subject as an ambitious, hotheaded, at times violent, often charitable man; a perfectionist, shrewd in matters of business yet cold in matters of the heart. . . . This well-researched, exhaustive biography reads like a novel, with fleshed-out characters ranging from William Randolph Hearst to John Gardarino, a penniless newsboy. It is the story of a man, but also of a time, when newsroom scores were sometimes settled with pistols, when anti-Semitism was the norm, when 'out-of-work politicians became newspaper editors, and successful editors became elected politicians.'"

New York Times Book Review

"A major biographical success. . . . A thrilling toboggan-ride tour of history. . . . Pulitzer presents a flood of diary entries, statistics, editorials, memoranda, and cables from its subject's many ocean voyages. In this cavalcade of American life and letters, the pages fly by."

San Francisco Chronicle

Please let us know if you need a desk copy for Pulitzer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don’t Know Much About Poetry? Find Out For Sure!

Don't Know Much About Literature: What You Need to Know but Never Learned About Great Books and Authors by Kenneth C. DavisIn honor of April—also known in some circles as National Poetry Month—bestselling author, Kenneth C. Davis, has devised a torturous pop quiz for you to test your knowledge of poetry. Picking seven of the most famous poems in history, Davis provides you with the opening lines—and that’s about it! Can your students guess the poet and title? Can you get them all right? This quick but fun activity is sure to liven up a poetry unit.

The quiz can be found here:

How did you do on the quiz? Are you a bit embarrassed—like me? Well don’t fret, we're here to help. After refreshing your memory of famous poets like Alan Ginsberg, Pablo Neruda, and E. E. cummings—and seeking a little help from Davis’ Don’t Know Much About Literature—you will be a poetry aficionado in no time!

Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Many of you will remember seeing clips of Mary Murphy's documentary Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird during last year's National Council of Teachers of English conference. Now, you can see the completed documentary in theaters—starting on May 13. You'll find dates/cities here. If you would like to purchase the documentary (full-length or a 45-minute classroom edition), please use this form. And, of course, don't forget to share Mary's book Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird with your students

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Adam Shepard Helps Students Have THE BEST FOUR YEARS

The Best Four Years: How to Survive in College (and Life) by Adam Shepard Adam Shepard, author of Scratch Beginnings is back with his new book The Best Four Years: How to Survive in College (and Life). After speaking at colleges and universities across the nation he found he was being asked the same questions by students and parents hungry to know how to capitalize on their education: How do you walk away with more than just a piece of paper saying you graduated? What are the pitfalls and the opportunities that you should look out for? How do you make the absolute most of your time in college?

As a result, Adam became interested in providing a comprehensive guide to answer these questions—and many more. In The Best Four Years, Adam uses his own experiences from college and lessons learned on his speaking circuit to examine and explain the many aspects (and surprises) of college life, including:

· the transition to life away from home

· the ins and outs of a tight budget

· the necessity of scheduling

· the importance of time off

· the subtleties of social life, and much more.

Adam offers students motivation and direction as they tackle what could be the best four years of their lives.

A celebrated keynote speaker, Shepard is also available to come and speak on campuses. His personality—which shines through in both his writing and speaking—makes him an ideal choice for First Year Experience programs, convocations, and student programming. His youthful exuberance and dedication to his audience is apparent in the way he connects with those he is speaking to. For a sample of Adam in action, please watch the video below:

Let us know if you'd like to consider The Best Four Years (9780061983924, paperback, $14.99) for one of your classes by using our desk copy form.* Also, please feel free to contact us if you are interested in having Adam come speak to your students.

*No phone calls please. This offer is valid in the United States only and will expire on May 15, 2011. No more than one book per person. Ship to college address only. Proof of employment at college must be given upon request. Limited supply. Requests will be filled while supplies last. Our receipt of a request does not guarantee fulfillment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All You Need Is Empathy: BORN FOR LOVE by Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. & Maia Szalavitz


Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential—and Endangered by renowned child psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. and award-winning science journalist Maia Szalavitz is a key title for child development classes.

This provocative book combines Perry’s original research and stories from his practice with cutting-edge scientific studies and historical examples to explain how empathy develops, why it is essential for our development into healthy adults, and how it is threatened in the modern world.

Born for Love proclaims that compassion underlies the qualities that make society work—trust, altruism, collaboration, love, charity—and relates how difficulties related to empathy are key factors in social problems such as war, crime, racism, and mental illness. Even physical health, from infectious diseases to heart attacks, is deeply affected by our human connections to one another.

Praise for Born for Love:

“Facebook. Daycare. Economic inequality. All these trends are endangering empathy. Building off of case studies from Perry’s psychiatric practice, Perry and Szalavitz trace the antecedents and repercussions of (dis)connection, from mother-infant bonding through national financial meltdown.”—Psychology Today

Please let us know if you need a desk copy of Born for Love.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Teachers Continue To Champion Howard Zinn's Mission

A People's History of the United States by Howard ZinnThe mission of Howard Zinn continues. Social Studies Teacher and blogger Kenneth J. Bernstein recently wrote a piece expressing the importance of “thinking outside the textbook” while asking other teachers to utilize the services provided by the Zinn Education Project. Started by anonymously by someone inspired after seeing Zinn speak at Boston University in the 1970s, the Zinn Education Project provides educational resources for progressive teachers trying to teach students history from different perspectives—showing them the “People’s History” that doesn’t usually make it into the textbooks. At the National Council of Social Studies teachers’ meeting I had countless conversations about Howard Zinn and the Zinn Education Project with teachers. I would have been hard pressed to find a person in the exhibit hall who hadn’t taken advantage of the resources provided at some point—to great response from their students. By getting students to approach historical events from different perspectives—as Zinn strived to do—teachers are preparing students to be active and successful participants in our ever-diversifying global society.

For all of Mr. Bernstein’s thoughts, please click here.

To learn more about the Zinn Education Project and the free resources they provide teachers, please visit them here.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Translation: The Complete Plays of Sophocles

THE COMPLETE PLAYS OF SOPHOCLES translated by Robert Bagg and James ScullyIn August, Harper Perennial will publish a wonderful new translation of The Complete Plays of Sophocles by two award-winning poets and playwrights—Robert Bagg and James Scully.

The effectiveness and timeliness of Sophocles’s dramas depends on translations such as these to resonate, intellectually and emotionally, with contemporary students. And, with this in mind, the editors of the distinguished Norton Anthology of World Literature, Volume One have chosen to refresh the third edition by including Robert Bagg's translations of Oedipus the King and Antigone.

Included here are Aias, Women of Trakhis, Philoktetes, Elektra, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Kolonos, and Antigone. In addition to providing a general introduction that gives students insight into ancient Greek theater, Sophocles’s life and legacy, and the choices they made as translators, Robert Bagg and James Scully introduce each play, stressing its relevance to contemporary students.


The Complete Plays of Sophocles (ISBN 9780062020345, paperback, $16.99) will publish in August 2011. For a limited time, educators may request an eGalley of the complete book to consider for course adoption. Write to to request access. Please include the following information in your email request: name, school, course taught, estimated enrollment. You will have access to the eGalley for a maximum of 60 days. Offer expires on May 31.