Press Releases

2010 Readers Catalog now online

April 7, 2010
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2010 Readers Catalog now online

Offering hundreds of new and classic titles at up to 20% off, Chicago’s Readers Catalog is now available online in PDF format. Just click the link and download a copy to peruse our latest offerings in a variety of subject areas from art to economics, including many of our most popular titles for general readers. To purchase books at the Readers Catalog prices just enter promo code AD9376 (also located on the back cover of the catalog) when checking out via our secure online shopping cart. For more information about each book—including Google Preview, tables of contents, and author bios click on the book title in the catalog. . . .

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Free e-book of the month: Nice Guys Finish Last

April 2, 2010
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Free e-book of the month: Nice Guys Finish Last

The history of baseball is rife with colorful characters. But for sheer cantankerousness, fighting moxie, and will to win, very few have come close to Leo “the Lip” Durocher. Following a five-decade career as a player and manager for baseball’s most storied franchises, Durocher teamed up with veteran sportswriter Ed Linn to tell the story of his life in the game. The resulting book, Nice Guys Finish Last, is baseball at its best, and now through the end of the month, you can download it free from the University of Chicago Press website. More about the book: Durocher began his career inauspiciously, riding the bench for the powerhouse 1928 Yankees and hitting so poorly that Babe Ruth nicknamed him “the All-American Out.” But soon Durocher hit his stride: traded to St. Louis, he found his headlong play and never-say-die attitude a perfect fit with the rambunctious “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals. In 1939, he was named player-manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers—and almost instantly transformed the underachieving Bums into perennial contenders. He went on to manage the New York Giants, sharing the glory of one of the most famous moments in baseball history, Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ’round the world,” which won the . . .

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Free e-book of the month: Jokes

March 1, 2010
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Free e-book of the month: Jokes

Ted Cohen’s funny and fascinating philosophical exploration of the nature of jokes in Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters, is now available for free download at the University of Chicago Press website. About the book: Jokes is a book of jokes and a book about them. Cohen loves a good laugh, but as a philosopher, he is also interested in how jokes work, why they work, and when they don’t. The delight at the end of a joke is the result of a complex set of conditions and processes, and Cohen takes us through these conditions in a philosophical exploration of humor. He considers questions of audience, selection of joke topics, the ethnic character of jokes, and their morality, all with plenty of examples that will make you either chuckle or wince. Jokes: more humorous than other philosophy books, more philosophical than other humor books. Check back each month for more free e-books from the University of Chicago Press or for all our currently available e-books, see our complete list of e-books by subject. E-books from the University of Chicago Press are offered in Adobe Digital Editions format for Mac, PC, and a number of mobile devices such as the . . .

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The free e-book of the day!

February 1, 2010
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The free e-book of the day!

For the next 24 hours only the University of Chicago Press is pleased to offer the e-edition of Adrian John’s brand new book Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates as a free download from our website. About the book&mdash: “ traces the tensions between authorized and unauthorized producers and distributors of books, music, and other intellectual property in British and American culture from the 17th century to the present. … The shifting theoretical arguments about copyright and authorial property are presented in a cogent and accessible manner. Johns’ research stands as an important reminder that today’s intellectual property crises are not unprecedented, and offers a survey of potential approaches to a solution.” —Publishers Weekly Check back tomorrow for Johns’ previous work, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making, (click the link for more about the book), and at the beginning of every month for more free e-books from the University of Chicago Press. Or to browse all our currently available e-books, see our complete list of e-books by subject. E-books from the University of Chicago Press are offered in Adobe Digital Editions format for Mac, PC, and a number of mobile devices such . . .

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Press Release: Murdin, Secrets of the Universe

November 9, 2009
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Press Release: Murdin, Secrets of the Universe

Discoveries in astronomy challenge our fundamental ideas about the universe. Where the astronomers of antiquity once spoke of fixed stars, we now speak of whirling galaxies and giant supernovae. Where we once thought Earth was the center of the universe, we now see it as a small planet among millions of others, any number of which could also hold life. These dramatic shifts in our perspective hinge on thousands of individual discoveries: moments when it became clear to someone that some part of the universe—whether a planet or a supermassive black hole—was not as it once seemed. Secrets of the Universe invites us to participate in these moments of revelation and wonder as scientists first experienced them. A renowned astronomer himself, Paul Murdin here revisits the most important astronomical discoveries ever made and introduces the scientists who made them in seventy short chapters which can be read consecutively as one narrative or dipped into and savored individually. The book makes even the most complex astronomical phenomena—from supermassive black holes to interstellar nebulae—wholly accessible to newcomers and general readers. It also features 400 full-color images, many of which would fit comfortably in the pages of Sky & Telescope or National Geographic. . . .

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Press Release: Becker-Posner, Uncommon Sense

November 4, 2009
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Press Release: Becker-Posner, Uncommon Sense

What do you get when you combine one of the world’s most influential economists and one of its most important legal thinkers? Well, when the two men concerned are Gary Becker and Richard Posner, you get sharp commentary, serious analysis, and innovative thinking about a stunning range of contemporary political and social issues. Week after week for nearly five years, that’s what Becker and Posner have been offering at the Becker-Posner blog, and with Uncommon Sense, they gather the best of the posts and running debates that have informed, surprised, and confounded a host of readers. Arranged by topic, and updated to take account of subsequent developments, the essays in this volume bring an economic perspective to such questions as the sale of human organs, the use of steroids in professional sports, the regulation of CEO compensation, and many more. To watch two such erudite thinkers trade ideas—and even forceful disagreements—is a sheer pleasure, and a testament to the power of minds unfettered by convention and unwilling to settle for received wisdom. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Klotz and Sylvester, Breeding Bio Insecurity

November 2, 2009
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Press Release: Klotz and Sylvester, Breeding Bio Insecurity

In the tense months that followed the 9/11 attacks, the public’s fears of further terrorism were fanned by the deadly anthrax letters, which seemed to symbolize the ease with which terrorists could kill using biological weapons. But in the subsequent years the United States government has spent billions of dollars on combating bioweapons—so citizens can rest easy, knowing we’re much safer. Or are we? Far from it, say Lynn Klotz and Edward Sylvester, and with Breeding Bio Insecurity they make a forceful case that not only has all of that money and research not made us safer, it’s made us far more vulnerable. Laying out their case clearly and carefully, they show how the veil of secrecy in which biosecurity researchers have been forced to work—in hundreds of locations across the country, unable to properly share research or compare findings—has caused no end of delays and waste, while vastly multiplying the odds of theft, sabotage, or lethal accident. Meanwhile, our refusal to make this work public causes our allies and enemies alike to regard U.S. biodefense with suspicion. True biosecurity, Klotz and Sylvester explain, will require that the federal government replace fearmongering with a true analysis of risk, while openly . . .

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Press Release: Graham, The Moon, Come to Earth

November 2, 2009
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Press Release: Graham, The Moon, Come to Earth

Though the telegram may be long gone, the allure of a dispatch from a foreign land remains strong. So when Philip Graham began chronicling his sojourn in Portugal at the popular McSweeney’s Web site, it didn’t take long for his dispatches to attract a following of readers eager to experience the faded glories and living mysteries of Lisbon. Now Graham has expanded on those dispatches, and the resulting book, The Moon, Come to Earth, is travel writing at its lyrical, introspective best. Whether wandering Lisbon’s cobbled medieval streets or wrestling with complicated local customs on the subway, Graham brings an attentive eye and love of idiosyncrasy to scenes that epitomize the paradox of living in a foreign city: Neither a tourist nor a local, he is forever between cultures, fascinated and admiring, but at the same time separate and uncertain. Through his explorations, the culture of Portugal—its rich literary culture, inventive cuisine, and saudade-drenched music—comes vibrantly to life. The Moon, Come to Earth is both a love letter to Lisbon and a testament to the pleasures and discoveries of travel itself. Read the press release. Also read an excerpt and see the author’s website. . . .

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Press Release: Ritvo, The Dawn of Green

October 21, 2009
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Press Release: Ritvo, The Dawn of Green

Green jobs. Green technology. Green agriculture. Green energy. In the twenty-first century, green—and the environmental consciousness that’s associated with it—is good. But where did the green revolution, and the modern environmental movement, get started? Historian Harriet Ritvo has traced it origins to an unlikely place—a bucolic reservoir in the English Lake District. To look at it today, with its placid sheen, surrounding evergreens, and apparent lack of pollution or development, Thirlmere hardly looks like the site of a revolution. But under its calm surface lurks the enduring legacy of a nineteenth-century conflict that pitted industrial progress against natural conservation—and helped launch the environmental movement as we know it. Purchased by the city of Manchester in the 1870s, Thirlmere was dammed and converted into a reservoir, its water piped a hundred miles south to the burgeoning industrial city and its workforce. This feat of civil engineering—and of natural resource diversion—inspired one of the first environmental struggles of modern times. The Dawn of Green re-creates the battle for Thirlmere and the clashes between conservationists who wished to preserve the lake and developers eager to supply the needs of industry and a growing urban population. Bringing to vivid life the colorful and strong-minded . . .

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Press Release: Mitchell, Seasick

October 16, 2009
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Press Release: Mitchell, Seasick

In September, President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force released its first report, recommending the creation of a new National Ocean Council to coordinate federal response to ocean pollution, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification, among other problems. With the creation of the NOC, the new administration is signaling that healthy oceans matter. But the task before the council is enormous, given that the sea is, well, sick. Veteran science journalist Alanna Mitchell reveals just how dire the situation is in Seasick. Here, she dives beneath the surface of the world’s oceans to give readers a sense of how this watery realm has been defiled—and what can be done to manage and preserve it, and with it life on earth. With Mitchell at the helm, readers submerge 3,000 feet to gather sea sponges that may contribute to cancer care, see firsthand the lava lamp—like dead zone covering 17,000 square kilometers in the Gulf of Mexico, and witness the simultaneous spawning of corals under a full moon in Panama. The first book to look at the planetary environmental crisis through the lens of the global ocean, Seasick takes the reader on an emotional journey through a hidden area of the planet and . . .

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