Hot Off Penn Press: May’s New Books

The Press's presses slowed just a touch in May, with only six new titles released, but the reduction was in volume alone. The quality remains as high as ever!

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Jump to: General Interest | American History | Medieval Studies | Politics and Human Rights


The Philanthropic RevolutionThe Philanthropic Revolution: An Alternative History of American Charity
Jeremy Beer

"It is a testament to philanthropy's epistemic dominance within contemporary discourse on doing good, dominated by the drive to seek out root causes and to eschew palliatives, that one rarely encounters any real challenge to its authority. But with his recent book, Jeremy Beer does precisely that. Elegantly, concisely, and passionately argued, The Philanthropic Revolution chronicles an alternative tradition, a counter-ethic, grounded in the practice of charity, a sense of place, and a commitment to the promotion of authentic human communion. Beer maps out the uneasy, often antagonistic relationship between charity and philanthropy that has developed over the last centuries and offers a vision of how the two ethics might be reconciled. His important intervention should be read by all who care about making a difference in this world—even, and perhaps most urgently by, philanthropy's fiercest partisans."—Benjamin Soskis, Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy at George Mason University

"In this marvelous history of American charitable giving, Jeremy Beer helps us see what we have lost in the triumph of outcomes-focused and "scientific" philanthropy. He argues for the recovery of an older face-to-face charity that humanizes both giver and recipient."—R. R. Reno, Editor, First Things

"Jeremy Beer has written a synthetic masterpiece that triples as a history, interrogation, and indictment of modern professional philanthropy."—Walter A. McDougall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian

The historical displacement of charity by philanthropy represents a radical transformation in how we think about voluntary giving. The consequences of this shift have been socially revolutionary.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

134 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4793-0 | $19.95t | £13.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9247-3 | $12.95t | £8.50
A volume in the Radical Conservatisms series


From Main Street to MallFrom Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store
Vicki Howard

"From Main Street to Mall offers sharp analysis of American retailing from a new vantage point, advancing our understanding of the department store beyond Macy's and Marshall Field's. Historians of consumer culture have always known of smaller stores in smaller cities, but nobody paid attention to them until Vicki Howard. A significant contribution."—Susan Strasser, author of Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market

"Combining deep historical research and vivid description, Vicki Howard lucidly explains how, when, and why the department store came to dominate American commercial culture and how the democratization of consumption, changing public policy, and the forces of globalization contributed to its transformation and demise. A must-read for researchers of American consumer culture and for anyone who loves to shop."—Regina Lee Blaszczyk, author of The Color Revolution

Richly illustrated with archival photos, this comprehensive study of the American department store industry traces the changing economic and political contexts that brought about the decline of downtown shopping districts and the rise of big-box stores and suburban malls.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

304 pages | 6 x 9 | 30 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4728-2 | $34.95t | £23.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9148-3 | $34.95t | £23.00
A volume in the American Business, Politics, and Society series



The Associational StateThe Associational State: American Governance in the Twentieth Century
Brian Balogh

"A compelling and novel portrait of American political development. Balogh contends that a different and powerful reading of American political history can be developed by focusing on the organization of relationships between the state and society."—Elizabeth Clemens, author of The People's Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States

"A distinctive analysis of the growth of American government in the twentieth century, building its many insights on a commanding synthesis of American political development and the new political history."—James Sparrow, author of Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government

The Associational State argues that the relationship between state and civil society is fluid, and that the trajectory of American politics is not driven by ideological difference but by the ability to achieve public ends through partnerships forged between the state and voluntary organizations.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

288 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4721-3 | $49.95s | £32.50
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9137-7 | $49.95s | £32.50
A volume in the Politics and Culture in Modern America series


Building the Empire StateBuilding the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early Republic
Brian Phillips Murphy

"In Building the Empire State, Brian Murphy deftly revisits the founding of New York State, in the process revising our understanding of how the political economy of the early republic operated in practice. Rather than a strict separation between the public obligations of the state and the private interests of for-profit corporations, Murphy finds a much more integrated, reciprocal relationship that organically emerged from the experiences of the late colonial and Revolutionary periods. His fresh approach and sophisticated argument make a significant contribution to several fields, including political history, business history, and the history of capitalism more broadly."—Sharon Murphy, Providence College

Focusing on the state of New York, home to the first American banks, utilities, canals, and transportation infrastructure projects, Building the Empire State examines the origins of American capitalism by tracing how and why business corporations were first introduced into the economy of the early republic.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

304 pages | 6 x 9 | 7 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4716-9 | $49.95s | £32.50
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9135-3 | $49.95s | £32.50
A volume in the American Business, Politics, and Society series



Medieval RobotsMedieval Robots: Mechanism, Magic, Nature, and Art
E. R. Truitt

"The first comprehensive work of scholarship on European automata of the Middle Ages, Medieval Robots systematically and chronologically works through themes such as the transition from the magical to the mechanical and the liminal status of robots between art and nature, familiar and foreign. Well researched and well written, the book does an excellent job of showing the wider cultural significance of automata within medieval history and the history of science."—Pamela O. Long, author of Openness, Secrecy, Authorship: Technical Arts and the Culture of Knowledge from Antiquity to the Renaissance

Medieval robots took such forms as talking statues, mechanical animals, or silent metal guardians; some served to entertain or instruct while others performed surveillance or discipline. Medieval Robots explores the forgotten history of real and imagined machines that captivated Europe from the ninth through the fourteenth centuries.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

296 pages | 6 x 9 | 36 color illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4697-1 | $55.00s | £36.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9140-7 | $55.00s | £36.00
A volume in the Middle Ages Series



Esperanto and Its RivalsEsperanto and Its Rivals: The Struggle for an International Language
Roberto Garvía

"Roberto Garvía has written an original narrative crammed with fascinating detail about the experiment in Esperanto as well as other less well remembered ideas. This marvelous book will appeal to all curious historians and linguists."—Cathie Carmichael, University of East Anglia

Roberto Garvía explores the history of artificial spoken or written languages and the people who fought for them. Taking the three most prominent—Volapük, Esperanto, and Ido—Garvía investigates what drove so many to invest incredible energy and time to learn and promote them.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

240 pages | 6 x 9 | 3 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4710-7 | $55.00s | £36.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9127-8 | $55.00s | £36.00
A volume in the Haney Foundation Series


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