Hot Off Penn Press: Spring paperbacks!

Don't miss this latest round-up of new releases, featuring all of our Spring 2021 paperbacks, covering everything from medieval English literature to the history of early Hawaiian encounters with colonialism and much more!

Jump to: American History | Anthropology | Architecture | Atlantic History | Literature and Cultural Studies

To receive email announcements about new books—which include a 30% discount on all titles—sign up here.


The Kingdom and the RepublicNOW IN PAPERBACK
The Kingdom and the Republic: Sovereign Hawaiʻi and the Early United States
Noelani Arista

"The Kingdom and the Republic fundamentally changes how we think about Hawaiian, U.S., and British history in this period—the framing of the book actually downplays that the British are just as often at the center of the action. This work has the ability to influence how we think about historical moments of encounter more broadly, and it is an important corrective to the tendency to read history backward to find the roots of domination, exaggerating the power of Euro-American actors and downplaying the authority of indigenous Governance."—American Historical Review

In The Kingdom and the Republic, Noelani Arista uncovers a trove of previously unused Hawaiian language documents to chronicle Hawaiians' experience of encounter and colonialism in the nineteenth century, reconfiguring familiar histories of trade, proselytization, and negotiations over law and governance in Hawaiʻi.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

312 pages | 6 x 9 | 12 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5073-2 | $45.00s | £36.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2491-7 | $24.95s | £18.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9559-7 | $24.95s | £18.50
A volume in the America in the Nineteenth Century series

Colonial ComplexionsNOW IN PAPERBACK
Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America
Sharon Block

"Colonial Complexions offers an important new angle on the processes through which racial categories became entrenched in American and Western thought and culture . . . [and] a badly needed and deeply insightful analysis of a level of race-making that falls between high scientific discourse and social life . . . Sharon Block reveals a too-often hidden and absolutely crucial current of racial thought and practice in early America."—Journal of Early American History

How did descriptions of individuals' appearance reinforce emergent categories of race? In Colonial Complexions, more than 4000 advertisements for runaway slaves and servants reveal how colonists transformed seemingly observable characteristics into racist reality.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

232 pages | 6 x 9 | 17 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5006-0 | $45.00s | £36.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2492-4 | $22.50s | £16.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9493-4 | $22.50s | £17.00
A volume in the Early American Studies series

Republic of TasteNOW IN PAPERBACK
Republic of Taste: Art, Politics, and Everyday Life in Early America
Catherine E. Kelly

"Every chapter in Kelly's book, and almost every page, is difficult to put down; the author has a facility with language and argument that makes the reading pleasurable, stimulating, and well-paced . . . [T]hese studies in early national aesthetics are innovative, engaging, and rewarding to read."—Journal of American Culture

Exploring the intersection of the early republic's material, visual, literary, and political cultures, Republic of Taste demonstrates how American thinkers upheld the similarities between aesthetics and politics in order to wrestle with questions about power and authority.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

312 pages | 7 x 10 | 11 color, 38 b/w illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4823-4 | $55.00s | £44.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2489-4 | $32.50s | £24.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9295-4 | $32.50s | £24.50
A volume in the Early American Studies series

Blue-Collar ConservatismNOW IN PAPERBACK
Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia and Populist Politics
Timothy J. Lombardo

"Detailed [and] lucid . . . Lombardo writes Blue-Collar Conservatism with detachment, allowing the words, deeds, and images to speak for themselves. It's one of the great strengths of the book. The writing is straightforward, and the viewpoint seems inarguable. What moves you is the story, even if you know a lot of it already."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

Blue-Collar Conservatism examines the blue-collar, white supporters of Frank Rizzo—Philadelphia's police commissioner turned mayor—and shows how the intersection of law enforcement and urban politics created one of the least understood but most consequential political developments in recent American history.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

328 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5054-1 | $37.50s | £28.99
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2483-2 | $24.95s | £18.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9543-6 | $24.95s | £18.50
A volume in the Politics and Culture in Modern America series


War Is Coming: Between Past and Future Violence in Lebanon
Sami Hermez

"War Is Coming provides a rather unique ethnographic study of the Lebanese, which should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in understanding the complex state of societies suffering from protracted conflict . . . few other studies have approached the question of conflict in Lebanon (and perhaps elsewhere in the Middle East) through this level of ethnographic research."—Bustan: The Middle East Book Review

War Is Coming is an ethnographic study that sheds light on the everyday conversations, practices, and experiences of people in Lebanon who live in between moments of political violence, remember past wars, and anticipate future turmoil.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

280 pages | 6 x 9 | 20 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4886-9 | $69.95s | £56.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2488-7 | $32.50s | £24.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9368-5 | $69.95s | £52.00
A volume in the Ethnography of Political Violence series

Fighting for DignityNOW IN PAPERBACK
Fighting for Dignity: Migrant Lives at Israel's Margins
Sarah S. Willen

"This detailed and fascinating analysis of the day-to-day experiences of migrant workers at the margins of Israeli society is important not only for exposing how the migrant population is largely invisible and voiceless, experiencing structural non-representation, and denied voting rights and any political power due to their temporary status. In addition, it is important for anyone seeking to understand the underlying logic of the Israeli state and its society."—Israel Studies Review

Fighting for Dignity explores the impact of a mass deportation campaign on African and Asian migrant workers in Tel Aviv and their Israeli-born children. In this vivid ethnography, Sarah Willen shows how undocumented migrants struggle to craft meaningful, flourishing lives despite the exclusion and vulnerability they endure.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

344 pages | 6 x 9 | 18 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5134-0 | $89.95s | £72.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2490-0 | $32.50s | £24.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9625-9 | $32.50s | £24.50
A volume in the Contemporary Ethnography series


Frank Furness: Architecture in the Age of the Great Machines
George E. Thomas. Foreword by Alan Hess

[A] brilliant study by the architectural and cultural historian George E. Thomas, who contends that the unprecedented mechanization of the Victorian Era was central to the advance of architecture . . . Thomas further secures his reputation as our leading authority on the architect, and places his subject squarely in a social setting too often missing when researchers obsess over stylistic and formal matters . . . [H]alf a century after the rediscovery of the fiery Furness, the impassioned advocacy of George Thomas continues to reveal the genius of this magnificent misfit."—The New York Review of Books

A sweeping assessment of the entire career of Frank Furness that features more than one hundred illustrations, George E. Thomas's book argues that modern American architecture, in design and genealogy, is rooted in the industrial culture of Philadelphia and the office of Frank Furness.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

312 pages | 7 x 10 | 34 color, 84 b/w illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4952-1 | $59.95t | £48.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2487-0 | $36.50t | £27.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9483-5 | $36.50s | £27.50
A volume in the Haney Foundation Series


Undercurrents of PowerNOW IN PAPERBACK
Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora
Kevin Dawson

"Kevin Dawson's masterly synthesis goes beyond filling a gap in maritime history: it reconfirms and expands a discourse on maritime traditions of Africans at home and abroad, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries."—The International Journal of Maritime History

Kevin Dawson considers how enslaved Africans carried aquatic skills—swimming, diving, boat making, even surfing—to the Americas. Undercurrents of Power not only chronicles the experiences of enslaved maritime workers, but also traverses the waters of the Atlantic repeatedly to trace and untangle cultural and social traditions.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

360 pages | 6 x 9 | 29 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4989-7 | $45.00s | £36.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2493-1 | $27.50s | £20.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9478-1 | $27.50s | £20.50
A volume in the Early Modern Americas series


The Art of AllusionNOW IN PAPERBACK
The Art of Allusion: Illuminators and the Making of English Literature, 1403-1476
Sonja Drimmer

"Sonja Drimmer's book is a remarkable work of discovery and synthesis, the product of original archival work conducted over a decade. Her scholarship combines the techniques of the art historian (visual analysis and comparison, careful observation) and the literary scholar (she analyses the Middle English adeptly) . . . [T]his book will be timeless . . . [R]ead it, for the ideas, for the thrill of exploring archives with such an able guide, and also for the pleasure of the language."—English Historical Review

Featuring more than one hundred illustrations, 27 of them in color, The Art of Allusion amply exhibits the critical role book artists played in the formation of the English literary canon.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

352 pages | 7 x 10 | 27 color, 97 b/w illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5049-7 | $59.95s | £48.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2484-9 | $39.95s | £32.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9538-2 | $39.95s | £30.00
A volume in the Material Texts series

Disknowledge: Literature, Alchemy, and the End of Humanism in Renaissance England
Katherine Eggert

"Rich, detailed, subtle and bold. . . . Eggert is fully alive to the duplicity of alchemy and its claims."—Times Literary Supplement

Katherine Eggert explores the crumbling state of humanistic learning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the benefits of relying on alchemy despite its recognized flaws.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

368 pages | 6 x 9 | 11 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4751-0 | $59.95s | £48.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2485-6 | $29.95s | £22.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9188-9 | $29.95s | £22.50

The Strangers BookNOW IN PAPERBACK
The Strangers Book: The Human of African American Literature
Lloyd Pratt

"[An] important and fresh contribution to the study of African American literature, rereading the works of the canonical Douglass and turning our attention to lesser-known African American francophone poetry . . . Pratt offers [a] compelling and forceful theory and method that no doubt will shape the work of literary scholars and have the power to influence theorizations of African American history."—American Literature

The Strangers Book explores how a constellation of nineteenth-century African American writers radically reframed the terms of humanism by redefining what it meant to be a stranger.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

200 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4768-8 | $55.00s | £44.00
Paperback | ISBN 978-0-8122-2486-3 | $26.50s | £19.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9199-5 | $26.50s | £20.00
A volume in the Haney Foundation Series

Book reviewers: To request a press copy of a Penn Press book, send your name, shipping address, and the title of your publication to

Educators: To request an exam copy for course use consideration, click here.

Forthcoming Events