Hot Off Penn Press: The latest for May

With finals season winding down and spring in full force, it's a great time to throw yourself into an interesting new book. Our latest slate of new titles includes research at the intersection of military and economic history, an anthropological look at Israeli settlements, a study of an early European translation of the Qu-ran, and more. Check them all out below!

Jump to: Featured Titles | American History | Anthropology | Jewish Studies | Literature and Cultural Studies | Medieval and Renaissance Studies | Political Science and Human Rights | Political Science and Human Rights

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Risk and RuinRisk and Ruin: Enron and the Culture of American Capitalism
Gavin Benke

"Gavin Benke takes us on an adventurous journey into the complex network of gas pipelines and cash channels that gave shape to the Enron empire. He does not shy away from the complex financial systems that made Enron so profitable, and digs deep into the SPEs and other financial creations that made Enron tick. Risk and Ruin is extremely important, given the financial storms that loom ahead."—Bartow Elmore, author of Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism

With Risk and Ruin, Gavin Benke places Enron's fall within the larger history of late twentieh-century American capitalism. In many ways, Benke argues, Enron was emblematic of the transitions that characterized the era.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

272 pages | 6 x 9 | 14 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5020-6 | $34.95s | £26.99
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9507-8 | $34.95s | £23.00
A volume in the American Business, Politics, and Society series

Sovereign SoldiersSovereign Soldiers: How the U.S. Military Transformed the Global Economy After World War II
Grant Madsen

"President Eisenhower's warning of a 'military-industrial complex' looms large in contemporary American politics. This book offers the crucial historical background to explain what Eisenhower meant. Grant Madsen shows how U.S. Army leaders after the Second World War worked to build a global economy hinged on low inflation, inexpensive capital, and free trade. He explains how this model seeded postwar prosperity at home as well as in Europe and Asia, and also how it unraveled in the 1960s and 1970s—a victim of its own successes. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the historical roots of our current global economy and its discontents."—Jeremi Suri, author of The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office

In Sovereign Soldiers, historian Grant Madsen tells the story of military leaders who took on an unfamiliar and often untold policymaking role during the occupation of Germany and Japan after World War II, applying a range of economic ideas whose impact would endure throughout the prosperous 1950s, including in the United States itself.

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344 pages | 6 x 9 | 24 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5036-7 | $45.00s | £35.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9523-8 | $45.00s | £29.50
A volume in the American Business, Politics, and Society series


Strange BedfellowsStrange Bedfellows: Marriage in the Age of Women's Liberation
Alison Lefkovitz

"Strange Bedfellows offers an original perspective on the post-World War II 'marriage revolution.' By focusing on the interactions of feminist advocates, 'men's rights' groups, legislatures, and the courts, Alison Lefkovitz insightfully charts the emergence of new policies toward divorce, alimony, and marital property. In so doing, she reveals the disparate and harmful impact of marriage reform on the poor, racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, and gay couples. This is an important and timely book."—Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania

Strange Bedfellows recounts the unlikely ways in which the efforts of feminists and divorced men's activists dovetailed with the activity of lawmakers, judges, welfare activists, immigrant spouses, the LGBTQ community, the Reagan coalition, and other Americans, to redefine family and marriage without relying on traditional gender norms.

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280 pages | 6 x 9 | 8 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5015-2 | $45.00s | £35.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9505-4 | $45.00s | £29.50
A volume in the Politics and Culture in Modern America series

Governing BodiesGoverning Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique
Rachel Louise Moran

"Deeply researched and engagingly written, Governing Bodies offers a nuanced and provocative account of the role of the U.S. government in managing the physical fitness of its citizens. Rachel Louise Moran provides a new perspective on American political history and state development."—Marisa Chappell, Oregon State University

Weaving together histories of the body, public policy, and social welfare, Rachel Louise Moran analyzes a series of discrete episodes over the course of the twentieth century to chronicle the federal government's efforts to shape the physique of its citizenry.

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224 pages | 6 x 9 | 15 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5019-0 | $49.95s | £38.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9506-1 | $49.95s | £32.50
A volume in the Politics and Culture in Modern America series


Dynamics of Difference in AustraliaDynamics of Difference in Australia: Indigenous Past and Present in a Settler Country
Francesca Merlan

"This book reveals with analytical clarity the underside of Australian politics in relation to indigenous peoples—the denials, self-delusions, sleights of hand, and inevitable misdeeds of the empowered majority. Francesca Merlan achieves this not so much through the flagging language of postcolonial critique but rather through the demonstration of consistencies across different times and places and on local and national levels. The cumulative evidence is compelling."—Diane Austin-Broos, University of Sydney

Francesca Merlan examines the dynamics of difference that have existed between the settler majority and indigenous minority of Australia, from the events of early exploration to the present, shedding light on their unequal and changing relations over time.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

320 pages | 6 x 9 | 7 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5000-8 | $59.95s | £46.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9485-9 | $59.95s | £39.00

Settling HebronSettling Hebron: Jewish Fundamentalism in a Palestinian City
Tamara Neuman

"A stunning ethnographic account of the dynamic and intricate—and often intimate—entanglements of militarism, nationalism, gender, and Jewish fundamentalism in the West Bank."—Carol J. Greenhouse, Princeton University

"Settling Hebron is an impressive piece of research that greatly adds to our understanding of the politics of Jewish settlement in the West Bank."—Lihi Ben Shitrit, University of Georgia

In Settling Hebron, Tamara Neuman presents the first critical ethnography of the Jewish settler populations in Kiryat Arba and the adjacent Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Hebron, considered by many Israelis as the most "ideological" of settlements.

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256 pages | 6 x 9 | 12 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4995-8 | $69.95s | £54.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9482-8 | $69.95s | £45.50
A volume in the Ethnography of Political Violence series


Sefer Yesirah and Its Contexts"Sefer Yeṣirah" and Its Contexts: Other Jewish Voices
Tzahi Weiss

"Tzahi Weiss offers an innovative and daring thesis regarding a central text in the canon of Jewish mysticism and magic. 'Sefer Yeṣirah' and Its Contexts will stimulate important discussions not only about the history of Sefer Yeṣirah in Jewish intellectual history but also about the relationship of Jewish and Christian sources and the boundaries separating and uniting these two traditions."—Elliot Wolfson, University of California, Santa Barbara

In "Sefer Yeṣirah" and Its Contexts, Tzahi Weiss explores anew the contested history of Sefer Yeṣirah, in the process extending our knowledge of Jewish intellectual traditions excluded from rabbinic canon.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

208 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4990-3 | $59.95s | £46.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9479-8 | $59.95s | £39.00
A volume in the Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion series


Blood MattersBlood Matters: Studies in European Literature and Thought, 1400-1700
Bonnie Lander Johnson and Eleanor Decamp, Editors

"A powerful and coherent collection of essays that illuminates the various facets of a fascinating subject. It greatly enriches our sense of the meanings of blood and will have a major impact in medieval and Renaissance studies."—Michael Schoenfeldt, University of Michigan

Blood Matters explores blood as a distinct category of inquiry in medieval and early modern Europe and draws together scholars who might not otherwise be in conversation.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

368 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5021-3 | $89.95s | £69.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9509-2 | $89.95s | £58.50

Shakespearean IntersectionsShakespearean Intersections: Language, Contexts, Critical Keywords
Patricia Parker

"Shakespearean Intersections offers a stunningly creative and illuminating method for reading Shakespeare's words as nodes in densely linked webs of religious, racial, political, and sexual meanings. No word is safe from Patricia Parker's eagle-eyed attention to the polyglot resonances, inferences, and figurations that unexpectedly connect Shakespeare's language to contemporary discourses as diverse as sodomy, military science, biblical teleology, and orthography. Shakespearean Intersections shows us how much we have overlooked in Shakespeare's language, and how much richer and more inventive our readings of even his most familiar texts might be.​"—Mario DiGangi, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Providing innovative and interdisciplinary perspectives on Shakespeare's plays, Patricia Parker offers a series of dazzling readings that demonstrate how easy-to-overlook textual or semantic details reverberate within and beyond the Shakespearean text, and suggest that the boundary between language and context is an incontinent divide.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

424 pages | 6 x 9 | 12 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-4974-3 | $59.95s | £46.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9476-7 | $59.95s | £39.00
A volume in the Haney Foundation Series

Feeling TimeFeeling Time: Duration, the Novel, and Eighteenth-Century Sensibility
Amit S. Yahav

"In this innovative and ambitious book, Amit S. Yahav challenges some overly entrenched critical commonplaces about the Enlightenment roots of modernity while simultaneously elaborating new and compelling analyses of novels and aesthetic treatises that are the well-established mainstays of eighteenth-century literary studies."—Deidre Lynch, Harvard University

Feeling Time highlights the temporal underpinnings of the eighteenth century's culture of sensibility, arguing that novelists have often drawn on logics of musical composition to make their writing an especially effective tool for exploring time and for shaping durational experience.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

208 pages | 6 x 9 | 1 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5017-6 | $59.95s | £46.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9503-0 | $59.95s | £39.00


The White NunsThe White Nuns: Cistercian Abbeys for Women in Medieval France
Constance Hoffman Berman

"The White Nuns provides a treasure trove of highly significant research within the fields of medieval religious and economic history. Constance Hoffman Berman presents a detailed, thoughtful, and stimulating discussion of reformed Cistercian nuns across a significant timescale."—Brenda Bolton, University of London

The White Nuns considers Cistercian women and the women who were their patrons in a clear-eyed reading of narrative texts and administrative records. In rejecting long-accepted misogynies and misreadings, Constance Hoffman Berman offers a robust model for historians writing against received traditions.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

368 pages | 6 x 9 | 21 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5010-7 | $89.95s | £69.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9508-5 | $89.95s | £58.50
A volume in the Middle Ages Series

The Penn Commentary on Piers Plowman, Volume 4The Penn Commentary on Piers Plowman, Volume 4: C Passūs 15-19; B Passūs 13-17
Traugott Lawler

"Of all the poems of the English Middle Ages, Piers Plowman is the one that most deserves and needs annotation of the fullest and best possible kind, both because it is a text of unrivaled literary quality and interest, and because it is characteristically knotty and deploys a language of unusual richness, density, and allusiveness. Much of this allusiveness is to areas of learning that are not at every modern reader's fingertips. A particular difficulty is the existence of the poem in three authorial versions of almost desperate complexity. It will be an immense triumph to have a commentary which elucidates their relationships as a matter of policy and not simply as the result of conflating annotation on the different versions."—Derek Pearsall

Volume 4, by Traugott Lawler, creates a complete vade mecum for readers, identifying and translating all Latin quotations, uncovering allusions, providing full cross-reference to other parts of the poem, drawing in relevant scholarship, discussing all differences between the B and C texts, and unraveling difficult passages.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

520 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5026-8 | $89.95s | £69.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9512-2 | $89.95s | £58.50

The Venetian Qur'anThe Venetian Qur'an: A Renaissance Companion to Islam
Pier Mattia Tommasino. Sylvia Notini, Translator

"The Venetian Qur'an is an impressively rich study. It is a model of multidisciplinary research, drawing on historical, literary, and linguistic approaches."—Thomas E. Burman, University of Notre Dame

In The Venetian Qur'an, Pier Mattia Tommasino uncovers the author, origin, and lasting influence of the Alcorano di Macometto, a book that purported to be the first printed European vernacular translation of the Qur'an.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

320 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5012-1 | $59.95s | £46.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9497-2 | $59.95s | £39.00
A volume in the Material Texts series


Race and the Making of American Political ScienceRace and the Making of American Political Science
Jessica Blatt

"Jessica Blatt has delivered a masterful account of the illiberal fiber inherent in American political reality. That is, how a country committed to democratic equality and freedom has invested so much ink, blood, and money in ideas of racial difference to produce a conjoined history of unfreedoms and massive inequalities. She brings history to life on the page in her compelling telling of the ways that key intellectuals shaped the early field of political science through varied but sustained commitments to normalized white supremacy. Blatt has opened the way for a watershed reflective moment in her field—and beyond."—Duana Fullwiley, Stanford University

Race and the Making of American Political Science shows that racial thought was central to the academic study of politics in the United States at its origins, shaping the discipline's core categories and questions in fundamental and lasting ways.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

216 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5004-6 | $55.00s | £42.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9489-7 | $55.00s | £36.00
A volume in the American Governance: Politics, Policy, and Public Law series

Communists and Their VictimsCommunists and Their Victims: The Quest for Justice in the Czech Republic
Roman David

"Utilizing an effective and critical combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, Roman David presents the first comprehensive case study of a postconflict or postrepression country that goes beyond description and platitudes."—Harvey M. Weinstein, University of California, Berkeley

Did justice measures rectify the legacy of human rights abuses committed during the communist era in the Czech Republic? Roman David weighs this question carefully to promote a transformative theory of justice that demonstrates that justice measures, in order to be successful, require a degree of reconciliation.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

280 pages | 6 x 9 | 26 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5014-5 | $79.95s | £61.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9498-9 | $79.95s | £52.00
A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series

Human Rights in ThailandHuman Rights in Thailand
Don F. Selby

"Creative, innovative, and insightful, Human Rights in Thailand represents a contribution not just to Thai studies but to broader debates and literatures concerning human rights, culture, and society."—David Engel, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

By placing greater emphasis on human rights as an anthropological concern, Don F. Selby concludes that they are a matter of negotiation within everyday forms of sociality, morality, and politics.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

256 pages | 6 x 9 | 24 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5022-0 | $59.95s | £46.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9510-8 | $59.95s | £39.00
A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series

Dante's Philosophical LifeDante's Philosophical Life: Politics and Human Wisdom in "Purgatorio"
Paul Stern

"A highly original, important, and pathbreaking work. Paul Stern reveals Dante to be a daring thinker, running counter to medieval religious orthodoxy. He teaches us how to read Dante anew."—Paul Cantor, University of Virginia

Dante's Philosophical Life argues that Purgatorio was intended to give instruction on how to live the philosophic life. Paul Stern's claim that Dante was arguing for prudence against dogmatisms of every kind addresses a question of contemporary concern: whether reason can guide a life.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

304 pages | 6 x 9
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5011-4 | $65.00s | £50.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9501-6 | $65.00s | £42.50


Between Christ and CaliphBetween Christ and Caliph: Law, Marriage, and Christian Community in Early Islam
Lev E. Weitz

"Between Christ and Caliph strives to exemplify how the study of non-Muslim communities should be integrated into the study of Islamic history, and it suggests how our understanding of Islamic politics, society, and culture is missing a historically relevant dynamism if non-Muslim communities are assumed to function autonomously."—Janina Safran, Pennsylvania State University

In Between Christ and Caliph, Lev E. Weitz examines the multiconfessional society of early Islam through the lens of shifting marital practices of Syriac Christian communities, arguing that interreligious negotiations lie at the heart of the history of the medieval Islamic empire.

Full Description, Table of Contents, and More

352 pages | 6 x 9 | 6 illus.
Hardcover | ISBN 978-0-8122-5027-5 | $65.00s | £50.00
Ebook | ISBN 978-0-8122-9511-5 | $65.00s | £42.50
A volume in the Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion series

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