Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bestselling historian Rick Shenkman's next book, POLITICAL ANIMALS: How Our Stone Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics will be published by Lara Heimert at Basic on January 5th, 2016, and is already garnering some terrific advance praise. To wit:

“In Political Animals, historian Rick Shenkman makes excellent use of the latest research in behavioral sciences to indicate why we Americans so often fail politically. And in highly readable prose he also provides wise advice on how we can do better.”
—Walter G. Moss, Professor Emeritus of History, Eastern Michigan University and author of An Age of Progress? Clashing Twentieth-Century Global Forces

“Political Animals takes readers on an insightful tour of political irrationality over the course of American history, bringing embarrassing political misjudgments into the light of fascinating findings from behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology, and the life sciences. In doing so, Shenkman shows us how we can sharpen our political perceptions and improve, each in our own small way, the future of our democracy.”
—Avi Tuschman, author of Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us

“A fascinating, well-told account of how our nature both prepares and ill-prepares us for politics in the modern age.”
—George E. Marcus, Professor of Political Science, Williams College

“Politics in America has this Alice in Wonderland quality: what makes sense often doesn't happen, and what happens often doesn't make sense. Drawing on science, history, psychology, mounds of evidence and political insight, Rick Shenkman’s masterful book shows us why. What Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point does for society, Political Animals does for politics.”
—Leonard Steinhorn, Professor of Communication and Affiliate Professor of History, American University

“The most predictable thing about politics is that it’s often unpredictable. In his fascinating and illuminating new book, Rick Shenkman discovers the problem isn’t with our fancy statistical models or forecasts, it’s with our brains. When it comes to politics, humans sometimes do things that just don’t make sense.”
—Taegan Goddard, Founder and Publisher of Political Wire

“Every era has its false prophets; today’s are the neuroscientists and evolutionary psychologists who claim that all we need to know about human behavior lies in our hard wiring. In Political Animals, Rick Shenkman explodes their just-so stories, showing that the best way to understand politics is not through instincts but though history, with all its richness and complexity.”
—David Greenberg, author of Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency

“For generations political scientists have argued over whether voters address political issues rationally. Rick Shenkman vigorously asserts that for the most part they make decisions that more closely resemble the instinctual behavior of animals and early prehistoric man. He further argues that our institutions encourage such choices. Clearly written and accessible to ordinary readers, this book is an important contribution to an ongoing debate.”
—Alonzo L. Hamby, author of Man of Destiny: FDR and the Making of the American Century

Monday, March 17, 2014

KEEPERS by Kathy Brennan & Caroline Campion Wins General Cookbook IACP Award

The International Association of Culinary Professionals held its annual awards on Saturday night, honoring the best in food writing, photography, design, and journalism over the last year.  We are very happy to congratulate clients James Beard and Bert Greene Award Winner Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, whose KEEPERS: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen was published in August by Rodale, won the 2014 IACP best General cookbook of the year award, beating out the likes of Alice Waters and Mollie Katzen.

Caroline Campion and Kathy Brennan

No wonder, considering the fabulous praise the book has received since before and after publication in August:
It may be the best-value weeknight cookbook around
—The Boston Globe
Kathy and Caroline reveal the answer to the often daunting question of "what’s for dinner tonight?" I encourage everyone—whether a novice or seasoned cook—to explore their kaleidoscopic collection of casual recipes that are sure to satisfy any group of friends or hungry family.
—Daniel Boulud 
Leave it to these two smart working mothers to create such a charming, practical cookbook for the home cook. Keepers is filled with delicious recipes (and plenty of good advice) that every home cook will be glad to add to their own collection of "keepers". Keepers is a keeper!
—Christopher & Melissa, The Canal House 
Any book with an entire section devoted to toast for dinner has my immediate respect. Kathy and Caroline have assembled a weeknight arsenal for home cooks that's inspiring, relatable and infused with a deep understanding of the realities of family life. Keepers epitomizes the way I strive to cook every night.
—Merrill Stubbs, co-founder of Food52 
Keepers is one of the smartest cookbooks to come out in recent years. From techniques learned at the International Culinary Center to daily conversations about “what’s for dinner” at Saveur, these two have put together the modern day go-to cookbook. Brennan and Campion hit the nail on the head, speaking in an honest and helpful way while guiding readers through realistic expectations of weeknight planning and cooking. Anyone from those just starting to cook for themselves to newlyweds trying to find their culinary voice to mothers in a food rut will find Keepers a real keeper.
—Dorothy Cann Hamilton, Founder & CEO, The International Culinary Center 
Skillet Lasagna? Cucumber and Watermelon Salad? Yes, please. Find them in this collection of time-honored, proven dishes (from two former editors of Saveur magazine) that will become your own family classics.
—Real Simple 
Do you need another book claiming to offer quick weeknight dinners? Well, you need this one. Keepers is highly focused — it's dinner and dinner only, and not one of its recipes will set you back more than 45 minutes. At the same time, these two former Saveur editors make no compromises on taste or quality. Even their shortcuts — a pack of frozen vegetables, store-bought puff pastry — are in the service of deliciousness (in this case, a fast chicken pot pie).
—NPR Guide to Great Reads of 2013 
Don't think I can face another year of boring old green beans, so I've been flipping through Brennan and Campion's great new not-too-fussy Keepers for out-of-the-box options. Tomato and Zucchini Gratin looks yummy, or – ooh! – Roasted Acorn Squash with JalapeƱo-Lime Butter ... I might just have to try both.
The best cookbook you've read all year.
—Joanna Goddard, Cup of Jo 
Kathy and Caroline have filled Keepers with practical advice on everything from meal planning (when was the last time a cookbook reminded you to breathe?) to shopping with kids (don’t worry, it’s awful for them, too). They even give suggestions for families at different stages or with kids of different ages. But my favorite section is ‘Lifesavers,’ which is filled with versatile sauces–aka flavor bombs–that can be made ahead, kept in the fridge for up to a week, and make almost anything taste better. Genius.
—Cool Mom Picks 
Along with pantry-stocking tips, weekly meal-planning guides, and essential tool checklists, they share recipes, which are, with no surprise because of the title of the book, keepers. These recipes are trusted family and personal recipes, infused with years of experience working in the culinary industry — and later the motherhood industry, too. They’re not just delicious, but they’re also tested and proved to be easy and indispensable dishes for you to add to your recipe box, making them perfect for a weeknight meal.
—The Daily Meal
KEEPERS joins THE BALTHAZAR COOKBOOK on the agency list as a winner.  Published by Clarkson Potter in 2003, the book of magnificent classes brasserie recipes from Keith McNally, Riad Nasr, and Lee Hanson's celebrated restaurant won three awards in 2004: the IACP Award Winner for Design Award; the IACP Award Nominee for First Book: Julia Child Award; and the James Beard Award Nominee for Cooking from a Professional Point of View.

Friday, May 3, 2013

STRANGE STONES by Peter Hessler Selected as One of Amazon's Best Nonfiction Titles of the Month

Amazon has joined the cohort of those championing Peter Hessler's collection of expanded pieces, STRANGE STONES: Dispatches from East and West (Harper), most of which originally appeared in The New Yorker, selecting it as one of their Best Nonfiction titles of the month.

Publishers' Weekly, characterizing the book as "elegant and thoughtful," also featured it as one of the "Most Eagerly Books of Spring 2013." Kirkus gave it a stellar review, saying: "Riveting... A rich, vibrant collection that pries wide open the door to the East, welcoming Western readers inside."

Steve Weinberg, Professor Emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism, wrote the first review not oriented toward the trade for the Kansas City Star, "In ‘Strange Stones,’ a former Missourian travels the world, eats a rat and writes elegant essays:"

Hessler’s three books set in China are hybrid masterpieces — part travel writing, part deep sociology, part journalism. Those books (“River Town,” “Oracle Bones” and “Country Driving”) constitute the most interesting, informative English-language accounting I have read about that nation. A bonus is Hessler’s skill at composition — he is a master of clear, compelling language. ...Peter Hessler’s fascination with the characters shines through every one of his magazine features. And the mostly foreign settings add to the fascination for less mobile readers.

Kelly Chung Dawson, writing for China Daily but based in New York, points up Peter's humor in her story "Storyteller Embraces Humor to Depict Life in China."  Earlier this month, Publishers Weekly's Louisa Ermelino asked: "Where is Peter Hessler?" The answer being: "Now, seven years later, Hessler has his own family. He’s married to journalist Leslie Chang with whom he has twin daughters, and he’s living in a very lovely part of Cairo." Ermelino previously wrote about Peter when his National Book Award Finalist ORACLE BONES was published in 2006, in her piece "Lost in Beijing: Peter Hessler."

ChinaFile is presenting "Peter Hessler: Strange Stones -- A Conversation and Book Signing" with Peter in discussion with Michael Meyer and Susan Jakes, editor of ChinaFile, at Asia Society New York on May 21st at 7pm.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Daniel Radcliffe will play Jake Adelstein in TOKYO VICE

Mike Fleming broke the news on Deadline this afternoon that Daniel Radcliffe will play Jake Adelstein in the film adaptation of TOKYO VICE:  An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.

The text of the release is as follows:
Daniel Radcliffe is set to star in TOKYO VICE. Veteran music video and commercial director Anthony Mandler will direct, based on a script by acclaimed playwright JT Rogers. Le Grisbi Productions’ John Lesher and Adam Kassan are producing. The film is eyeing a start date of first quarter 2014. 

Radcliffe will play American reporter Jake Adelstein who, while working at the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper in Tokyo, covered a beat that included murder, vice, and the yakuza. The film will be based on Adelstein’s memoir of the same name and focus on his encounters with yakuza boss Tadamasa Goto, also known as the “John Gotti of Japan". Adelstein investigated the notorious gangster at great personal cost and sacrifice, braving death threats, before finally exposing Goto.

Adelstein, who will be working with Rogers on the script, is still an investigative reporter. He currently writes for The Daily Beast and The Japan Times. His second book, THE LAST YAKUZA(editor Tim O’Connell), will be published in 2014. 

Radcliffe has had a busy schedule since starring in last year’s thriller THE WOMAN IN BLACK. He starred as Allen Ginsberg in this year’s Sundance hit KILL YOUR DARLINGS, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. He also recently wrapped the horror film HORNS and the romantic comedy THE F WORD and he has just signed on to star in FRANKENSTEIN for 20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment. This June, Radcliffe will return to the West End stage, starring in Martin McDonagh's acclaimed comedy THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN. 

Mandler has helmed videos for such artists as Rihanna, Jay-Z, The Killers, and Muse.
Rogers’ plays include BLOOD AND GIFTS (National Theatre, London; Lincoln Center Theater, New York City) and THE OVERWHELMING (National Theatre, London; Roundabout Theatre, New York City). He was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award as one of the writers of GREAT GAME: AFGHANISTAN. 

Lesher produced last year’s END OF WATCH, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He also produced BLOOD TIES, Guillaume Canet’s English language debut, starring Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, and James Caan, which will premiere at Cannes. Lesher is currently in production on Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s BIRDMAN, starring Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, and Naomi Watts. He is in pre-production on BLACK MASS, to be directed by Barry Levinson and star Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, as well as David Ayer’s war film FURY, which will shoot in the fall and star Brad Pitt. 

Radcliffe is represented by UTA, UK agent Sue Latimer at ARG, and attorney Fred Toczek. Mandler is represented by UTA, Management 360, and attorney Michael Schenkman. Rogers is represented by WME and attorneys Marc Glick and Stephen Breimer. Jake Adelstein is repped by UTA and William Clark Associates.

You can learn more about Jake Adelstein in Peter Hessler's excellent profile, "All Due Respect: An American Reporter Takes on the Yakuza" in the January 9, 2012 issue of The New Yorker.

Jake's next book, THE LAST YAKUZA:  A Life in the Japanese Underground, a singular, in-depth, occasionally humorous, often dark, but inspiring tale about the life of former gang boss Tatsuya Mochizuki, aka "The Tsunami," his unlikely friendship with the author, and the history of Japan's ubiquitous mafia is being edited by the incomparable Tim O'Connell at Pantheon as this is being written, and will be released in Fall 2014.  Other English language publishers are James Gurbutt at Constable & Robinson in the UK, and Henry Rosenbloom at Scribe in Australia/New Zealand.

Friday, April 26, 2013

PARIS REBORN by Stephane Kirkland Hits First Bestseller List

We are very pleased that Stephane Kirkland's PARIS REBORN: Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann and the Quest to Build a Modern City (St. Martin's Press, just published, now in its second printing) is getting such terrific attention, and is debuting on the bestseller lists in The Denver Post. After an inaugural reading at BookCourt in Brooklyn on April 2nd, Stephane spoke with Yvette van Boven in a program entitled "Eat, Drink & Think Like Napoleon III" at the 92Y Tribeca on the 7th, read at the Tattered Cover in Denver on the 11th, and spoke with David Downie, author of PARIS TO THE PYRENEES:  A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James (Pegasus Books) at McNally-Jackson Books in Soho on Tuesday.

Just prior to the London Book Fair, Jonathan Yardley reviewed the book in the Washington Post, saying:

[Kirkland] clearly knows Paris intimately, writes lucid and engaging prose, and is both spirited in his advocacy of Napoleon III and clear-eyed about how he was able to do what he did. … While it is an immense pleasure to accompany him as he leads us through the planning and building of the great boulevards, the construction of the Opera House and the reconstruction of the Louvre, it is also sobering to realize that in the process of gaining much, Paris lost much as well, in particular medieval neighborhoods that had profoundly influenced the city’s character.

Pre-publication reviews were equally good:

Kirkland is an able navigator of architectural history—vivid descriptions abound, and the evolution of the city’s infrastructure, public spaces, and other amenities is a testament to the oft overlooked reign of Napoleon III. Lovers of the City of Light and urban planners alike will find Kirkland’s survey illuminating.
—Publishers Weekly

Fascinating and highly readable, this is strongly recommended for Francophiles, travelers, and students of urban history and planning.
—Library Journal (starred review)

A solid retelling of an always-interesting tale of the first great urban-planning achievement.
—Kirkus Review

My French Life spoke with Stephane about his career, passions, and the book.

Friday, October 19, 2012

FREELOADING by Chris Ruen Released in the US

The original slacker's dream of free everything may have been realized by the Internet—but along with it came the slacker's nightmare of never getting paid for one's creativity. Freeloading seeks—and to a large extent succeeds—to wrestle with the collapse of the commons and the possibilities for a renewed social contract.  
Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist, author of Life, Inc. andProgram or Be Programmed

FREELOADING:  How Our Insatiable Hunger for Free Content Starves Creativity by Chris Ruen takes a critical, cool look at a near-pervasive phenomenon that involves almost everyone who taps a keyboard: beyond that, it's a reminder of the truism that for every action there are consequences. What happens when we pirate a favorite work of art—a song, book, or movie? And as importantly: what, if anything, can or should be done about it?  It has just been released by O/R Books in the US, and will be published by Scribe Publications in Australia and New Zealand in December, with other territories to follow.

Chris will be celebrating the release by reading the book in its entirety this Saturday at WORD in Greenpoint, Brooklyn from 10am - 4pm. At 7pm, there will be free beer from Brooklyn Brewery and wine from Dandelion, cheese from Eastern District. And after the drinking and eating and reading, there will be an afterparty at Lulu's one block away. Chris will be spinning records along with Greg Bennetts and Nicholas Cirillo. DJ sets start at 9:30.

On December 5th at 7PM, Chris and David Byrne will be discussing music and copyright in the final event of Byrne's speaking tour for his new book, HOW MUSIC WORKS.  The event will be equal billing with an emphasis on Chris' and David's books.  Paul Holdengraber will moderate a discussion between the two authors on the topic and there will be a 15 minute Q&A from the audience following the 45 minute discussion.

Monday, August 6, 2012

MARILYN: The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner is the Most Reviewed Book in the UK

MARILYN: The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner was published on July 17th by Bloomsbury USA and Bloomsbury UK simultaneously, and the agency learned this morning that no book has been reviewed more in the UK over the past week. The definitive biography was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review yesterday by Zoe Slutsky, who writes: “Banner presents a rich and often imaginative narrative of Marilyn’s life. By the end, Monroe feels at once like an earthly being – an almost-friend – and an enigma, still slightly out of focus and just beyond reach. That seems right.”

Lois spoke with Diane Rehm at length on Thursday, and you can listen to the interview here or read the transcript.

In a dual review in The Washington Post, Mindy Aloff writes about MARILYN: 
...this is the book to read if you want to try to understand what made Monroe tick. Where [Keith] Badman’s book took five years to produce, Banner’s took 10; and, although their background readings seem to overlap in places, Banner keeps asking questions and weighing evidence long after Badman has settled for his eureka revelations. Banner’s methodical approach and refusal to give Monroe praise when the actress doesn’t deserve it confer a kind of dignity on the subject that Badman’s book doesn’t.

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Britt Peterson writes that Banner: "highlights Monroe's radical leftist leanings, her racial sensitivities, her interest in psychoanalysis, and other ways in which she prefigured various social and political movements of the 1960s. She doesn't gloss over the uglier aspects of Monroe's character, delving into her possible sex addiction, but works to present a full woman— exactly what Steinem purportedly set out to do nearly 30 years ago, with such half-baked and sentimental results. Banner's version is more complete, more sensitive, more entrenched in archival data than any before..."

In a starred, boxed review, Booklist says: 
By dint of exhaustive research and uniquely informed analysis, distinguished and trailblazing feminist historian Banner has written a profoundly redefining bombshell biography of artist and icon Marilyn Monroe. Banner is the first to bring a scholar’s perspective to bear on the influence of postwar misogyny and sexual hypocrisy on Monroe’s life and work as she painstakingly chronicles Monroe’s shunting from one foster home to another, her sexual abuse and subsequent stutter, evangelical upbringing, daring foray into modeling, and epic battle for Hollywood success. Intellectual rigor and insight shape Banner’s coverage of Monroe’s debilitating endometriosis, chronic insomnia, prescription-drug addiction, numerous sexual relationships, reliance on psychoanalysis, and three troubled marriages. Banner breaks new ground with her sensitive disclosure of the star’s toxic fear of the exposure of her sexual attraction to women, an utter disgrace for a reigning sex symbol in a harshly homophobic time. And her revelations about the role of the Kennedys and the FBI in Monroe’s death are appalling. On the upside, Banner celebrates Monroe’s perfectionism, generosity, humanist political views, trickster humor, covert brilliance, daunting “process of self-creation,” and immense cultural resonance. A passion for precision and truth fuels Banner’s electrifying portrait of an artist caught in a maze of paradoxes and betrayals. Here is Marilyn as we’ve never seen her before."

Other praise:

"Banner elegantly and skillfully chronicles Monroe’s short life…. [she] paints a portrait of Monroe as a complicated, many-faceted woman."—Publishers Weekly

“A dazzling portrait of a fragile but remarkably ambitious and determined personality, as spiritual as she was corporeal, as canny as she was careless.”—Carina Chocano, Elle

“Banner…probe[s] Monroe’s fraught relationship to her sexuality with an uncommonly insightful eye. But fans of Hollywood Babylon, take heart: Studious as she is, Banner also rakes the muck like a pedigreed newshound.”—Jan Stuart, More

“[A] richly researched biography…. The most titillating sections of this refreshingly frank book describe Monroe's years as a party girl…. The Monroe we meet in this sympathetic, feminist biography is a self-nurturing narcissus who blossomed in front of the camera. Monroe was cut down before she could germinate, but in these pages she comes alive.”—Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch