Books published by Belknap Press

The arcades project

Belknap Press | March 30, 2002 | 1073 pages
"To great writers," Walter Benjamin once wrote, "finished works weigh lighter than those fragments on which they labor their entire lives." Conceived in Paris in 1927 and still in progress when Benjamin fled the Occupation in 1940, The Arcades Project (in German, Das Passagen-Werk) is a monumental... More Info

Walter Benjamin

Belknap Press | November 21, 2016 | 768 pages
Walter Benjamin was perhaps the twentieth century's most elusive intellectual. His writings defy categorization, and his improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers. In a major new biography, Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings present a comprehensive portrait of the man and his... More Info

Disaster Drawn

Belknap Press | January 12, 2016 | 336 pages
In hard-hitting accounts of Auschwitz, Bosnia, Palestine, and Hiroshima s Ground Zero, comics have shown a stunning capacity to bear witness to trauma. Hillary Chute explores the ways graphic narratives by diverse artists, including Jacques Callot, Francisco Goya, Keiji Nakazawa, Art Spiegelman,... More Info

The Economics of Inequality

Belknap Press | August 3, 2015 | 160 pages
Succinct, accessible, and authoritative, Thomas Piketty s "The Economics of Inequality" is the ideal place to start for those who want to understand the fundamental issues at the heart of one the most pressing concerns in contemporary economics and politics. This work now appears in English for the... More Info

Planet Without Apes

Belknap Press | October 24, 2014 | 272 pages
Predicting the imminent extinction of the world's great apes, a leading primatologist explains the loss of evolutionary knowledge that would result from losing the world's animal species that most closely resemble humans, noting the compelling culture of the great apes while making strategic... More Info

Algerian Chronicles

Belknap Press | October 24, 2014 | 240 pages
More than 50 years after its original publication in French, Albert Camus' controversial look at the Algerian War for independence—and his opinions on terrorism—is published in English for the first time.  More Info

Sasha and Emma

Belknap Press | October 24, 2014 | 528 pages
In 1889 Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman met in a Lower East Side coffee shop. Over the next fifty years they became fast friends, fleeting lovers, and loyal comrades. This dual biography offers a glimpse into their intertwined lives, the influence of the anarchist movement they shaped, and their... More Info

Making Space

Belknap Press | November 1, 2014 | 240 pages
Knowing where things are seems effortless. Yet our brains devote tremendous power to figuring out simple details about spatial relationships. Jennifer Groh traces this mental detective work to show how the brain creates our sense of location, and makes the case that the brain s systems for thinking... More Info

Too Big to Jail

Belknap Press | November 3, 2014 | 340 pages
American courts routinely hand down harsh sentences to individual convicts, but a very different standard of justice applies to corporations. Too Big to Jail takes readers into a complex, compromised world of backroom deals, for an unprecedented look at what happens when criminal charges are... More Info

The Struggle for Pakistan

Belknap Press | September 1, 2014 | 448 pages
In a probing biography of her native land, Ayesha Jalal provides a unique insider s assessment of how the nuclear-armed Muslim nation of Pakistan evolved into a country besieged by military domination and militant religious extremism, and explains why its dilemmas weigh so heavily on prospects for... More Info

Curious Behavior

Belknap Press | May 1, 2014 | 288 pages
Robert Provine boldly goes where other scientists seldom tread-in search of hiccups, coughs, yawns, sneezes, and other lowly, undignified human behaviors. Upon investigation, these instinctive acts bear the imprint of our evolutionary origins and can be uniquely valuable tools for understanding how... More Info

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Belknap Press | October 1, 2013 | 876 pages
Perhaps no-one in the 20th century had a greater long-term impact on world history than Deng Xiaoping. This title provides a biography of his life. The book also explores the transformation of China.  More Info


Belknap Press | July 19, 2019 | 280 pages
Income inequality, displaced and imprisoned populations, destruction of land and water: today's dislocations cannot be understood in the usual terms of poverty and injustice, Saskia Sassen argues. They are more accurately understood as expulsions--from professional livelihood, from living space,... More Info

Walter Benjamin

Belknap Press | January 20, 2014 | 704 pages
Walter Benjamin was perhaps the twentieth century's most elusive intellectual. His writings defy categorization, and his improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers. In a major new biography, Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings present a comprehensive portrait of the man and his... More Info

Global Interdependence

Belknap Press | January 1, 2014 | 990 pages
Global Interdependence provides a new account of world history from the end of WWII to the present, an era when transnational communities challenged the long domination of the nation-state. Leading scholars elucidate the political, economic, cultural, and environmental forces that have shaped the... More Info

On Rereading

Belknap Press | November 18, 2013 | 304 pages
After retiring from teaching literature, Patricia Meyer Spacks embarked on a year-long project of rereading dozens of novels: childhood favorites, young adult fiction, canonical works she didn't like, guilty pleasures. "On Rereading" records the surprising, fascinating results of her personal... More Info

Mind in Life

Belknap Press | September 30, 2010 | 543 pages
How is life related to the mind? The question has long confounded philosophers and scientists, and it is this so-called explanatory gap between biological life and consciousness that Evan Thompson explores in Mind in Life.  More Info

A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning

Belknap Press | November 7, 2013 | 210 pages
Exploring themes that preoccupied Albert Camus--absurdity, silence, revolt, fidelity, and moderation--Robert Zaretsky portrays a moralist who refused to be fooled by the nobler names we assign to our actions, and who pushed himself, and those about him, to challenge the status quo. For Camus,... More Info

The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman

Belknap Press | November 15, 2013 | 690 pages
Anthropologist Bruce Albert captures the poetic voice of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon, in this unique reading experience--a coming-of-age story, historical account, and shamanic philosophy, but most of all an impassioned plea to respect native rights... More Info

Slow Reading in a Hurried Age

Belknap Press | October 8, 2013 | 330 pages
Reading, David Mikics says, should not be drudgery, and not mere information-gathering or escape either, but a way to live life at a higher pitch. Slow Reading in a Hurried Age is a practical guide for anyone who yearns for a more meaningful, satisfying reading experience, as well as sharper... More Info

Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice

Belknap Press | October 1, 2013 | 420 pages
Martha Nussbaum asks: How can we sustain a decent society that aspires to justice and inspires sacrifice for the common good? Amid negative emotions endemic even to good societies, public emotions rooted in love--intense attachments outside our control--can foster commitment to shared goals and... More Info


Belknap Press | April 1, 2013 | 290 pages
Napalm, incendiary gel that sticks to skin and burns to the bone, came into the world on Valentine's Day 1942 at a secret Harvard war research laboratory. On March 9, 1945, it created an inferno that killed over 87,500 people in Tokyo—more than died in the atomic explosions at Hiroshima or... More Info

River of Dark Dreams

Belknap Press | February 26, 2013 | 560 pages
When Jefferson acquired the Louisiana Territory, he envisioned an “empire for liberty” populated by self-sufficient white farmers. Cleared of Native Americans and the remnants of European empires by Andrew Jackson, the Mississippi Valley was transformed instead into a booming capitalist economy... More Info

Trusting What You're Told

Belknap Press | May 15, 2012 | 266 pages
If children were little scientists who learn best through firsthand observations and mini-experiments, as conventional wisdom holds, how would a child discover that the earth is round—never mind conceive of heaven as a place someone might go after death? Overturning both cognitive and commonplace... More Info

Early writings, 1910-1917

Belknap Press | May 9, 2011 | 303 pages
Walter Benjamin became a published writer at the age of seventeen. Yet the first stirrings of this most original of critical minds—penned during the years in which he transformed himself from the comfortable son of a haute-bourgeois German Jewish family into the nomadic, uncompromising... More Info

Human Dignity

Belknap Press | January 3, 2011 | 238 pages
We often speak of the dignity owed to a person. And dignity is a word that regularly appears in political speeches. Charters are promulgated in its name, and appeals to it are made when people all over the world struggle to achieve their rights. But what exactly is dignity? When one person... More Info

Cities of words

Belknap Press | October 31, 2005 | 458 pages
Since Socrates and his circle first tried to frame the Just City in words, discussion of a perfect communal life--a life of justice, reflection, and mutual respect--has had to come to terms with the distance between that idea and reality. Measuring this distance step by practical step is the... More Info

The Idea of Justice

Belknap Press | May 31, 2011 | 467 pages
More than a matter of intellectual discourse, the idea of justice plays a real role in how--and how well--people live. And in this book Sen offers a powerful critique of the theory of social justice that, in its grip on social and political thinking, has long left practical realities far behind.  More Info

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Belknap Press | September 26, 2011 | 876 pages
Perhaps no one in the twentieth century had a greater long-term impact on world history than Deng Xiaoping. And no scholar of contemporary East Asian history and culture is better qualified than Ezra Vogel to disentangle the many contradictions embodied in the life and legacy of China's boldest... More Info

The Assumptions Economists Make

Belknap Press | March 20, 2012 | 356 pages
Examines how economists make analyses and predictions of the economy, arguing that eceonomists' work is inevitably human and flawed, and takes up such current controversies as income equality and the financial crisis.  More Info

The New Religious Intolerance

Belknap Press | April 24, 2012 | 232 pages
Drawing inspiration from philosophy, history and literature the author looks at the new religious intolerance of Islam--from protests against a proposed Manhattan Islamic center to the banning of minarets in Switzerland--and offers a way back to an equal and free global society.  More Info