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50 Years of Influential Books and Journal Articles

Anniversary Thoughts

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The MIT Press fills a unique niche in the world of publishing: innovative in their choice of subjects and authors, elegant in their designs, and utterly committed to intellectual quality.  MORE
Steven Pinker
By the 1970s it had become “a truth, universally acknowledged” that no press, regardless of who they were, would publish anthological books. That MIT Press should have given the lie to this truth, was the work of one acquisitions editor: Roger Conover. In 1983 he contracted me for what would become The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths. Despite the setting of the Press-- within the enclave of what is probably the greatest engineering and technology institute in the U.S.--Conover’s own commitments to literature, and most importantly to poetry, permitted his focus on the anthological form—the essay collections that had, during the postwar period, reshaped general ...MORE
Rosalind E. Krauss
Cognitive science got seriously underway in the mid-seventies, and when Harry and Betty Stanton started Bradford Books in 1978, it immediately established itself as the flagship publisher in the field.  Over the first dozen years of its existence it published most of the important books by leaders in the field: Pinker, Jackendoff, Levelt, McClelland and Rumelhart, Shepard, Pylyshyn, Premack, Carey, Gazzaniga, Grossberg, Braitenberg, Fauconnier, Simon and Ericson, Holland, Holyoak, Thagard, Arbib, Hinton, Gallistel ... and essentially all the important books in philosophy of cognitive science--Dretske, Fodor, Block, Millikan, Stich, Patricia and Paul Churchland, Barwise and Perry, Harman, Haugeland, ...MORE
Daniel C. Dennett
I am forever grateful that MIT Press, under economics editor Terry Vaughn, took a chance on a first-time book writer with a vaguely defined idea about a book for general audiences on economic development. Others were turning me down at the same time. The unexpected success of The Elusive Quest for Growth was a turning point in my career. Thank you MIT Press!  MORE
Bill Easterly
Happy 50th MIT Press MORE
Olivier J Blanchard
It is a pleasure to have published two books with MIT Press, separated by more than thirty years (1980 and 2011).  I am also delighted that the Press agreed to do a revised edition of the 1980 book (Biblical Games) in 2003, and that both books are now available in paperback. Coincidentally, my graduation from MIT coincides with the founding of the Press in 1962.  In a manner of speaking, we grew up together. MORE
Steven J. Brams
MIT Press continues to be a leader in publishing questions of feminisms, genders, and sexualities, and I'm so glad to be part of that trajectory.  Also, gotta add that only Roger Conover could've persuaded me to get so far into issues of women's boxing. MORE
Maud Lavin
If one is lucky, one has at least one truly stellar professional relationship in one’s life. I have had that with MIT Press. From an inspired editor, to a brilliant book designer and copy editor, and an enthusiastic and effective press and sales force, every step of my project with the MIT Press has been a pure pleasure delivered through optimum professionalism. To have been a part of this team and this press has been the greatest honor. Thank you MIT Press.  MORE
Kit White
Memories of unpacking the first copy of Freud’s Mexico: smelling the book, feeling the paper, eyeing the color plates, hearing the  pages turn … a full-on sensory experience that felt like dying and going to author’s heaven.  MORE
Rubén Gallo
I like to work with the MIT Press. The combination of geekiness and professionalism exhibited by the staff works for me. In many ways they exhibit everything that is good and noble about the MIT culture. What usually comes through is the staff’s love of books (and sometimes authors). I worked with The Press on two books: The Resilient Enterprise (2005) and Logistics Clusters (2012). I expect to work with the MIT Press in the future and I expect to enjoy the process.   MORE
Yossi Sheffi
In 1987 I submitted my first book “Numerical Techniques in Finance” to the MIT Press. Little did I know that this would be the start of a half-lifetime of fruitful and pleasant cooperation! It’s been a wonderful experience, working with senior editors like Terry Vaughn, Elizabeth Murray, and John Covell, with wonderful copy editors (I have to mention Paul Bethge, whose text editing of NTF was a wonder), and with directors Frank Urbanowski and Ellen Faran (the list of names of senior staff who have helped my books along is much longer ….). It’s an honor to be associated with the MITP, which has maintained its academic and cultural values in the face of an increasingly difficult ...MORE
Simon Benninga
Scholars create homes for themselves in departments, on campuses, by way of their fields, and perhaps hardest for outsiders to understand, via the presses they publish with. For more than a decade, through nine books, as author, co-author, editor and editorial director, the MIT Press has been my home. If the poet Robert Frost is correct, and home is the place where they have to take you in, then the MIT Press has been a most welcoming one, embracing my experiments with graphic and interactive design, multiple-authorship, hybrid analog/digital publishing, and more. A combination of openness to innovation and rigor of results defined the first half century of the MIT Press, and that makes me certain that the ...MORE
Peter Lunenfeld
The MIT Press is the first to embrace new areas of research and new cultural trends. My own field (“new media”) would not exist without its pioneering work.  MORE
Lev Manovich
MIT Press has been the leader in establishing a vibrant critical and scholarly discourse in the new field of Digital Media. It fostered the rediscovery of McLuhan's writing (one of the many treasures on its deep backlist that are foundational for the field), and provided a home for new critical voices exploring the undiscovered territory of videogames, interactive narrative,  and digital media design.  In a field in which the artifacts we study change shape every year there is a particularly pressing need for the traditional role of the university press -- to identify the most significant, sustained arguments, to vet them through peer review, to bring them to the attention of others in the ...MORE
Janet Murray
MIT is a brilliant press to work with and for.  As an author I've been impressed by the friendly efficiency that lies behind everything the press, its editors and other employees do.   MORE
Andrew Dobson
Working with Roger Conover on the project I did with Slavoj Zizek and John Milbank was a sheer delight. He helped me publish what is now considered one of the best books in Continental Philosophy, The Monstrosity of Christ.  Thank you, and congratulations on setting the bar for the best academic projects for 50 years! MORE
Creston Davis
I remain forever grateful for MIT Press, especially Clay Morgan, for publishing my first book, The Economic Dynamics of Environmental Law.  The book had a controversial thesis, but MIT Press recognized its value and Clay graciously supported it and shepherded it through the publication process.  The Press even arranged its nomination for a prize, which it won.  MIT Press has over the years has published many of the most controversial and valuable books about economic theory and environmental law.  I was very pleased to publish Economic Thought and U.S. Climate Change Policy with the press in the new role of editor, rather than sole author, and appreciated the support as I struggled to ...MORE
David M Driesen
What an honor it's been to have two of my books published with MIT Press. When Michael Martin and I first came to MIT Press in 1991 with the plan for our Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, we knew we were in the right hands. How many academic presses could take 800 loose pages and turn it into such a success? From the cover design to editing to marketing, we marvelled as the book took on a life of its own. Then, in 2006, you did it again with my new book Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior. Fond memories of Betty Stanton, Teri Mendelsohn, and Tom Stone, and many thanks to Gita Manaktala, Philip Laughlin, and the rest of your team for such great editorial support and advice ...MORE
Lee McIntyre
A consumer of Muriel Cooper's elegant designs long before I was an author, I remain properly awed to be on the list of MIT Press, which was willing to partner with me and a roster of polemicists in the rubbery-covered Sensorium.  Keep it up, MITP, for another 50 years.  Even if paper and binding go the way of vellum and scroll, may you find a way to keep books as sensual and exhilarating as ever.  MORE
Caroline Jones
Getting an education from MIT, they say, is like drinking from a firehose. If you look carefully, you'll see that the MIT Press logo spells out "MITP." If you blur your vision a bit, you'll see that it looks like the standard iconographic symbol for a firehose. This is quite fitting and clever, for in my field, new media, the MIT Press has been both exceedingly literate and torrential in its output of innovative scholarship. Many years of effort from editor Doug Sery are behind this particular outpouring and the field it has nourished, thanks also to the excellent work of those who shape books in editorial, design, and production and those who see that books reach interested readers. MORE
Nick Montfort
It has been an unbelievable privilege to work with the MIT Press not once, but three times, over the past decade through three monographs that I've written in the history, theory, and criticism of art.  No author could ever ask for better.  In addition to being an exceptional editor who produces beautiful books, Roger Conover represents a constant source of wisdom and generosity.  Matthew Abbate is an author's dream, a valued advisor and an exceptionally skillful writer.  The MIT Press shelf list in art, architecture, and cultural theory is vibrant and compelling, in no small part due to these gifted individuals and the impact of their vision.   MORE
Marcia Brennan
So first I printed out a bunch of articles, put them in a binder, and sent them off to my editor, Doug Sery. "What's this?" he asked. "My book", I replied. "No it's not, it's a bunch of photocopies. Go and write a proper book". Two years later I returned, book in hand. "Where are the footnotes?" asked Doug. "There aren't any. I'm a storyteller, not some professor" I replied."You can be what you like" said Doug. "We are MIT Press. Go and do the footnotes". A year later, and 560 retro-fitted footnotes later, Doug accepted the manuscript. Bruce Sterling said the footnotes were the best part - and the author was not ...MORE
John Thackara
I remember the phone conversation in late 1994 with Tom Stone where he said, "We'd like to publish your book."  When I got off the phone, I literally cried for a few seconds because I knew that a book from MIT meant pedigree, and I was at the very beginning of my philosophical career.  I then called the head of my department and exclaimed, "I just got a contract to publish my dissertation through MIT Press!" and I'll never forget what he said: "Rob, that's astounding!"  Yes, he used the word 'astounding'...   Thanks to all of the folks at MIT Press. MORE
Rob Arp
MIT Press has been producing thoughtful books for generations.  I felt these keen minds of the past looking over my shoulder while editing The Reputation Society (2012).  Congratulations to the Press on its 50th anniversary, and may it continue to support knowledge creation for generations to come. MORE
Hassan Masum
It is a pleasure to state openly what we feel personally. It was indeed a happy choice to have our book Majority Judgment: Measuring, Ranking, and Electing published by MIT Press. The competence and thoroughness of the reviewers, the excellence of the editing, the beauty of the design, the decency of the price, and the spirit of constructive cooperation that prevailed throughout our relationship have all contributed to making both of us very contented authors. Despite your venerable age, MIT Press, keep up the good work! Most importantly keep your door open to new ideas, theories and paradigms that challenge normal science. MORE
Michel Balinski and Rida Laraki
From my first MIT Press book, Crisis in the Workplace: Occupational Disease and Injury (1976) to a recent book, Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Reclaiming the Environmental Agenda (2008), the Press has lead the publishing world in its editing, production, quality and eclectic collection of serious scholarship. MORE
Nicholas A. Ashford
MIT Press, especially in the person of Doug Sery, has provided an excellent path for inventive designers, makers, critical thinkers and scholars. In the digital domain, MITP has played a central role in both discourse and practice, boldly opening doors for provocative new ideas as well as publishing essential works of scholarship.  MORE
Brenda Laurel
  Without MIT Press, I think I would still be hearing professional people tell me how naive I am for thinking cultural work is a necessary component in social movements and in political culture writ large. MIT Press has been an invaluable part of not only a critical tradition, but making cogent and lyrical testaments to why critical discourse can lead, at times, to the production of a more robust relevant cultural community. MORE
Nato Thompson
  When I look at the spine of a book in philosophy of mind or cognitive science and see the unmistakable MIT Press logo, I know the book will be worth my while.  The consistent professionalism and flexibility that I have experienced while working with the editorial, production, and marketing folks at MIT Press confirms that it is an organization without peer.  Congratulations on 50 great years, and keep up the great work!  MORE
Brian Bruya
Happy 50th anniversary to MIT Press. Congratulations on your excellent cognitive neuroscience list. MORE
Simon Baron-Cohen
  MIT Press has expanded its presence in information science. A rigorous but finally productive editing process has been my experience – followed by attention given to design and promotion of  the book. Better by design. MORE
Julian Warner
  MIT Press was the clear choice for a book that intersected ecology and design, and Clay Morgan recognized the value  of an interdisciplinary exploration of the burgeoning field of ecological restoration. The design list is deep and outstanding, and the  newer environment studies and nature series has achieved much in less than twenty years. As an author, working with the Press was a consummate experience: clear and wise editorial guidance, strong production and design standards, and long-term commitment to the list. Congratulations! MORE
Eric Higgs
  When I began to shift from agricultural anthropology to work on sustainability in the United States, I was delighted to discover the strong MIT collection.  As I’m working now on a third volume with MIT, I continue to appreciate the Press’s professionalism and commitment to expanding and disseminating new knowledge to address the critical issues of our time. MORE
Peggy Barlett
  As a student, learning the contours of my chosen vocation as a curator, I was keenly aware of the crucial role MIT Press was playing in shaping the field of knowledge I aspired to contribute to: theories of the visual arts and new media. My then boyfriend (a librarian) temporarily reorganised our book collection by publisher (Minnesota winters can have some very long nights) and the MIT Press shelf was the most impressive, holding the ideas I most wanted to know more about. I am grateful to the press for ensuring my bookshelves have been stacked with key texts ever since, and for bringing my work into the fold. Present day understandings of media theory, media art, and media histories would not be ...MORE
Sarah Cook
  MIT Press remains a exemplar of excellence and imagination that stands out uniquely in the world of publishing. I will never forget how Larry Cohen courageously accepted my first book and gave me the chance to be heard. Since then, he and his colleagues Sarah Meirowitz and Margy Avery continued to support my work with the greatest generosity and thoughtfulness through the appearance of three more books. They and their colleagues in editing, design, and marketing could not have been more excellent and sympathetic -- thank you Gita Manaktala, Cristina Sanmartin, Judy Feldmann, Anne Bunn, Erin Hasley, Yasuyo Iguchi! You all have made my life as an author a veritable heaven. I look ...MORE
Peter Pesic
  In 1979 I was Editor of Computer Music Journal for a small publisher in Menlo Park, California. A mysterious fellow named Nilo Lindgren asked me for a meeting. In the meeting, he made a surprise offer to bring me to MIT. Soon I was living in Cambridge as a journal editor for the MIT Press and as a researcher at the MIT Experimental Music Studio. There begins 33 years of history with the MIT Press: including Frank Urbanowski, Ann Reinke, Paul Bethge, Terry Ehling, Frank Satlow, Christine Lamb, Janet Fisher, Doug Sery, Christina Sanmartin, among many others. The MIT Press has been a constant in my life. We have sold a lot of books. Recently in Beijing (October 2012) we had a book signing for the ...MORE
Curtis Roads
  One of my most favorite activities as a young graduate student at Harvard and MIT in the 1970s was building my library at the MIT Press annual book sales.  Years later, I was honored to be able to join the distinguished stable of MIT Press authors.  Acquisitions Editor Roger Conover took an immediate interest in our work on the meaning of gardens and offered his wisdom and firm hand to bring it to press.  It remains one of the most joyful and memorable experiences of my professional and academic life.  Congratulations MIT Press on your 50 years. MORE
Mark Francis
The MIT Press fills a unique niche in the world of publishing: innovative in their choice of subjects and authors, elegant in their designs, and utterly committed to intellectual quality.  MORE
Steven Pinker