The Pennsylvania State University

History Publishing

“With special strengths in social history, the early republic, and labor history, as well as in more traditional areas, Penn State Press is one of the indispensable publishers of American history. Its taste at every level—in authors, subjects, and the art of publishing itself—is impeccable. And its range—did I mention the wonderful Penn State books on baseball?—is remarkable.”

—Sean Wilentz, Princeton University


The very first book published by Penn State Press was a work of American history: Edward J. Nichols’s Toward Gettysburg: A Biography of General John F. Reynolds (1958). This biography of a Pennsylvania Civil War general was called a “model of its kind” by The New York Times Book Review, and over the years the Press has continued to publish notable books that shed light upon Pennsylvania’s contributions to the larger history of the nation. Among them are Philip Klein’s President James Buchanan: A Biography (1962), Robert Secor’s Pennsylvania 1776 (1976), and Wayne Bodle’s The Valley Forge Winter: Civilians and Soldiers in War (2002).

Following the turn in historical scholarship toward a broader consideration of social and cultural history, the Press has deepened its American history list by cultivating strengths in areas such as labor history, urban history, African American history, and gender history. Examples include The Miners of Windber: The Struggles of New Immigrants for Unionization, 1890s–1930s by Mildred Allen Beik (1996), A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race, and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1940–1980 by David Schuyler (2002), Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms: Social and Literary Manipulations of a Religious Myth by Wilson J. Moses (1982), and Wives of Steel: Voices of Women from the Sparrows Point Steelmaking Communities by Karen Olson (2005). Even sports history has found a place on the list, with David Quentin Voigt’s authoritative American Baseball volumes (1983), John D. Fair’s Muscletown USA (1999), and William C. Kashatus’s September Swoon (2004). And the “American list” has expanded in recent years to include the Americas, as the Press’s Latin American titles and its new series, Latin American Originals, confirm.

The Press has also become a premier publisher in the field of European history. Building in large part upon the success of the art history program, we have developed particular strengths in medieval and early modern history. The medieval list has evolved to reflect the remarkably interdisciplinary nature of medieval studies. It reaches beyond history into the fields of art history, literature, and religion—a range of scholarship represented by works such as John Lowden’s The Making of the Bibles Moralisées (2000), David Burr’s The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis (2001), C. David Benson’s Public Piers Plowman: Modern Scholarship and Late Medieval English Culture (2003), and Michael D. Swartz and Joseph Yahalom’s Avodah: Ancient Poems for Yom Kippur (2005). In the early modern field, the Press has published broadly across the Continent and England, with a clear strength emerging in French history. John Markoff’s The Abolition of Feudalism (1996) won multiple awards, including the Pinkney Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies. And in 2001 the Press published its first combined book/cd-rom, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, by Jack R. Censer and Lynn Hunt.

Followers of the Press’s publishing program will observe that religious themes have tied together many of the offerings in history over the years. We have not specifically developed lists in areas such as theology or biblical studies, but the history of religion is central to our American and European history programs, as evidenced by series such as Hermeneutics: Studies in the History of Religions (published mainly during the 1990s), Magic in History, and the Pennsylvania German History and Culture Series. As the Press initiates its next half-century of publishing, we continue to seek out innovative approaches that stretch historical methodologies and bridge disciplines.


“In a day and age when academic publishing sometimes increasingly seems like a contradiction in terms, it is encouraging to see a press like Penn State step up to the plate and publish important monographs in an area such as the history of medieval manuscript illumination, which, by definition, requires a commitment to complex, beautiful books that do not compromise when it comes to scholarship. Medievalists of all stripes have many reasons to be grateful to the Press for its dedication and persistence, which have produced an impressive, international list. Penn State is now without doubt one of the leading publishers of books in this field.”

—Jeffrey Hamburger, Harvard University


Choice Outstanding Academic Books

Craig D. Atwood, Community of the Cross: Moravian Piety in Colonial Bethlehem (2004)

Naomi Janowitz, Icons of Power: Ritual Practices in Late Antiquity (2003)

Andrzej Paczkowski, The Spring Will Be Ours: Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom (2003)

Wayne C. Bodle, The Valley Forge Winter: Civilians and Soldiers in War (2002)

Jack R. Censer and Lynn Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution (2001)

Christine Hunefeldt, Liberalism in the Bedroom: Quarreling Spouses in Nineteenth-Century Lima (2000)

Cliff Welch, The Seed Was Planted: The São Paulo Roots of Brazil’s Rural Labor Movement, 1924–1964 (1999)

Richard N. Juliani, Building Little Italy: Philadelphia’s Italians Before Mass Migration (1998)

Robert E. Schofield, The Enlightenment of Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and Work from 1733 to 1773 (1997)

Malcolm Greenshields, An Economy of Violence in Early Modern France: Crime and Justice in the Haute Auvergne, 1587–1664 (1995)

Allen C. Guelzo, For the Union of Evangelical Christendom: The Irony of the Reformed Episcopalians (1994)

Gerald G. Eggert, Harrisburg Industrializes: The Coming of Factories to an American Community (1993)

Book Prizes

Robert E. Schofield, The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and Work from 1773 to 1804 (2006 Roy G. Neville Prize for Bibliography or Biography, Chemical Heritage Foundation)

Craig D. Atwood, Community of the Cross: Moravian Piety in Colonial Bethlehem (2005 Dale W. Brown Award in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Young Center at Elizabethtown College)

Jeff Bach, Voices of the Turtledoves: The Sacred World of Ephrata (2005 Outstanding Publication Award, Communal Studies Association; 2004 Dale W. Brown Award in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Young Center at Elizabethtown College)

William C. Kashatus, September Swoon: Richie Allen, the ’64 Phillies, and Racial Integration (2005 Dave Moore Award, Elysian Fields Quarterly)

Amy Nelson, Music for the Revolution: Musicians and Power in Early Soviet Russia (2005 Heldt Prize, Association for Women in Slavic Studies)

Augustine Thompson, O.P., Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes, 1125–1325 (2005 Howard R. Marraro Prize, American Catholic Historical Association)

Francie R. Chassen-López, From Liberal to Revolutionary Oaxaca: The View from the South, Mexico, 1867–1911 (2004 Thomas F. McGann Prize, Rocky Mountain Council on Latin American Studies)

David Burr, The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis (2003 Otto Gründler Prize, The Medieval Institute; 2002 John Gilmary Shea Prize and 2002 Howard R. Marraro Prize, American Catholic Historical Association)

Renate Wilson, Pious Traders in Medicine: German Pharmaceutical Networks in Eighteenth-Century North America (2003 St. Paul Prize, Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic Region; 2002 Kremers Award, Institute for the History of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin, Madison)

William A. Blair and William Pencak, eds., Making and Remaking Pennsylvania’s Civil War (2002 Philip S. Klein Book Prize, Pennsylvania Historical Association)

Kenneth J. Heineman, A Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh (2000 Philip S. Klein Book Prize, Pennsylvania Historical Association)

Nadieszda Kizenko, A Prodigal Saint: Father John of Kronstadt and the Russian People (2000 Heldt Prize, Association for Women in Slavic Studies)

Mary Patrice Erdmans, Opposite Poles: Immigrants and Ethnics in Polish Chicago, 1976–1990 (1999 Oskar Halecki Award, Polish American Historical Association)

Charles D. Orzech, Politics and Transcendent Wisdom: The Scripture for Humane Kings in the Creation of Chinese Buddhism (1999 Best First Book in the History of Religions, American Academy of Religion)

Peter P. Hinks, To Awaken My Afflicted Brethren: David Walker and the Problem of Antebellum Slave Resistance (1998 Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Book Award)

John Markoff, The Abolition of Feudalism: Peasants, Lords, and Legislators in the French Revolution (1998 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award, American Sociological Association; 1997 Allan Sharlin Memorial Award, Social Science History Association; 1996 David Pinkney Prize, Society for French Historical Studies)

Charles D. Ameringer, The Caribbean Legion: Patriots, Politicians, Soldiers of Fortune, 1946–1950 (1997 Arthur P. Whitaker Book Award, Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies)

Robert Zaretsky, Nîmes at War: Religion, Politics, and Public Opinion in the Gard, 1938–1944 (1997 Hans Rosenhaupt Memorial Book Award, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation)

Mildred Allen Beik, The Miners of Windber: The Struggles of New Immigrants for Unionization, 1890s–1930s (1996 Book of the Year, International Labor History Association)

William R. Sutton, Journeymen for Jesus: Evangelical Artisans Confront Capitalism in Jacksonian Baltimore (1994 Kenneth Scott Latourette Prize in Religion and Modern History, Conference on Faith and History)

Allen C. Guelzo, For the Union of Evangelical Christendom: The Irony of the Reformed Episcopalians (1993 Albert C. Outler Prize in Ecumenical History, American Society of Church History)

David W. Kling, A Field of Divine Wonders: The New Divinity and Village Revivals in Northwestern Connecticut, 1792–1822 (1991 Kenneth Scott Latourette Prize in Religion and Modern History, Conference on Faith and History)

Daniel W. Pfaff, Joseph Pulitzer II and the “Post-Dispatch”: A Newspaperman’s Life (1991 Frank Luther Mott–Kappa Tau Alpha Award)

Richard P. Gildrie, The Profane, the Civil, and the Godly: The Reformation of Manners in Orthodox New England, 1679–1749 (1990 Kenneth Scott Latourette Prize in Religion and Modern History, Conference on Faith and History)

Richard G. Hewlett and Francis Duncan, Atomic Shield, 1947–1952, vol. 2 of A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission (1970 David B. Lloyd Prize, Harry S. Truman Library Institute)


“Penn State University Press has, over the past decade, become one of the premier American publishers of important scholarship in medieval studies. It has simultaneously won a reputation for publishing innovative and beautifully designed and printed books in medieval art history, for bringing to an English readership the work of some of Europe’s leading scholars, and for daring to publish pathbreaking books by established scholars and first-time authors alike.”

—Patrick Geary, UCLA


Best Sellers

Peter Burke, ed., New Perspectives on Historical Writing (1992; 2nd ed. 2001): 11,000+

Jack R. Censer and Lynn Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (2001): 10,000+

Susan E. Klepp and Billy G. Smith, eds., The Infortunate (1992; 2nd ed. 2005): 10,000+

Anne Winston-Allen, Stories of the Rose (1997): 8,000+

Randall M. Miller and William Pencak, eds., Pennsylvania (2002): 7,000+

Philip S. Klein and Ari Hoogenboom, A History of Pennsylvania, 2nd ed. (1980): 7,000+

Peter P. Hinks, ed., David Walker’s “Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World” (2000): 7,000+

A. G. Dickens, The English Reformation, 2nd ed. (1999): 6,500+

Bridget Henisch, Fast and Feast (1976): 6,500+

Richard Kieckhefer, Forbidden Rites (1998): 5,000+

Sergei N. Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower (2000): 5,000+

Paul J. Archambault, trans., A Monk’s Confession (1995): 4,500+

Thomas F. X. Noble and Thomas Head, eds., Soldiers of Christ (1995): 4,000+

Christopher A. Snyder, An Age of Tyrants (1998): 4,000+

John D. Fair, Muscletown USA (1999): 4,000+

Henry Mayr-Harting, The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England, 3rd ed. (1991): 3,500+

Wilson J. Moses, Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms (1982): 3,500+

John P. Murtha, From Vietnam to 9/11 (2003): 3,500+

William C. Kashatus, September Swoon (2004): 3,000+

Luis Alberto Romero, A History of Argentina in the Twentieth Century (2002): 3,000+

Lorett Treese, Valley Forge (1995): 3,000+


“Over the past decade or so, Penn State University Press has developed a truly distinguished list in French history. In an era when many university presses avoid anything but the safest of volumes, Penn State still publishes splendid cutting-edge monographs. For historians of France, it has become the place to look for the latest research—and also the place to publish it.”

—William H. Sewell Jr., University of Chicago

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For a complete list of all of our in print books, click for a PDF copy of our most recent Books in Print catalog.


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