Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction

Authors: Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and a former visiting research scientist at Princeton; Michael Strauss, Princeton professor of astrophysical sciences; and J. Richard Gott, Princeton professor of astrophysical sciences, emeritus

Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2016

Welcome to the Universe is a guided tour of the cosmos by three of today’s leading astrophysicists. Inspired by the enormously popular introductory astronomy course that Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Strauss and J. Richard Gott taught together at Princeton, this book covers it all — from planets, stars and galaxies to black holes, wormholes and time travel.

Describing the latest discoveries in astrophysics, the informative and entertaining narrative propels you from our home solar system to the outermost frontiers of space. How do stars live and die? Why did Pluto lose its planetary status? What are the prospects of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? How did the universe begin? Why is it expanding and why is its expansion accelerating? Is our universe alone or part of an infinite multiverse? Answering these and many other questions, the authors open our eyes to the wonders of the cosmos, sharing their knowledge of how the universe works.

Breathtaking in scope and stunningly illustrated throughout, Welcome to the Universe is for those who hunger for insights into our evolving universe.


Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive IntroductionAuthors: Arvind Narayanan, Princeton assistant professor of computer science; Joseph Bonneau, postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University; Edward Felten, Princeton Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs; Andrew Miller, assistant professor at the University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign; and Steven Goldfeder, Princeton Ph.D. student in computer science

Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2016

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies provides a comprehensive introduction to the revolutionary yet often misunderstood new technologies of digital currency. How do bitcoins and their block chain actually work? How secure are your bitcoins? How anonymous are their users? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? These are some of the many questions this book answers. It begins by tracing the history and development of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and then gives the conceptual and practical foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the bitcoin network as well as to integrate ideas from bitcoin into your own projects. Topics include decentralization, mining, the politics of bitcoin, altcoins and the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the future of bitcoin, and more.


Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea

Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea

Author: Mitchell Duneier, Princeton Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016

On March 29, 1516, the city council of Venice issued a decree forcing Jews to live in a closed quarter, il geto — named for the copper foundry that once occupied the area. The term stuck, and soon began its long and consequential history. In this sweeping account, Mitchell Duneier traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the 16th century and its revival by the Nazis to the present day. We meet pioneering black thinkers such as Horace Cayton, a graduate student whose work on the South Side of Chicago established a new paradigm for thinking about Northern racism and black poverty in the 1940s. We learn how the psychologist Kenneth Clark subsequently linked the slum conditions in Harlem with black powerlessness in the civil rights era, and we follow the controversy over Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on the black family. We see how the sociologist William Julius Wilson refocused the specific remedies, and how the education reformer Geoffrey Canada sought to transform the lives of inner-city children in the ghetto.

By expertly resurrecting the history of the ghetto from Venice to the present, Duneier’s Ghetto provides a remarkable new understanding of an age-old concept. He concludes that if we are to understand today’s ghettos, the Jewish and black ghettos of the past should not be forgotten.


The Euro and the Battle of Ideas

The Euro and the Battle of IdeasAuthors: Markus Brunnermeier, Princeton Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Economics; Harold James, Princeton Claude and Lore Kelly Professor in European Studies; and Jean-Pierre Landau, associate professor of economics at SciencesPo, Paris

Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2016

Why is Europe’s great monetary endeavor, the euro, in trouble? A string of economic difficulties in Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and other eurozone nations has left observers wondering whether the currency union can survive. In this book, Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James and Jean-Pierre Landau argue that the core problem with the euro lies in the philosophical differences between the founding countries of the eurozone, particularly Germany and France. But the authors also show how these seemingly incompatible differences can be reconciled to ensure Europe’s survival.

As the authors demonstrate, Germany, a federal state with strong regional governments, saw the Maastricht Treaty, the framework for the euro, as a set of rules. France, on the other hand, with a more centralized system of government, saw the framework as flexible, to be overseen by governments. The authors discuss how the troubles faced by the euro have led its member states to focus on national, as opposed to collective, responses, a reaction explained by the resurgence of the battle of economic ideas: rules vs. discretion, liability vs. solidarity, solvency vs. liquidity, austerity vs. stimulus.

Weaving together economic analysis and historical reflection, The Euro and the Battle of Ideas provides a forensic investigation and a road map for Europe’s future.


The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power

The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising PowerAuthor: Thomas J. Christensen, Princeton William P. Boswell Professor of World Politics of Peace and War

Publisher: W.W. Norton, Paperback, 2016

Many see China as a rival superpower to the United States and imagine the country’s rise to be a threat to U.S. leadership in Asia and beyond. Drawing on decades of scholarship and experience as a senior diplomat, Thomas J. Christensen argues against this zero-sum vision. Instead, he describes a new paradigm in which the real challenge lies in dissuading China from regional aggression while encouraging the country to contribute to the global order.

The China Challenge shows why China is nowhere near powerful enough to be considered a global “peer competitor” of the United States, but it is already strong enough to destabilize East Asia and to influence economic and political affairs worldwide. Despite China’s impressive achievements, the Chinese Communist Party faces enormous challenges. Christensen shows how nationalism and the threat of domestic instability influence the party’s decisions on issues like maritime-sovereignty disputes, global financial management, control of the internet, climate change, and policies toward Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Analyzing U.S.-China policy since the end of the Cold War, Christensen articulates a balanced strategic approach that explains why we should aim not to block China’s rise but rather to help shape its choices so as to deter regional aggression and encourage China’s active participation in international initiatives that benefit both nations

Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria

Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century NigeriaAuthor: Chika Okeke-Agulu, Princeton associate professor of art and archaeology and African American studies

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2016

Written by one of the foremost scholars of African art and featuring 129 color images, Postcolonial Modernism chronicles the emergence of artistic modernism in Nigeria in the heady years surrounding political independence in 1960, before the outbreak of civil war in 1967. Chika Okeke-Agulu traces the artistic, intellectual and critical networks in several Nigerian cities. Zaria is particularly important, because it was there, at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, that a group of students formed the Art Society and inaugurated postcolonial modernism in Nigeria. As Okeke-Agulu explains, their works show both a deep connection with local artistic traditions and the stylistic sophistication that we have come to associate with 20th-century modernist practices. He explores how these young Nigerian artists were inspired by the rhetoric and ideologies of decolonization and nationalism in the early- and mid-20th century and, later, by advocates of Négritude and pan-Africanism. They translated the experiences of decolonization into a distinctive “postcolonial modernism” that has continued to inform the work of major Nigerian artists.