Also published on this date: Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tuesday, January 14 Dedicated Issue: University of Toronto Press

Toronto Shines in 2020 - Meet us at Winter Institute, Jan 21-24

Editors' Note

The University of Toronto Press

With the support of the publisher, Shelf Awareness focuses on the University of Toronto Press, one of the largest university presses in North America. There are lots of exciting changes underway at UTP: the press is launching a brand new trade imprint as well as the New Jewish Press imprint, both aimed at expanding UTP's tradition of publishing leading non-fiction but with an emphasis on reaching a wider, general audience. Visit University of Toronto Press at Winter Institute 2020 to learn more!

Learn more about how to purchase books from University of Toronto Press

Books & Authors

UTP: Renowned Publisher Reaches Out to the General Reader

John Yates

The University of Toronto Press (UTP) is one of the largest university presses in North America, publishing more than 175 new titles each year and with a backlist of more than 5,000 titles. For nearly 120 years, it has carried out its mission of publishing exemplary works of scholarship and disseminating knowledge widely for the benefit of society. The non-profit press is an active member of the Association of University Presses.

The University of Toronto Press's Book Publishing Division is recognized throughout North America for its strengths in history, political science, sociology, Indigenous studies, business, and cultural studies.

The press's publishing program emphasizes award-winning research and a continuing dedication to groundbreaking new scholarship and innovative texts for the higher education market. Among major influential authors the press has published are Marshall McLuhan, John Borrows, Barbara H. Rosenwein, and Dorothy E. Smith.

Through UTP Distribution, the University of Toronto Press also handles book distribution services to a diverse customer base across North America and around the world for more than 100 clients, including trade, educational, scholarly and children's publishers.

Now the University of Toronto Press is increasing its presence in trade publishing, with new imprints that, president, publisher and CEO John Yates says "speak to how UTP is expanding its authoritative voice to reach new markets of general readers." It also has a strong business, economics, and management publishing imprint, Rotman-UTP Publishing (more below).

"These books will provide booksellers and librarians with opportunities to build their offerings in areas where customer demand is strong," Yates adds. "We look forward to working with these partners to develop such opportunities."


New Trade Imprint: Leading Non-Fiction for All

Lynn Fisher

The University of Toronto Press is expanding its publishing program with a new non-fiction trade imprint launching in 2020 that will publish between four and eight titles annually written by established authors. Its first titles include a look at the climate crisis and an authoritative take on self-regulation and how it can help build a just society.

Noting that in the past several years, UTP has received multiple submissions from high-profile authors attracted to the press's "reputation as Canada's leading publisher of serious non-fiction," Lynn Fisher, VP of Book Publishing, said that the press had to defer those proposals because they were for "a wider, more general audience than the scholarly monographs and textbooks we regularly publish." Those books, she continued, would need "another level of editorial and marketing support."

After careful consideration, UTP decided to expand the publishing program so that it could "properly support and sell those trade titles." Among the new trade imprint's first titles are:

Reframed: Self-Reg for a Just Society by Stuart Shanker. The renowned psychologist's previous books Calm, Alert, and Learning and Self-Reg were written for educators and parents. Reframed, the final book in the trilogy, unpacks the scientific and conceptual practices that are the lifeblood of Shanker's highly influential approach to self-regulation, making it an accessible read for new self-reggers. (May 2020, $34.95 hardcover, 9781487506315.)

Solved: How the World's Great Cities Are Fixing the Climate Crisis by David Miller. We can't wait for national leaders to save the planet, says David Miller. It's time to pin our hopes for global change on cities. By duplicating the actions of nine leading cities, at pace and scale, in major cities all around the world, we can end the climate crisis today. (October 2020, $32.95 hardcover, 9781487506827.) (See Q&A with David Miller below.)


A Conversation with David Miller

David Miller

David Miller is the North American Regional Director, Director of International Diplomacy and Global Ambassador of Inclusive Climate Action at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. He is responsible for supporting North American Mayors in their climate leadership and for building a global movement for socially equitable action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. He served as Chair of C40 Cities from 2008 until 2010.

Miller was Mayor of Toronto from 2003 to 2010. Under his leadership, Toronto became widely admired internationally for its environmental leadership, economic strength, and social integration. He is a leading advocate for the creation of sustainable urban economies and a strong and forceful champion for the next generation of jobs through sustainability. A Harvard-trained economist and professionally a lawyer, Miller has held a variety of public and private positions and served as Future of Cities Global Fellow at Polytechnic Institute of New York University from 2011 to 2014.

One of the inaugural titles from UTP's trade imprint, Miller's Solved: How the World's Great Cities Are Fixing the Climate Crisis comes out in October, 2020. 

What prompted you to write Solved?

There is a growing fear about the climate crisis, as the failure of international leadership leads people to question whether it is too late to act. Through numerous interviews, question-and-answer sessions at conferences, and simple interactions with people, I've discovered that the story of city action on climate change is not well known and needs to be told. It's a story of hope, which is desperately needed at this moment if people aren't going to feel overwhelmed by the scope of the challenge--hope that in turn can inspire action.

You've worked for international organizations and as Mayor of Toronto. How does this experience inform your focus on cities as the site of meaningful action on climate? 

My various roles have allowed me to have clear insights on what cities are actually doing to address climate change mitigation--and what national governments are failing to do. These stories of city-led actions are powerful and inspiring because they are factual and real.

Many people feel a sense of despair about the climate crisis. What's the one thing that you’d tell them to give them hope about the future? 

Over the past decade, the City of Toronto, an economically successful city in a wealthy country, has lowered its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30%, by cleaning electricity generation and addressing emissions from buildings, waste, and transportation. If Toronto can do it, everywhere can do it.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Minnow on the Say by Philippa Pearce. It follows the adventures of a young boy in a canoe paddling a river in the farming area outside Cambridge, England, where I grew up. My teacher, Mrs Seymour, knew I loved the book and gave me a copy when we emigrated to Canada--it is still on our bookshelves.

What books are on your nightstand now?

A Perfect Spy. Last Exit to Brooklyn. Philip Larkin Poems. The Thirty-Nine Steps. Call Me Pisher. Economics for Everyone. Managing without Growth.

Favorite line from a book:

Prince Hal's soliloquy in Henry IV, Part 1 starting with “I know you all, and will awhile uphold the unyoked humour of your idleness" is my favourite speech from anything I have ever read. It's about redemption. Leadership. Many things.

Rotman: Actionable insights for business leaders - Learn more>

The Rotman-UTP Publishing Imprint: Books on Business and Organizations

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. The University of Toronto Press's Rotman-UTP Publishing imprint, run by the press in partnership with the school, shares those aims, according to editor Jennifer DiDomenico.

"Rotman-UTP Publishing titles address the concerns and challenges facing leaders in companies and organizations, as well as general readers with an interest in business and economics," DiDomenico continues. "From global issues such as the Asian economy to methods like design thinking, these books address a wide range of topics. They have one, vital thing in common: a focus on actionable insights. Leading business thinkers present their research with an eye to the proven frameworks that readers can use in practice."

Since its founding, Rotman-UTP Publishing's focus has grown to cover such timely subjects as diversity in the workplace and harnessing the potential of cutting-edge technology.

These titles published by the Rotman-UTP imprint in the past decade show its depth and range:

The Bartering Mindset: A Mostly Forgotten Framework for Mastering Your Next Negotiation by Brian Gunia. Bartering was more common in the days of non-cash exchanges. Gunia shows how the central elements of this largely lost skill can help people negotiate better today, in both their personal and professional lives.

From Wall Street to Bay Street: The Origins and Evolution of American and Canadian Finance by Christopher Kobrak and Joe Martin. Why did the 2008 financial crisis largely upend U.S. banks but bypass their Canadian counterparts? The divergence between the two banking systems can be traced to their distinct histories.

Design Thinking at Work: How Innovative Organizations Are Embracing Design by David Dunne. Based on extensive international research with multinationals, governments, and non-profits, this book challenges many of the wild claims that have been made for design thinking as an institutional practice, while offering a way forward.

Upcoming important titles include:

The Carrot and the Stick: Leveraging Strategic Control for Growth by William Putsis. Drawing on diverse examples, Putsis shows that leading companies don't just control a corner of their market. In fact, they leverage that foothold to gain control of other, related aspects of their industry. (February 2020, $32.95 hardcover, 9781487501655.)

Creating Healthy Organizations: Taking Action to Improve Employee Well-Being by Graham Lowe. In this revised and expanded edition of his bestselling 2012 book of the same name, Lowe shows readers how to forge stronger links between employee well-being and the future success of any organization. (July 2020, $34.95 hardcover, 9781487505158.)

Creating Gender-Inclusive Organizations: Lessons from Research and Practice edited by Ellen Ernst Kossek and Kyung-Hee Lee. Providing insights on gender inclusion, mentoring, and female leadership, this anthology features hands-on advice from experts on how to advance women and close the gender gap. (June 2020, $32.95 hardcover, 9781487503734.)

New Jewish Press: Exploring Jewish life today - Learn more>

New Jewish Press: "Strong, Smart Books"

Natalie Fingerhut
Similar to how the University of Toronto Press is growing its general publishing program to encompass general readers, UTP's New Jewish Press imprint is expanding its scope to include both Jewish readers and those who are interested in Jewish culture.

Launching with four new titles in 2020, New Jewish Press aims to touch on topics that are "timely and rooted in empathy and inclusivity." Editors Natalie Fingerhut, Len Husband and Stephen Shapiro say they want to "bring the Jewish community together with strong, smart books that demand critical thinking and conversation. Our focus is on reason and reasonableness, rather than raw emotion."

Len Husband

Founded by publisher Malcolm Lester as a forum for Canadian Jewish authors and readers, New Jewish Press was originally housed within the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. In 2018, UTP bought the imprint and acquired its titles, aiming to honor Lester's original vision by expanding the scope of the conversation.

The press's authors are usually public figures well-known in the area they write about or have published at least one book for the general public. Among New Jewish Press's upcoming titles are:

The A-Z of Intermarriage by Rabbi Denise Handlarski. In this wise and witty guide to navigating an interfaith marriage, Handlarski presents real-life anecdotes drawn from her work as a rabbi to show couples how they can have, in her words, "less oy and more joy." (March 2020, $22.95 paperback, 9781487506780.) (See excerpt below.)

Stephen Shapiro

The Conflict over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate by Kenneth S. Stern. What is it about the Israel/Palestine conflict that makes people on university campuses go off the deep end? Stern explores this timely question and champions the one thing that can bring the two camps closer together: free speech. (March 2020, $29.95 hardcover, 9781487507367.) (See interview with Kenneth S. Stern below.)

Wise Up: Using Ancient Teachings to Unlock Meaning, Connection, and Awe in Everyday Work by David Weitzner. (Spring 2021.)

A Conversation with Kenneth S. Stern

Kenneth S. Stern

Kenneth S. Stern is the director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, and an author and attorney. He is a regular guest on radio and television and his op-eds appear in, among others, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Forward. Stern's book Loud Hawk: The United States vs. the American Indian Movement won the Gustave Myers Center Award as outstanding book on human rights. His latest book, The Conflict over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate, comes out in March 2020 from UTP's New Jewish Press imprint.

What prompted you to write The Conflict over the Conflict?

In the 1990s I trained hundreds of college presidents how to confront campus bigotry without speech codes or other methods that sacrifice academic freedom. But over the last few years I've seen the academic enterprise damaged as both sides of the campus Israel/Palestine debate try to silence the other. Each side, of course, complains about the other side's transgressions while ignoring, minimizing, or justifying its own. The campus ought to be the best place to have difficult discussions about hot-button issues, like this one. I wanted to write a book that explained the problems but also had concrete solutions, so that the discussion of Israel and Palestine on campus, while still stirring passions as it should, can also enhance our knowledge of the world and ourselves.

You've worked in courtrooms and classrooms. How does this experience inform your focus on the campus as the site of a meaningful exchange between these two camps?

In a courtroom you marshal arguments so that your side wins and the other side is vanquished. In a classroom the job is to help students wrestle with ideas, especially ones they might find disturbing. A good lawyer, of course, has to do what a good student should, look at a question with imagination and from a variety of perspectives. But a courtroom is for persuading, and a classroom should be for thinking.

Many people feel a sense of despair about the Israel/Palestine conflict. What's the one thing that you'd tell them to give them hope about the future?

I'm not optimistic--I think we're further away from peace than we were 25 years ago. The conflict may be intractable, but our thinking about it doesn't have to be so binary. I hope this book, with its chapter about how thinking is influenced when our identities are tethered to an issue of perceived justice or injustice, will help people have a better sense of why it is such a vexing problem.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Magic Tunnel by Caroline Emerson. It was my introduction to historical fiction, about New York City kids going on a subway (one of my favorite things as a child), and then magically being transported to New Amsterdam.

What books are on your nightstand now?

I have two piles. One is for my day passion--helping build the field of hate studies, so we understand hatred and what to do about it better. That pile contains Robert Sapolsky's Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, Andrew Marantz's Anti-Social: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians and the Hijacking of the American Conversation, and Eric Kaufmann's Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities, among others.

The second pile is for my hot tub reading in southern California in the spring, which includes selections from David Baldacci, B.A Paris, John Grisham, my former Portland criminal defense attorney colleague Phil Margolin, and whatever new biography I find at the closest bookstore.

Favorite line from a book:

"[Y]ou can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." -- Anne Lamott

The A-Z of Intermarriage Excerpt: LATKE for Success

From The A-Z of Intermarriage by Rabbi Denise Handlarski (New Jewish Press, March 2020):


The key to a successful intermarriage is in the doing. If you are currently in or considering an intermarriage, here are five things you can do right now to set you up for success. To help, think of the handy acronym LATKE:

LISTEN: Ask your partner and ask yourself these questions and attentively listen to the answers: What is essential to my identity and cultural practice, what can I let go of, what can I adopt?

ACT: What is one thing you can do this week to help each partner feel affirmed? Is it celebrating Shabbat (sabbath)? Is it sharing a text from each culture? Is it buying or recycling the Christmas lights?

TALK: Say out loud the one thing that scares you most to tell your partner about what you are wanting but not getting, or are hoping to introduce into your lives about your own cultural practice.

KINDNESS: Whatever your partner has just said, respond with kindness. Perhaps you'll need negotiation, perhaps you’ll need mediation, but right now, do one kind thing in response. Tell them you hear them. Give them a back rub. Clear out a drawer for the holiday paraphernalia they are asking for. Whatever it is, respond with kindness.

ENERGY: We are all busy and sometimes it is difficult to find the energy to have the tough conversations and put our goals into practice. So, find one energizing thing you can do right now to free up space for this work. Meditate together for five minutes. Go for a walk. Relax with a bottle of wine as you have these conversations. Make the work of creating a successful intermarriage part of what energizes, not de-energizes, your life as a couple and a family.

University of Toronto Press: Solved: How the World’s Great Cities Are Fixing the Climate Crisis by David Miller

University of Toronto Press: Reframed: Self-Reg for a Just Society by Stuart Shanker

New Jewish Press: The Conflict Over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate by Kenneth S. Stern

New Jewish Press: The A-Z of Intermarriage by Rabbi Denise Handlarski

Rotman-UTP Publishing: Creating Healthy Organizations: Taking Action to Improve Employee Well-Being, Revised and Expanded Edition by Graham Lowe

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