Joy de Menil
Director of Belknap Publishing
I am eager to publish scholars at the top of their fields who want to communicate their knowledge to a broad readership, and young and original thinkers with a strong voice on the page. I look for books with ideas that matter. I am particularly interested in history, science, and politics (especially women’s history, narrative and intellectual history, psychology, and books having to do with environmental issues). I work closely with my authors to structure and shape the final manuscript and guide them through every aspect of publication, with an eye towards securing maximal coverage. I have recently published a study of bystanders and moral rebels by social psychologist Catherine Sanderson, a gripping narrative history of the most important environmental case ever to make it to the Supreme Court by Harvard Law School professor Richard Lazarus, a terrific look at fascism’s conflation of the personal and political by Columbia historian Victoria de Grazia, a groundbreaking reconsideration of Renaissance political thought by Harvard intellectual historian James Hankins, an alarmingly timely book on the cutting-edge science of Healthy Buildings by Joseph Allen from Harvard School of Public Health and John Macomber from the Harvard Business School, and two important histories of race in America, Traveling Black by Mia Bay and Justice Rising by Patricia Sullivan.
I spent twenty-five years as a trade publisher before joining Harvard University Press, working at Random House and Viking, where I published Andrew Roberts’s Churchill and Napoleon; Dan Jones’s The Plantagenets, The Wars of the Roses, Magna Carta, and The Templars; Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity; Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects; Sonia Purnell’s Clementine; William Stixrud and Ned Johnson’s The Self-Driven Child; Megan McArdle’s The Up Side of Down; Alec Ryrie’s Protestants; Mike Lofgren’s The Party Is Over and The Deep State; Margaret MacMillan’s Paris 1919; Richard Holbrooke’s To End a War; Ann Wroe’s Pontius Pilate; Bernard Lewis’s The Crisis of Islam; Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues; and Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran, among others.