For its golden anniversary, Transaction Publishers finds itself facing a time of transition after the death in March of its founder, Irving Louis Horowitz. Mary Curtis, who has been company president since 1997, says that world-renowned sociologist Horowitz (her husband) was the “guiding light” for the company, which is known as the publisher of record in the social sciences. Now the publisher is poised to maintain its place within the social science field and is actively looking for a new executive editor to lead the company into the future.
Transaction has a long history and a strong backlist on which to build. A Ford Foundation grant in 1962 created what soon became Transaction, a journal to be “a Scientific American for the social sciences,” and a publications division, which moved from Washington University in St. Louis to Rutgers University in 1969, when Horowitz was asked to head up the sociology department on the campus in Piscataway, N.J. It has remained an independent, private enterprise on the Rutgers campus ever since, expanding into books and publishing social science heavy hitters including Peter Drucker, Milton Friedman, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., and W.E.B. Du Bois.
After selling its journals in 2007, Transaction is now devoted solely to book publishing, releasing about 100 titles a year. Two-thirds of the books are original material, and the rest are classic books reissued with new introductions.
While Transaction aims to maintain its academic expertise, Curtis says it looks to continue to publish books with great general interest: she says the current list featured at BEA is the most “tradey” yet. Among the new titles are Con Game: Bernard Madoff and His Victims by Lionel S. Lewis, The Executioner’s Men: Los Zetas, Rogue Soldiers, Criminal Entrepreneurs, and the Shadow State They Created by George W. Grayson and Samuel Logan on the powerful Mexican cartel; and Marriage Matters: Perspectives on the Private and Public Importance of Marriage by Janice Shaw Crouse; written by the syndicated columnist, it tackles the very timely topic of marriage.
To commemorate its golden anniversary, Transaction has produced a special catalogue with classic books spanning its 50 years.
Aside from giving away totes and pens in its booth (4210), Transaction is holding a drawing for a Nook Color and a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card. Each day at 2 p.m., Transaction will raffle off copies of A New York Memoir by Richard Goodman, who has a 30-year history with the city.