At a time when publishers have been adding books that appeal to conservatives at a rapid pace, Henry Holt's Metropolitan Books imprint is moving in a different direction by creating a new line that "will focus on the increasingly imperial cast of America's government and policies," according to the Holt press release. Called the American Empire Project, the line will feature short, argument-driven books that examine American foreign policy from a liberal point of view.

A new book by Noam Chomsky will launch the list in the fall. Holt envisions books in the line to be at least 200 pages. "We're not stuck to a page count, " said Elizabeth Shreve, publicity director for Holt. The idea for the American Empire Project was brought to Metropolitan associate publisher Sara Bershtel more than a year ago by Tom Engelhardt and Steve Fraser, who will develop the line.

Bershtel said Metropolitan will do three or four titles per year in the line "for as long as the books are needed."