The MIT Press recently announced that six MIT Press authors were awarded “best of” recognition in 2019. From Bill Gates’ recommendation of “Growth,” by one of his “favorite authors,” to “2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics,” which was selected as the ARTnews No. 1 pick for “Best Art Books of the Decade,” the authors of the MIT Press continue to produce intellectually daring, scholarly work.
“We are thrilled to have this recognition given to our forward-thinking authors,” says Amy Brand, director of the MIT Press. “Their work and expertise continue to drive our mission and foster the exchange of ideas, reinforcing the importance of intellectual conversations across the arts and sciences that advance our world.”
Awards were given to the following books:
“Gyorgy Kepes: Undreaming the Bauhaus,” by John R. Blakinger, was selected by The New York Times as a top art book of 2019 by critic Martha Schwendener.
“An overdue treatment of the Hungarian-born artist and designer Gyorgy Kepes explores his career,” wrote Schwendener. “Technology and war are often common threads in Kepes’s work. Innovating forms of camouflage during World War II, his designs coincided with clashes around M.I.T.’s connections with the military during the Vietnam War. Mr. Blakinger argues that Kepes represents a new form of modern artist fluent in and influenced by technology: ‘the artist as technocrat.’”
“2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics,” by Andrea Fraser, was the No. 1 pick on the “The Best Art Books of the Decade” by Alex Greenberger, senior editor for ARTnews.
“Where would we be without Andrea Fraser’s “2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics?” asked Greenberger. “This book has become a touchstone at a time when activists are calling out board members for their political leanings … seeing it all collected neatly in one tome is powerful — as a cool-headed study, an intelligent research-based artwork, and a clarion call for change all in one.”
“Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century,” edited by Lauren Cornell and Ed Halter, was No. 4 on Greenberger’s “Best Art Books of the Decade.”
He wrote, “The closest thing to a movement that emerged this decade was a new kind of digital art — one that was termed ‘post-internet’ by some for the way it moved the slick aesthetics of the web into the world at large. Mass Effect has become the go-to critical companion to this style and work made by the artists whose pioneering pieces inspired it.”
“Growth,” by Vaclav Smil, was recommended by Bill Gates on Gates Notes .
“When I first heard that one of my favorite authors was working on a new book about growth, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it,” said Gates. “(Two years ago, I wrote that I wait for new Smil books the way some people wait for the next Star Wars movie. I stand by that statement.) His latest doesn’t disappoint. As always, I don’t agree with everything Smil says, but he remains one of the best thinkers out there at documenting the past and seeing the big picture.”
“Fables and Futures,” by George Estreich, was featured on NPR Science Friday as among “The Best Science Books of 2019.”
“As new prenatal screening tools enter the market and we begin to seriously grapple with the idea of human genome editing, we would do well to think deeply about the consequences of such technologies on the rights and welfare of individuals we consider disabled,” wrote Valerie Thompson, editor for Science Friday. “I recommend 'Fables and Futures' to anyone who wants to seriously engage in the human genome editing debate at the society and species levels.”
“Find Your Path: Unconventional Lessons from 36 Leading Scientists and Engineers,” by Daniel Goodman, was featured as a “Selected New Book on Higher Education” by The Chronicle of Higher Education.