Since its founding in 1952, Basic Books has shaped public debate by publishing award-winning books in history, science, sociology, psychology, politics, and current affairs. Basic's list of influential authors includes Stephon Alexander, Isaac Asimov, Edward Baptist, H.W. Brands, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Iris Chang, George Church, Niall Ferguson, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Martin Ford, Howard Gardner, Victor Davis Hanson, Jonathan Haidt, Judith Herman, Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Hofstadter, Leszek Kolakowski, Kevin Kruse, Lawrence Lessig, Claude Levi-Strauss, Alice Miller, Robert Nozick, Steven Pinker, Samantha Power, Diane Ravitch, Eugene Rogan, Thomas Sowell, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Eric Topol, Sherry Turkle, Timothy Snyder, Nicholas Stargardt, Michael Walzer, George Weigel, Bee Wilson, James Q. Wilson, Richard Wrangham, Irvin Yalom, and Shing-Tung Yau. Basic Books is an imprint of Perseus Books, a Hachette Book Group company.
Meet The Editors
Lara Heimert joined Basic Books in 2005. Previously, she was publisher of the trade division at Yale University Press. She has published numerous prize-winning and New York Times bestselling titles. Highlights include Edward Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told, Eugene Rogan’s The Fall of the Ottomans, John Bradshaw’s Dog Sense and Cat Sense, Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands, Nicholas Stargardt’s The German War, Bee Wilson’s Consider the Fork, and Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars. A graduate of Princeton University, Lara acquires primarily in the field of history, broadly conceived—from world wars to marginalia, from culinary history to political theory, from diaspora to doodles.
Vice President And Editorial Director, Sciences
Thomas Kelleher joined Basic Books in 2009, and publishes predominantly in science, mathematics, and economics. He has published Eric Topol, Sherry Turkle, Edward Frenkel, and Leonard Susskind, among many others. Recent highlights include Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots, Dan Flores’s Coyote America, Stephon Alexander’s The Jazz of Physics, Massimo Pigliucci’s How to Be a Stoic, and Eugenia Cheng’s Beyond Infinity. He is also responsible for the publishing program surrounding The Feynman Lectures on Physics.
Dan Gerstle joined Basic Books in 2013 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and acquires mainly in history, politics, current affairs, and the social sciences. The books he has edited and published include John Boles’ Jefferson, John Pfaff’s Locked In, Cathy Davidson’s The New Education, and Joseph Crespino’s Atticus Finch. Forthcoming titles include next works from historians H. W. Brands, Manisha Sinha, Walter Johnson, Jeremy Popkin, A. K. Sandoval-Strausz, and Jefferson Cowie; from journalists Bhaskar Sunkara and Joan Biskupic; and from social scientists Rucker Johnson, Scott Rozelle, and Thomas Abt. Dan holds a BA from Princeton University and an MA in American Studies from Yale University.
Brian J. Distelberg
Brian J. Distelberg joined Basic Books in 2015 from Harvard University Press. He acquires in history and politics, as well as law, social science, and economics. The books he has edited and published include Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz’s To End a Presidency, R. Marie Griffith’s Moral Combat, Laurent Dubois’s The Language of the Game, and Alisa Roth’s Insane. In history, he has acquired books by authors including Claire Potter, Martyn Rady, and Michael Willrich; in politics, Jonathan Metzl and Jonathan Rodden; and in law, Alexandra Natapoff. A graduate of Harvard University, Brian also holds a PhD in US history from Yale University.
Eric Henney joined Basic Books in 2018 and acquires across the sciences. Previously, he was the editor for physical, earth, and computer sciences at Princeton University Press. Eric has edited and acquired books by Mark Serreze, Kevin Hand, Skylar Tibbits, Jeff & Tanya Bub, Marcia Bjornerud, Carl Landwehr, Kerry Emanuel, Phillip Rogaway, and Susan Schneider.
Leah Stecher joined Basic Books in 2013. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she acquires in history, women’s studies, social sciences, and biography, and has acquired books by authors including Mo Moulton, Virginia Postrel, Lisa Levenstein, Ernest Freeberg, and Maurice Samuels.