Since its founding in 1950, 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 Hachette Book Group.
SVP, Publisher, the Basic Books Group (Basic, Seal, PublicAffairs & Bold Type)
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, Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands, Bee Wilson’s Consider the Fork, Victor Davis Hanson’s The Dying Citizen, Neil Price’s Children of Ash and Elm, and Jason Riley’s Maverick. 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.
Brian J. Distelberg
VP, Editor in Chief
Brian J. Distelberg joined Basic Books in 2015 and acquires primarily in history. Books he has edited and published include Brad DeLong’s Slouching Towards Utopia, Peniel Joseph’s The Third Reconstruction, Martha Jones’s Vanguard, Martyn Rady’s The Habsburgs, Marc David Baer’s The Ottomans, Walter Johnson’s The Broken Heart of America, and Alice Baumgartner’s South to Freedom. He also publishes a select number of books in politics; highlights include Jonathan Metzl’s Dying of Whiteness and Jonathan Sacks’s Morality. Brian worked previously at Harvard University Press and holds a PhD in US history from Yale University.
VP & Editorial Director
Thomas Kelleher joined Basic Books in 2009, and publishes predominantly in science, mathematics, and economics. He has published Eric Topol, Sherry Turkle, Edward Frenkel, Thor Hanson, Eugenia Cheng, and Leonard Susskind, among many others. Recent highlights include Azra Raza’s The First Cell, Lucy Cooke’s Bitch, William MacAskill’s What We Owe the Future, Adam Becker’s What Is Real?, Rob Dunn’s A Natural History of the Future, and Eugenia Cheng’s Is Math Real?. He is also responsible for the publishing program surrounding The Feynman Lectures on Physics.
Janice Audet joined Basic Books in 2023 and acquires primarily in the biological and life sciences. Before joining Basic, she was an executive editor for science at Harvard University Press, where she acquired, edited, and published books by Christina Maslach and Michael Leiter, Martin Rees, Govert Schilling, Cecilia Heyes, and Beronda Montgomery.
Brandon Proia joined Basic Books in 2023 and acquires primarily in history. Before joining Basic, he was an executive editor of history at UNC Press, where he published books including Keeanga Taylor’s Race for Profit, Johanna Fernandez’s The Young Lords, and Kelly Hernandez’s City of Inmates. He has also worked as an editor at PublicAffairs, where he published Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop.
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Emily Taber joined Basic Books and Seal Press in 2022. She acquires primarily in economics and business, with a particular interest in economic and business history, behavioral economics, public policy, and workplace inclusion. Previously, she was the economics, finance, and business editor at the MIT Press, where she published books by Ron Adner, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Cass Sunstein, and Ruchika Tulshyan.
Emma Berry joined Basic Books in 2020 and acquires in literary studies, law, psychology and medicine, and the social sciences, with a particular interest in feminism and queer studies. Books she has edited and published include Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen’s The Library, Stephen Vladeck’s The Shadow Docket, and Peggy O’Donnell Heffington’s Without Children. Before joining Basic, she was an editor at Crown, where she acquired and edited books including The Whiteness of Wealth by Dorothy Brown and Let the Lord Sort Them by Maurice Chammah.
Michael Kaler joined Basic Books in 2020, and acquires primarily in history and politics, with particular interests in social justice, climate change, and labor issues. He also acquires selectively in international affairs and global studies. Books he has acquired or edited include Jared Farmer’s Elderflora, Jacqueline Jones’s No Right to an Honest Living, and Hein de Haas’s How Migration Really Works. Before joining Basic, Michael worked at Liveright and New York Magazine.