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 Books also publishes new works in African and African-American studies under the Basic Civitas imprint. Basic's list of influential authors includes Isaac Asimov, Zbigniew Brzezinski, William F. Buckley, Stephen Carter, Iris Chang, Dinesh D’Souza, Richard Dawkins, Hernando de Soto, Jared Diamond, Michael Eric Dyson, Niall Ferguson, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Sigmund Freud, Howard Gardner, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Hofstadter, Leszek Kolakowski, Lawrence Lessig, Claude Levi-Strauss, Nelson Mandela, Alice Miller, Walter Mosley, James T. Patterson, Steven Pinker, Samantha Power, Diane Ravitch, Thomas Sowell, Ian Stewart, Cass Sunstein, Sherry Turkle, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, George Weigel, Cornel West, A.N. Wilson, James Q. Wilson, Irvin Yalom, Shing-Tung Yau, and Fareed Zakaria. 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 Richard Florida’s The New Urban Crisis. 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
TJ 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.
John Kulka came to Basic Books in 2017 from Harvard University Press, where he was an executive editor-at-large. Prior to Harvard, he was at Yale University Press. A graduate of Lehigh University (BA) and Columbia University (MA), he is interested in biography, literature, philosophy, political thought, and the argumentative essay. He has published books by David Bromwich, Stephen Burt, Jonathan Culler, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Toni Morrison, Yascha Mounk, Jedediah Purdy, Amartya Sen, Richard Sennett, Zephyr Teachout, Helen Vendler, and Marina Warner, among many others.
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 the 2017 Lincoln Prize–winning Thunder at the Gates by Douglas Egerton, Engines of Liberty by ACLU National Legal Director David Cole, Jefferson by John B. Boles, Locked In by John Pfaff, and Toussaint Louverture by Philippe Girard. Forthcoming titles include next works from historians Manisha Sinha, Walter Johnson, Matt Sutton, Jeremy Popkin, and Jared Farmer; and from journalists Bhaskar Sunkara, Joan Biskupic, and Andrew McCarthy. 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, politics, law, and social science. In history, he has acquired books by authors including Laurent Dubois, R. Marie Griffith, Martyn Rady, and Michael Willrich; in politics, Bernard Harcourt and Jonathan Rodden; and in law, Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz, and Alexandra Natapoff. A graduate of Harvard University, Brian also holds a PhD in US history from Yale University.
Leah Stecher joined Basic Books in 2013. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she acquires in history, women's studies, social sciences, and biography, and she has acquired books by authors including Mo Moulton, Virginia Postrel, Lisa Levenstein, Ernest Freeberg, Shalini Shankar, and David Patrikarakos.