Open Yale Courses Fall 2012 Book Sampler

Download the Open Yale Courses Fall 2012 Book Sampler

This fall we’ve expanded the Open Yale Courses Series to include three new publications: Introduction to the Bible by Christine Hayes, The Moral Foundations of Politics, by Ian Shapiro, and Political Philosophy, by Steven B. Smith. We invite you to take a sneak peek into each of the works in a special Open Yale Courses online sampler. The entire introduction and first chapter of each book is now available free of charge for readers to get a taste of the rich content and the accessible presentation of the material by leading scholars.

Based on the success of the University’s Open Yale Courses program, the book series provides an affordable print alternative for bookworms who wish to experience the classroom by turning the pages. The Open Yale Courses initiative began in 2007 as a series of video and audio podcasts of celebrated undergraduate courses as a way for students and life-long learners to obtain universal access to the exceptional teaching and educational enrichment provided by Yale University.


Christine Hayes’s Introduction to the Bible examines the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, or the Christian Old Testament. More than the foundation of the Judeo-Christian tradition, this religious text serves as a compendium of human experiences as narrated by a diverse set of writers over the span of many centuries in ancient Israel. Hayes’s book introduces reader to the many voices of the Hebrew Bible and presents the work in the context of the historical and cultural setting in the ancient Near East. A leading authority in the Classical Judaic Studies, Hayes has also been recognized in academia as the recipient of the Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities.

Ian Shapiro is a Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale whose book is based on the highly popular eponymous course. The book explores questions about political legitimacy that thinkers have tried to answer for centuries: Who should govern? To what extent should they be obeyed? Drawing on the arguments presented by Enlightenment to contemporary thinkers, The Moral Foundation of Politics presents a variety of perspectives on political theory, providing readers with an informed critical eye to evaluate the successes and limitations of governmental institutions past and present.

Award-winning author Steven B. Smith poses the even broader questions not only about political rule but also civic obedience, rights, and liberties in Political Philosophy. From Plato and Aristotle to Rousseau and Tocqueville, Smith provides a lively introduction to the foundational ideas that strive to tackle fundamental issues that every society has confronted up until the present day.

As of this fall, the Open Yale Courses Series will comprise six books that stretch across a variety of academic disciplines, including philosophy, religion, literature, and political science. Previously published in Spring 2012 are Theory of Literatureby Paul H. Fry, Deathby Shelly Kagan, and New Testament History and Literatureby Dale B. Martin. All titles are also available as eBooks.

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