>> September 18, 2015 - 2:00pm


Trouble with Your Alif Baa Glossary?

(September 18, 2015)





Dear Alif Baa reader,

The glossary in the most recent reprint of the 3rd edition of Alif Baa is incorrect and will be fixed in the next printing. In the meantime, the correct glossary is available to you in three ways:

1.) To download a free PDF click here. 

2.) If you have a paid access to the companion website, you can find it on the orange resources bar in the sudent workstation.

3.) To order a complimentary printed copy of the corrected glossary, send requests to or call (202) 687-6251.


We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience.


Georgetown University Press





>> January 29, 2015 - 1:17pm


Jessica Pellien Joins Georgetown University Press
as Marketing and Sales Director

2015-01-29, 13:18:25

WASHINGTON D.C. — Georgetown University Press is pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica Pellien as its new Marketing and Sales Director. Ms. Pellien joins the press with 15 years of experience in marketing, sales, and publicity in scholarly publishing. Starting March 2nd, she will lead the domestic and international marketing and sales strategies of the press, developing plans to promote and sell the press’s dynamic list of digital and print resources.

“We are extremely pleased that Jessica will be joining our team,” said Richard Brown, director of the press. “She is an innovator with an entrepreneurial spirit who has an impressive track record in her previous positions at outstanding university presses.”

Ms. Pellien most recently spent nine years serving as Assistant Director of Publicity & ePublicity Manager of Princeton University Press. There she led the publicity team’s book campaigns—including several of Princeton’s best sellers—and managed the Press’s social media presence. Prior to her work at Princeton, Pellien worked for six years at Rutgers University Press in positions of growing responsibility, finishing there as Assistant Director of Marketing.

“I am absolutely delighted to join Georgetown University Press,” said Pellien. “Its reputation for publishing exciting and important works in languages, religion and ethics, and international relations is well-deserved, and I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues on many innovative and vibrant scholarly projects in the coming months and years.”

Ms. Pellien has previously served on the Association of American University Press’s Professional Development Committee, the Annual Meeting Program Committee, and the Marketing Committee.

Georgetown University Press supports the academic mission of Georgetown University by publishing scholarly books and journals for a diverse, worldwide readership. These publications, written by an international group of authors representing a broad range of intellectual perspectives, focus on five subjects: bioethics; international affairs; languages; political science, public policy, & public management; and religion & ethics.

>> August 7, 2013 - 4:52pm

#1 Hezbollah

Matthew Levitt Reveals the Organization’s Worldwide Terrorist Activities and Financial Structure

Hezbollah, Lebanon’s “Party of God,” is a multifaceted organization: it is a powerful political party in Lebanon, a Shia Islam religious and social movement, Lebanon’s largest militia, a close ally of Iran, and a terrorist network. Hezbollah and Iran both deny the existence of a Hezbollah terrorist apparatus, but intelligence services worldwide know it well. While some acts of terror, like the kidnappings in Lebanon in the 1980s and the 1992 and 1994 bombings in Buenos Aires, are generally known, Hezbollah’s global presence and terrorist activities go much farther.

Despite the wealth of material published over the past few years on al Qaeda, the war on terrorism, and Iraq, far less has been written about Hezbollah. The few books that have been published focus on the group’s ideology, history, and activities in Lebanon. Matthew Levitt’s Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God breaks new ground with this first thorough examination of this organization’s covert operations beyond Lebanon’s borders. Drawing on extensive field research, including interviews with intelligence and law enforcement officials around the world, newly declassified intelligence material, court documents, and official reports, Levitt traces Hezbollah’s beginnings with its first violent forays in Lebanon. He then investigates its terrorist activities and criminal enterprises abroad in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and finally in North America, concluding with a look at Hezbollah’s position as Iran’s most trusted, professional, and deniable proxy.

Levitt argues convincingly that Hezbollah’s willingness to use violence at home and abroad should be of serious concern. Hezbollah authoritatively documents the history of Hezbollah’s clandestine activities over time and across continents, including the group’s terrorist operations and financial and logistical networks. A topic of tremendous relevance to current events, understanding the threat posed by Hezbollah today could not be more pressing.

Matthew Levitt is a senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. Previously, Dr. Levitt served as the deputy assistant secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the US Department of the Treasury, as an FBI counterterrorism analyst, and as an adviser on counterterrorism to the US State Department. Levitt held fellowships with the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy and the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale University Press, 2006).

PUBLICATION DATE: September 2013, 416 pages
ISBN 978-1-62616-013-2, hardcover $32.95
PUBLICITY CONTACT: Jackie Beilhart, (202) 687-9298,
RIGHTS: Sales in UK, the British Commonwealth (excluding Canada), Europe, and Africa belong to Hurst. Publicity contact for Hurst is Kathleen May,

>> August 6, 2013 - 3:53pm

Georgetown University Press is pleased to announce the hiring of Kyle Kuhn as Digital Editor in its Languages division and of Milica Cosic as Publishing Assistant and Permissions Coordinator.

Mr. Kuhn joins the press after working for Rosetta Stone for over four years. There he worked as a Senior Curriculum Designer. Previous to this, Mr. Kuhn taught English abroad for five years in Japan, Korea, and Poland. Mr. Kuhn holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University, joining two other MFAs on staff.

The position of Digital Editor in the Languages division is a new one for Georgetown University Press. As Digital Editor, Mr. Kuhn will be producing and developing digital materials for teaching and learning foreign languages. “Kyle’s experience teaching English and developing materials in the digital environment will help Georgetown continue to be a leader in teaching and learning languages,” says Hope LeGro, Director of Georgetown Languages.

Ms. Cosic joins the press after working for The Brookings Institution, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and the Mind Fitness Training Institute, a nonprofit run by Georgetown University Professor Elizabeth Stanley. Ms. Cosic has her undergraduate degree in Political Science and German from the University of California, Santa Barbara—the second alumna on staff—and has completed graduate work in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  In addition to German, she also speaks Serbo-Croatian.

“We are delighted that Kyle and Milica have joined our staff,” says Richard Brown, director of Georgetown University Press. “They are smart publishing professionals who will make strong and creative contributions to our publishing program.”


Georgetown University Press supports the academic mission of Georgetown University by publishing scholarly books and journals for a diverse, worldwide readership. These publications, written by an international group of authors representing a broad range of intellectual perspectives, focus on five subjects: bioethics; international affairs; languages; political science, public policy, & public management; and religion & ethics.

Georgetown Languages at Georgetown University Press is a collaboration of language experts and publishing professionals to produce high quality language learning resource materials in traditional and new learning media. Working with the academic community to develop foreign language learning materials grounded in superior scholarship and experienced pedagogy, Georgetown Languages publishes in critical as well as commonly taught languages in print and electronic formats, primarily for college, high school, and adult learners.

>> March 12, 2013 - 4:35pm

Karski_RGB_300dpi“Within Jan Karski’s stirring account of selfless heroism to expose the Holocaust, lie two compelling messages: It is possible for one man to bring to the word’s attention unimaginable political evil. The harder and still relevant question raised by Karski’s story is: How does one get the civilized world to respond?”—Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal

Jan Karski’s Story of a Secret State stands as one of the most poignant and inspiring memoirs of World War II, the Holocaust, and the Polish Underground. With elements of a spy thriller, documenting his experiences in anti-Nazi espionage, and as one of the first accounts of the systematic slaughter of the Jews, this volume is a remarkable testimony of one man’s courage and a nation’s struggle for resistance against overwhelming oppression. President Bill Clinton praises Karski’s “lessons of heroism, resilience, and uncompromising leadership,” adding that “all freedom-seeking people around the world should know Karski’s story.”

Karski’s memoir begins with his life as a brilliant young diplomat when war broke out in 1939 with Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Taken prisoner by the Soviet Red Army, which had simultaneously invaded from the East, Karski narrowly escaped the subsequent Katyn Forest Massacre. The story advances with Karski becoming a member of the Polish Underground, the most significant resistance movement in occupied Europe, acting as a liaison and courier between the Underground and the Polish government-in-exile. In his work, he was twice smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, at one point tortured by the SS, and eventually entered the Nazi’s Izbica transit camp disguised as a guard, witnessing first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust.

Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of the city of Chicago, praises Story of a Secret State, saying, “Jan Karski’s brave account of the Nazi’s horrific crimes and one man’s heroic resistance strikes our collective conscience as strongly today as when he first published it over six decades ago. Today, millions around the world continue to thank and honor him for exposing the evil that was perpetuated throughout concentration camps. When President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Jan Karski the Medal of Freedom he recognized that Karski’s story is one of courage as much as compassion. This book is a stirring reminder that our world depends on both.”

Karski’s courage and testimony, conveyed in a breathtaking manner in Story of a Secret State, offer the narrative of one of the world’s greatest eyewitnesses and an inspiration for all of humanity, emboldening each of us to rise to the challenge of standing up against evil and for human rights. This definitive edition—which includes a foreword by Madeleine Albright, a biographical essay by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, an afterword by Zbigniew Brzezinski, previously unpublished photos, notes, further reading, and a glossary—is an apt legacy for this hero of conscience during the most fraught and fragile moment in modern history.

>> August 9, 2012 - 11:27am

Our business manager, Ioan Suciu, published “The Future of the Book in the Digital Age,” an excellent article about ebooks in the Spring issue of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) magazine, College Services. The article offers a wide-ranging look at issues confronting university libraries, departments, and students as they adopt ebooks, and is available online through the NACAS site.  Here are a few highlights:

“The biggest current issue is that there is a lack of publishing infrastructure to take an e-textbook and deliver it against all available platforms and operating systems. Therefore, the question about switching from print to digital in the classroom is: Could providing access to e-textbooks be enhanced by libraries facilitating use of iPads, smartphones, and ebook readers via standardized platforms?”

“Some U.S.-based institutions have started handing out tablets to students pre-loaded with content: others have started renting out e-readers. Sem Sutter, the head of collection development at Georgetown University said the university offers Amazon e-book readers for check out to students, faculty, and staff.”

Library director Sarah Houghton offers another librarian’s perspective, humorously presented on her Librarian in Black blog: “eBooks is to libraries what that awful boyfriend (or girlfriend) was to you. Think about it. And when I say “eBooks” I mean the whole messed up situation–the copyright nightmares, the publishers, the fragmented formats, the ridiculous terms of service, the device incompatibility, the third-party aggregation companies libraries do business with–all of it. eBooks is the guy who takes advantage of your good nature and generosity only to exploit every last weakness you have for his own personal gain.”

The November Charleston conference is always a great place to soak up the perspective of librarians across the spectrum, and many of our friends are presenting this year, including Mark Coker, Peter Brantley, Mike Shatzkin, Doug Armato, and Georgetown University’s former provost James O’Donnell.

-John Warren

>> August 8, 2012 - 9:53am

The Public Administration Section of the American Political Science Association has awarded their 2012 Herbert Simon Book Award to Donald P. Moynihan’s The Dynamics of Performance Management: Constructing Information and Reform. Drawing on research from state and federal levels, The Dynamics of Performance Management illustrates how governments have emphasized some aspects of performance management—such as building measurement systems to acquire more performance data—but have neglected wider organizational change that would facilitate the use of such information.

In Moynihan’s analysis of why and how governments in the United States have made the move to performance systems, he identifies agency leadership, culture, and resources as keys to better implementation, goal-based learning, and improved outcomes.

How do governments use the performance information generated under performance systems? Moynihan develops a model of interactive dialogue to highlight how performance data, which promised to optimize decision making and policy change for the public’s benefit, has often been used selectively to serve the interests of particular agencies and individuals, undermining attempts at interagency problem solving and reform.

A valuable resource for public administration scholars and administrators, The Dynamics of Performance Management offers fresh insight into how government organizations can better achieve their public service goals.

>> August 7, 2012 - 12:39pm

The Asia Society has selected Brahma Chellaney’s book Water: Asia’s New Battleground as a finalist for their 2012 Bernard Schwartz Book Award.  Suzanne DiMaggio, Vice President of Asia Society’s Global Policy Programs, commented on the announcement of the finalists, saying, “The five finalists for the 2012 Bernard Schwartz Book Award each, in different ways, shed light on important trends, challenges, and opportunities taking place in Asia. They are required reading for all who want to better understand this dynamic region.”

We are proud that one of the finalists is a Georgetown University Press book. Water: Asia’s New Battleground is a pioneering study of Asia’s murky water politics and the relationships between freshwater, peace, and security. In this unique and highly readable book, Brahma Chellaney expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia’s water resources.

The Bernard Schwartz Book Award distinguishes books of nonfiction that focus on contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations and promote a meaningful dialogue of the changes in Asia and their implications for the world at large. The other books that have been recognized are: Cambodia’s Curse by Joel Brinkley (PublicAffairs), China in Ten Words by Yu Hua (Pantheon Books), Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra Vogel (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), and Where China Meets India by Thant Myint-U (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

>> August 6, 2012 - 11:45am

Kathleen Hale’s How Information Matters: Networks and Public Policy Information has won the Academy of Management’s Public and Nonprofit Division’s 2012 Best Book Award. This award-winning book examines the ways a network of state and local governments and nonprofit organizations can enhance the capacity for successful policy change by public administrators. Hale examines drug courts, programs that typify the highly networked, collaborative environment of public administrators today. These “special dockets” implement justice but also drug treatment, case management, drug testing, and incentive programs for non-violent offenders in lieu of jail time. In a study that spans more than two decades, Hale shows ways organizations within the network act to champion, challenge, and support policy innovations over time. Her description of interactions between courts, administrative agencies, and national organizations highlight the evolution of collaborative governance in the state and local arena, with vignettes that share specific experiences across six states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, and Tennessee) and ways that they acquired knowledge from the network to make decisions.

Congratulations to Dr. Hale!

>> August 3, 2012 - 12:08pm

By Todd A. Salzman and Michael G. Lawler, authors of Sexual Ethics

Part Two of a Two-Part Series

Sister Farrell’s comment and questions cited in Part One of this series highlight the need for a renewed definition of the sexual person that adequately considers the sexual person in light of “the signs of the times.” Drawing insights from scripture, tradition, the sciences, and experience, Catholic theologians are proposing a renewed understanding of the sexual person that challenges the historical suspicion surrounding human sexuality in the Catholic Church. This renewed understanding builds on many of the Catholic Church’s positive messages about human sexuality, especially about the unitive end of marriage or meaning of the sexual act, and can provide sound principles to educate the faithful about the God-given gift of sexuality.

In The Sexual Person (2008) and Sexual Ethics (2012) we propose six fundamental dimensions of a renewed understanding of the sexual person. These include:

  1. Move from the sexual person considered as a procreative person to the sexual person considered as a relational person, one who focuses, not simply on sexual acts, but on the interpersonal meaning of sexual acts for interpersonal relationships and asks whether or not these sexual acts facilitate growth in just and loving relationship with one’s intimate partner, oneself, and one’s God.
  2. Move from  viewing heterosexual orientation as normative and homosexual and bisexual orientation as “objectively disordered” to viewing sexual orientation, heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, as an intrinsic dimension of the sexual person and, therefore, “objectively ordered” for persons with such orientations.
  3. Move to a more holistic and integrated understanding of the sexual person, physiologically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually considered.
  4. Acknowledge the fundamental desire in persons to be in relationship, including sexual relationship, with another person. This desire is realized in a complex of relationships that the magisterium refers to as complementarity, which intends that certain realities belong together and produce a whole that neither produces alone. The magisterium prioritizes physical complementarity and argues that it demands heterosexual marriage as the exclusive stable sexual relationship between a man and a woman.
  5. Move from the magisterium’s description of sexual complementarity, limited to physical complementarity and heterosexual marriage, to a holistic complementarity which integrates sexual orientation as an intrinsic dimension of the sexual person.
  6. Move from an understanding of “truly human sexual acts” (Gaudium et spes, n. 49) limited to reproductive-type sexual acts within a heterosexual marital relationship as fulfilling of sexual persons to an understanding of “truly human sexual acts” as either reproductive-type or non-reproductive-type sexual acts in accord with a person’s sexual orientation that facilitate the sharing of a person’s embodied self with another embodied self in just love that fulfill sexual persons.

This renewed understanding focuses on persons rather than their acts, interpersonal relationships rather than biology, real and experienced rather than abstract and ideal sexuality, principles and virtues (such as justice and love) rather than absolute norms. The normative conclusion that follows from these six renewed dimensions of the sexual person changes the approach to sexual morality: some heterosexual and some homosexual acts, those that meet the requirements for holistic complementarity and just love, are truly human and therefore moral; some heterosexual and some homosexual acts, those that do not meet the requirements for holistic complementarity and just love, are not truly human and therefore immoral.