Yale University Press’s all-time top 10 bestsellers

Since its founding in 1908, Yale University Press has published a varied and storied range of works. Here are its all-time bestsellers based on global sales.
Yale University Press book cover collage

Since its founding in 1908, Yale University Press has published a varied and storied range of works, among them winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Bancroft Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and other major honors. This list of the Press’s all-time bestsellers is based on global sales of all editions for each title.

Long Day’s Journey into Night” (1956)
Eugene O’Neill

The Press’s bestselling title won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957. The work, by one of America’s most accomplished playwrights, has since sold more than 1 million copies.

A Little History of the World” (2005)
E. H. Gombrich

This was the first English translation of a history primer for children originally published in German in the author’s native Vienna in 1936. To date the Press has sold over 1 million copies, including an illustrated edition. Gombrich, an art historian, was known for his vast erudition as well as for his survey “The Story of Art,” one of the most popular books ever written on the history of art.

The Courage to Be” (1952)
Paul Tillich

This seminal work of 20th-century existential philosophy explores the problem of anxiety and points a way to the conquest of it.

The Lonely Crowd” (1950)
David Riesman, with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney

An analysis of the varieties of social character that exemplified the new American middle class.

Interaction of Color” (1963)
Josef Albers

The artist, teacher, and former chair of Yale School of Art’s design department leads readers on an eye-opening exploration of color perception.

Taliban (2000)
Ahmed Rashid

The Press issued the paperback edition of the Pakistani journalist’s book just before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Andrew Bolton (2011)

Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press, “Alexander McQueen” accompanied a major exhibition featuring the British fashion designer’s work. The show is among the most visited in the Met’s history.

The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers
Carl Becker (1932)

A distinguished historian challenges the belief that the 18th century was essentially modern in temper, arguing that the Age of Reason was far from it, and that Voltaire, Hume, Diderot, and Locke were living in a medieval world.

Becoming: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality
Gordon W. Allport (1955)

A psychologist who was among the first to focus on the study of the personality outlines the need for a psychology of becoming — of the growth and development that, he says, “can best be discovered by looking within ourselves.”

Thomas More (1965)

First published in 1516, “Utopia,” a classic text of political philosophy, describes the political system of an imaginary island state. The Press’s editions of this work by English judge, philosopher, and statesman Thomas More (venerated in the Catholic Church as St. Thomas More) is volume 4 in “The Yale Edition of The Complete Works of St. Thomas More,” a 15-volume project begun in 1963 and completed in 1997.

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