About Transaction Publishers

Our History

Transaction Publishers was founded in 1962 and, since then, has built an enduring reputation for excellence as an independent publisher and distributor of social science books, including a wide selection of series and serial publications. Publishing renowned and emerging authors in the core disciplines of economics, political science, history, sociology, anthropology, and psychology, Transaction’s scope has grown to include urban studies, policy analysis, philosophy, organizational behavior, criminology, and more.

Although Transaction is recognized today solely as publisher and distributor of books and eBooks, it began with a Ford Foundation grant at Washington University in St. Louis. Initially separated into documentary films, public education, and publication divisions, with the first issue of Transaction: Social Science and Modern Society in 1963, publishing quickly became the focus. This periodical, later renamed Society magazine, went on to establish an enviable reputation as the social science counterpart to Scientific American.

Founded by a distinguished trio of social scientists, Alvin W. Gouldner, Lee Rainwater, and Irving Louis Horowitz, Transaction Publishers evolved from a foundation-supported university activity into a privately-funded, university-based publishing house. Within a few years both Gouldner and Rainwater moved on to distinguished teaching positions elsewhere, while Horowitz became the organization’s first president and, later, editorial director until 2012. From the outset of its conversion from a public to a private enterprise in 1968, shareholders have been eminent social scientists and scholars, including David Riesman, Seymour Martin Lipset, John W. Bennett, Marion J. Levy, Jr., Sheldon Messinger, Howard S. Becker, Aaron Wildavsky, Herbert Blumer, and Oscar Lewis.

In 1969, Transaction Publishers was invited to join Rutgers University by then president, Mason W. Gross, and the first dean of Livingston College, Ernest A. Lynton, where it remained until 2013. Currently, Transaction’s offices are housed in Piscataway, NJ, adjacent to the Rutgers University campus in Piscataway. Transaction maintains the strong university ties it has enjoyed for nearly fifty years, with first Washington University and now Rutgers University. As evidence of this enduring relationship, Transaction is proud to draw many series editors, advisors, and over two hundred authors from the Rutgers faculty.

Over the years, Transaction has had the distinct honor of developing strategic partnerships with prestigious organizations. In 2004 Aldine Publishing Company was acquired by Transaction, launching the AldineTransaction imprint and adding seven hundred books to its list. Additionally, Transaction acquired book lists from Precedent Publishers in 2009. In 2011, Transaction began publishing books originally issued by Rutgers’ Center for Urban Policy Research, creating the imprint CUPR/Transaction. This collaboration also allows Transaction to offer a new generation of research to the urban policy and planning community. Other partnerships include those with the World Bank and the TODA Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research.  

Board of Directors

Members of the board of directors and officers of the corporation have a longstanding commitment to scientific and professional publishing in scholarly and policy institutions in the United States.

Mitch Allen
Mary E. Curtis
Ellen Faran
Patricia Gallagher
David Hetherington
Alex Holzman
Penelope J. Kaiselian
Gerard Libaridian
Michael J. Margotta
Ray C. Rist
Robert Sickles

Corporate Officers
Mary E. Curtis, chairman
Michael Celletto, secretary

Emeritus Members
Herbert Blumer, founding chairman, 1968-86, University of California
Mary E. Curtis, chairman, 1995-97 and 2012-present, Transaction Publishers
Irving Louis Horowitz, chairman emeritus, 1997-2012, Rutgers University and Transaction Publishers
Daniel Yankelovich, chairman emeritus, 1987-94, Yankelovich, Skelly, and Wright

Endorsements of Transaction Publishers

“I know of no publishing effort whose coverage of urban and other domestic problems is as consistently comprehensive and fascinating. In my judgment, Transaction deserves to be read by everyone . . . public official, scholar, and concerned citizens alike . . . who is concerned with meeting the social problems we face.”—Robert F. Kennedy

“In these days of specialization—or of hermeticism, or jargon, or trendiness—Transaction is unique: sober, scholarly, independent of political correctness, and most important, accessible to an educated public that wants to read about developments and issues in the social sciences. Its longevity attests to the fact that it meets a great need.”—Daniel Bell, Harvard University

“The story of the rise of Transaction in the demanding world of substantial and meaningful book/journal publishing is a matter of some moment in the history of English language publishing.”—Richard Abel, Logos Foundation (UK)