The Pre-read program, initiated by President Eisgruber in 2013, introduces incoming freshmen to Princeton's intellectual life. Members of the incoming class join together to read and discuss a book that President Eisgruber selects and sends to freshmen prior to their arrival on campus. Freshmen then participate in Pre-read discussions with student leaders during Orientation Week and with President Eisgruber in the residential colleges and elsewhere on campus over the course of the academic year. Alumni also are encouraged to read and discuss the Pre-read selection.
President Christopher L. Eisgruber's Princeton Pre-read selection for the Class of 2021 is What Is Populism? by Jan-Werner Müller, a professor in Princeton's department of politics. The book offers a careful and comprehensive investigation of a concept — populism — that is used to describe a diverse array of political movements around the world. President Eisgruber hopes that students will take advantage of the opportunity to explore this political idea in greater depth, and in the process get a taste of the intellectual experience that awaits them at Princeton.