Reaktion originally focused on the fields of art, architecture and design – its first book was Ian Hamilton Finlay: A Visual Primer by Yves Abrioux. In recent years Reaktion’s list has broadened substantially, and now also encompasses animal studies, Asian art and culture, biography, cultural studies, current events, fashion, film, food history, geography, general history, music, philosophy, photography, politics, sports history and travel writing. Reaktion now produces around 80 new titles each year, and has about 600 titles in print.
Among the monographs released by Reaktion are studies of the Ottoman architect Sinan, and the artists Delaroche, Holbein, Tintoretto, Bellini, Malcolm Morley, Leon Golub and Caspar David Friedrich, the last of which won the 1992 Mitchell Prize for the History of Art.
Reaktion also publishes many series of books, including Animal, short natural and cultural histories of individual animals, Edible, global histories of a particular food, drink or ingredient, Critical Lives, concise critical biographies of important cultural figures, and Botanical, which combine horticultural and cultural history.
Recent books of note from Reaktion include Travels in the History of Architecture by Robert Harbison, Boxing: A Cultural History by Kasia Boddy, Owl by Desmond Morris, A Brief History of Nakedness by Philip Carr-Gomm, The Puzzle of Left-handedness by Rik Smits and The Modern Art Cookbook by Mary Ann Caws.