I am an historian, and my particular area of expertise is Europe in the age of revolutions. I have written three books on the subject, most recently The First Total War, as well as academic articles in both English and French. I also contribute to general interest publications on a variety of subjects, ranging from contemporary French politics, to the relationship between war and society, to the impact of digital technology on learning and scholarship. The majority of this work has appeared in the political and literary magazine The New Republic, for which I have written for nearly thirty years, and where I am a contributing editor. I teach in the History Department at Princeton University, where I offer courses on early modern Europe, on military history, and on the early modern French empire. Previously, I spent fourteen years at Johns Hopkins University, including three as Dean of Faculty in its School of Arts and Sciences.
In collaboration with my Princeton colleague Anthony Grafton I have written a history of Europe, which will be published in 2014 by W.W. Norton. I am also working on two book projects. The first is a comparative and transnational study of charisma and personal political authority in the age of revolutions. While it is still at an early stage, I have been presenting some of my ideas in a talk on Maximilien Robespierre entitled "The Impossible Dictator" that I have delivered at several universities in the spring of 2013. The second is a study of two fascinating, but little known French Revolutionaries: the duc de Biron and Charles-Philippe Ronsin. Although coming from opposite ends of French society, they had strangely parallel careers, as soldiers, men of letters, and revolutionary politicians. They ended up bitter enemies, and both died on the guillotine during the Terror. Their story offers a new perspective on the Revolution, especially on what it could mean on an individual level, and on how it shaped new forms of ambition and selfhood.
Upcoming lecture appearances include keynote addresses on the future of libraries for the Pennsylvania Library Association (5/20), and on demobilization, memory and the Napoleonic Wars for a conference at King's College, London (5/30-6/1). In the spring of 2013 I have been teaching my regular undergraduate seminar on the French Enlightenment, and next fall I will again offer my graduate seminar entitled "Revolutionary Lives." I have an article forthcoming in French Historical Studies entitled "Questioning the Global Turn: The Case of the French Revolution."
A full c.v. can be found here