About Me

I am an historian of modern Europe, with a particular area of expertise in the age of revolutions. I have published five books, most recently the two shown above, as well as academic articles in both English and French. I contribute to general interest publications on a variety of subjects, ranging from modern warfare, to contemporary French politics, to the impact of digital technology on learning and scholarship. Much of this work appeared in the political and literary magazine The New Republic, for which I wrote for thirty years, and where I was a contributing editor until 2014. 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.


I have two books in preparation. In 2017, W.W. Norton will be publishing a history of Europe I have written in collaboration with my Princeton colleague Anthony Grafton. Volume I is now out in a preview edition, and volume II will be following next winter. I am now working on a comparative and transnational study of charisma, political authority and militarism in the age of revolutions, to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.


In the fall semester of 2017-18, I will be teaching my survey of early modern French history. In the spring semester, I will teach my graduate seminar on the Old Regime and the French Revolution, and a new undergraduate seminar on the Age of Atlantic Revolutions.


This website provides information about my books, and links to recent essays, book reviews, course syllabi, research materials, and the books' on-line appendices.


A full c.v. can be found here


David A. Bell

Sidney and Ruth Lapidus

Professor in the Era of

North Atlantic Revolutions


Department of History


Princeton University