About Me

I am an historian of modern Europe, with a particular area of expertise in the age of revolutions. I have published six books, most recently the two shown above, and The West: A New History, with Anthony Grafton. I have also published academic articles in both English and French, and 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 latter 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.


My current work is a comparative and transnational study of charisma, political authority and militarism in the age of revolutions, to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.


In June, 2018 I will be a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In academic year 2018-19 I will be on leave as the John and Constance Birkelund Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. 


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