For a crowdsourced list of classic, entertaining book reviews, click here.
Here are links to my own recent book reviews:
“The Experiment” (review of Carolyn J. Eichner, The Paris Commune: A Brief History), The Nation, November 28, 2022.
“Paris Transformed” (review of Esther da Costa Meyer, Dividing Paris: Urban Renewal and Social Inequality, 1852–1870, New York Review of Books, August 18, 2022.
"Distant Moments" (review of Joan Scott, On the Judgment of History), The Nation, May 9-16, 2022
Review of Patrice Gueniffey, Napoleon and de Gaulle: Heroes and History, The Journal of Modern History, vol. 94, no. 1 (2022).
“The End of the Terror” (review of Colin Jones, The Fall of Robespierre: 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris), The New York Review of Books, March 10, 2022.
"A Flawed History of Humanity" (review of David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity), Persuasion, November 19, 2021.
“Added Fashion Value” (review of William Sewell, Jr., Capitalism and the Emergence of Civic Equality in Eighteenth-Century France), The London Review of Books, October 7, 2021.
“Whose Freedom?” (review of Tyler Stovall, White Freedom: The Racial History of an Idea), The New York Review of Books, September 23, 2021.
“Web of Connections” (review of Emma Rothschild, An Infinite History: The Story of a Family in France over Three Centuries), The Nation, September 6, 2021. Featured on “Arts & Letters Daily” website.
“A Haunted Patrimony” (review of James McAuley, The House of Fragile Things: Jewish Art Collectors and the Fall of France), The New York Review of Books, July 1, 2021.
Review of Beatrice de Graaf, Fighting Terror after Napoleon: How Europe Became Secure after 1815, H-Diplo electronic discussion list, May 7, 2021.
“Methods of Power” (review of Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Strongmen: How They Rise, Why They Succeed, How They Fall), The Nation, April 19, 2021. Featured on “Arts & Letters Daily” website.
"I Wanted to Rule the World" (review of Alexander Mikaberidze, The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History, The London Review of Books, December 3, 2020
"The Duchess and the Jews" (review of Maurice Samuels, The Betrayal of the Duchess: The Scandal that Unmade the Bourbon Monarchy and Made France Modern), The New York Review of Books, September 24, 2020
Review of Sudhir Hazareesingh, Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture, The Guardian, August 28, 2020
Review of Yannick Bosc, Le peuple souverain et la démocratie, H-France, June, 2020.
"Did Britain Win the American Revolution?" (review of Matthew Lockwood, To Begin the World Over Again), The New York Review of Books, April 23, 2020.
"The Contagious Revolution" (review of Julius Scott, The Common Wind , and Johnhenry Gonzalez, Maroon Nation), The New York Review of Books, December 26, 2019.
“Lost Bearings” (review of Adam Gopnik, A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism), The Nation, July 1-8, 2019.
“From Readers to Revolutionaries” (review of Robert Darnton, A Literary Tour de France: The World of Books on the Eve of the French Revolution), The New York Review of Books, June 27, 2019.
“An Equal Say?” (review of Sophia Rosenfeld, Truth and Democracy: A Short History), The Nation, February 11-18, 2019.
“The Many Lives of Liberalism” (review of Dan Edelstein, On the Spirit of Rights, Helena Rosenblatt, The Lost History of Liberalism, and James Miller, Can Democracy Work?), The New York Review of Books, January 17, 2019.
“The Popular Monarch” (review of Julian Jackson, De Gaulle), The
“Little Spartas” (review of Mike Rapport, The Unruly City: Paris, London and New York in the Age of Revolution), The Nation. February 12, 2018. Featured on “Arts and Letters Daily” website.
“Le Pen’s Long Shadow” (review of Jonathan Fenby, Modern France; Maurice Samuels, The Right to Difference; and Jean-Yves Camus and Nicolas Lebourg, Far Right Politics in Europe), The Nation, April 24, 2017.
Review of Arnaud Guinier, L’honneur
du soldat, H-France, vol. 15, no. 89, June, 2015.
“Glory, Vanity, Liberty?” (review of Patrice Gueniffey, Bonaparte; Andrew Roberts, Napoleon the Great; Jenny Uglow, In These Times), The Nation, June 15, 2015.
“Terror at the Dawn of Modern Europe” (review of Timothy Tackett, The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution and Adam Zamoyski, Phantom Terror), The Atlantic, May, 2015.
"The Fault is not in Our 'Stars,' but in Ourselves" (review of Antoine Lilti, Figures publiques), Books & Ideas.net, January 8, 2015. French version in La vie des idées: "Naissance du Star System," March 4, 2015.
"Shameless, Lucifer and Pug-Nose" (review of Michael Kwass, Contraband), The London Review of Books, January 8, 2015.
"The Bourgeois Eric Hobsbawm" (review of Eric Hobsbawm, Fractured Times), The National Interest, September-October, 2014.
"A Very Different French Revolution" (review of Jonathan Israel, Revolutionary Ideas), The New York Review of Books, July 10, 2014. Israel-Bell Exchange, The New York Review, October 9, 2014
"The Global Turn" (review of Emily Rosenberg et al., A World Connecting), The New Republic, October 7, 2013.
"Come and See For Yourself" (review of Lucien Jaume, Tocqueville: The Aristocratic Sources of Liberty), The London Review of Books, July 18, 2013.
"Is War Civilized?" (review of James Whitman, Verdict of Battle), The New Republic, March 3, 2013.
“The Conductor” (review of Peter McPhee, Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life), The Book: An Online Review at the New Republic, April 5, 2012.
“Poker Lessons From Richelieu: A Portrait of the Statesman as Gambler” (review of Jean-Vincent Blanchard, Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France), Foreign Affairs, vol. 91, no. 2 (March/April 2012), pp. 156-60.
Review of Thomas Kaiser and Dale Van Kley, eds., From Deluge to Deficit, H-France, February, 2012.
“Where Do We Come From?” (review of Jonathan Israel, Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750-1790), The New Republic, March 1, 2012.
“The Dreyfus Affair Told From the Catholic Point of View” (review of Piers Paul Read,The Dreyfus Affair), The Guardian, February 18, 2012.
Review of Roger Chickering and Stig Förster (eds.), War in an Age of Revolution, 1775-1815, The English Historical Review, vol. 126, no. 523 (2011), pp. 1546-48.
“Conspiracy Porn” (review of Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetery), The New Republic, December 1, 2011.
“Simple Facts and Plain Truths” (review of Sophia Rosenfeld, Common Sense: A Political History), The London Review of Books, October 20, 2011.
“La Même Chose” (review of David McCullough, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris), The Book: An Online Review at the New Republic, July 2, 2011.
“The New Normal” (review of Alan Riding, And the Show Went On), The New Republic, March 3, 2011.
“Does This Man Deserve Tenure?” (review of Mark Taylor, Crisis on Campus), The Book: An Online Review at the New Republic, September 6, 2010.
“Hope and Play“ (review of Natalie Zemon Davis, A Passion for History), The Book: An Online Review at the New Republic, August 25, 2010.
“Pogroms of Words” (review of Frederick Brown, For the Soul of France), The New Republic, June 24, 2010.