Curriculum Vitae

Robert Darnton


  • Born May l0, l939 in New York
  • Parents: Byron and Eleanor Darnton, both dead
  • Wife: Susan Darnton, the former Susan Lee Glover
  • Children: Nicholas, born April 2l, l970; Catherine, born December 3l, l973; Margaret, born July ll, l977


  • Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., l954-57 (scholarship)
  • Harvard College, l957-60 (advanced standing, scholarship, BA, Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Oxford University, l960-64 (Rhodes scholarship, BPhil. in history, l962, DPhil. in history, l964)


  • Reporter, The New York Times l964-65
  • Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University, l965-68
  • Assistant Professor Princeton University, l968-7l, Associate Professor, l97l-72, Professor, l972-2008, Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of European History, l985-2007
  • Director, Program in European Cultural Studies, Princeton l987-1995
  • Director, Center for the Study of Books and Media, Princeton 2002-2007
  • Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library, Harvard, beginning 2007

Fellowships and Visiting Professorships

  • Guggenheim Fellow, l970
  • Directeur d'Etudes, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris l97l, l98l, and l985 (part time)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, l973-74
  • Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, l976-77
  • Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton l977-8l (part time)
  • George Eastman Visiting Professor, Oxford University l986-87
  • Lecturer, Collège de France l987 (part time)
  • Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin l989-90 and 1993-94
  • Associate Member, All Souls College, Oxford, 1996–2001
  • Honorary Professor, University of Warwick, United Kingdom, 1996 – 2000
  • Honorary Fellow, St. John's College, Oxford, 2000 to the present
  • Fellow, Siemens Foundation, Munich, 2005
  • Fellow, National Library and Institute for Advanced Study of The Netherlands, summer 2006

Learned Societies and Boards

  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • American Philosophical Society
  • American Antiquarian Society
  • Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Academia Europaea
  • Académie Royale de Langue et de Littérature Françaises (Belgium)
  • British Academy
  • National Executive Board, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, l977–80
  • Vice President, International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, l983–87
  • President, International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, l987–91
  • National Executive Board, Center for the Book, Library of Congress, l978–8l
  • Editorial Board, Princeton University Press, l977–8l
  • Editorial Board, The American Scholar, l98l–86
  • Executive Board, Arbeitskreis für Geschichte des Buchwesens, Wolfenbuttel, Germany l98l–87
  • Executive Committee, Program in the History of the Book in American Culture American Antiquarian Society l985–2000

Editorial Boards

  • Revue de synthèse
  • History of the Human Sciences
  • Wilson Quarterly
  • Communication
  • Intellectual History Newsletter
  • Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales
  • Dix-Huitième Siècle
  • Mana
  • Estudos de Anthropologia
  • Social Book History
  • European Review
  • Rethinking History

Other Boards

  • Correspondance de Mme de Graffigny
  • Papers of Thomas Jefferson
  • Papers of Benjamin Franklin
  • Executive Committee, Modern European Section and Committee on International Organizations, American Historical Association
  • Board of Directors, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford l987–l99l and 2000–2007
  • Board of Directors, Social Science Research Council, l988–9l
  • Vice President and Board of Directors, Internationaler Beirat der
  • Forschungsstätte Europäische Aufklärung, Halle, 1989–1994
  • Fellowship Board, the French-American Foundation, 1990-94
  • Boards of Trustees: Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, 1991–97; The New York Public Library, 1995 – ; Oxford University Press (U.S.A.), 1994–2009; Wissenschaftlicher Beirat, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 1994–2000; Wissenschaftlicher Beirat, Forschungszentrum Europäischer Aufklärung, Potsdam, 1994–2000
  • Founder and Director, East-West Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies, 1987–1995
  • President, American Historical Association, 1999.
  • Advisory Council (COSS) to the Collège de France
  • Advisory Council to the Literature and Language Section of the Ecole Normale
  • Supérieure, Paris
  • Advisory Council, Center of Research, Château de Versailles
  • Advisory Board, St. John’s College Research Centre, Oxford University

Prizes and Awards

  • Essay Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies l97l and l973
  • Koren Prize, Society for French Historical Studies, l973
  • Leo Gershoy Prize, American Historical Association, l979
  • MacArthur Prize Fellowship, l982–87
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize l984
  • Behrman Humanities Award, Princeton University, l987
  • Chevalier (1988) and Officier (1993) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
  • Eugene Asher Award for excellence in teaching, American Historical Association (honorable mention), l988
  • National Book Award (finalist), 1983
  • Prix Médicis (France), 1991
  • Prix Chateaubriand (France), l99l
  • National Book Critics Circle Award, 1996
  • Chevalier, Légion d’Honneur (France), 1999
  • Gutenberg Prize of the International Gutenberg Society and the City of Mainz, Germany, 2004
  • Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Printing History Association, 2005
  • Prix France-Amériques, 2011
  • Newberry Library Award, 2011
  • National Humanities Medal for 2011 conferred by President Obama
  • Prix Mondial Cino del Duca awarded by the Institut de France, 2013

Honorary Doctorates

  • Université de Neuchâtel l986
  • Lafayette College l989,
  • University of Bristol l99l
  • University of Warwick 2001
  • University of Bordeaux 2005
  • University of Versailles, Yvelines-Saint Quentin 2006
  • University of Paris IV-Sorbonne 2006
  • University of St Andrews 2010
  • Colgate University 2012
  • Yale University 2012
  • University of Buenos Aires 2014

Books, Principal Works

  • Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., l968. Translations into German, French, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, and Chinese
  • The Business of Enlightenment: A Publishing History of the Encyclopédie, l775–l800, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., l979. Translations into French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese
  • The Literary Underground of the Old Regime, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., l982. Translations into Swedish, German, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Korean. A somewhat different work was published in French as Bohème littéraire et revolution. Le monde des livres au XVIIIe siècle, Gallimard and Le Seuil, Paris, l983. An expanded edition by Gallimard, Paris, 2010
  • The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History, Basic Books, New York, l984; Translations into French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Japanese, Hungarian, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Lithuanian, Hebrew, Turkish, and Polish
  • The Kiss of Lamourette: Reflections in Cultural History, W. W. Norton, New York, l989. Translations into German, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese
  • Edition et sédition. L'univers de la littérature clandestine au XVIIIe siècle, Gallimard, Paris, l99l. Translations into German, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese
  • Berlin Journal, l989–l990, W. W. Norton, New York, l99l. Translations into German, Dutch, French, Italian
  • Gens de lettres, gens du livre, Editions Odile Jacob, Paris, l992
  • The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Prerevolutionary France, W. W. Norton, New York, 1995. Translations into Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Japanese, German, Spanish, and Chinese
  • The Corpus of Clandestine Literature in France, 1769–1789, W. W. Norton, New York, 1995
  • J.-P. Brissot, His Career and Correspondence (1779–1787), Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, 2001 (an electronic book available only on the Web.)
  • George Washington's False Teeth. An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century, W. W. Norton, New York, 2003. Translations into German, Portuguese, Estonian, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew
  • The Case for Books, Past, Present, and Future, Public Affairs, New York, 2009. Translations into French, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and, Arabic
  • The Devil in the Holy Water or the Art of Slander in France from Louis XIV to Napoleon, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2010. Translation into French and others pending
  • Poetry and the Police: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2010. Several translations pending
  • Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature, W.W. Norton, New York, 2014.  Translations into French, Spanish, Italian, German, and others pending.

Books: Co-edited Works

  • Revolution in Print: the Press in France l775–l800, (co-edited with Daniel Roche) The University of California Press, Berkeley, l989. Translation into Portuguese
  • Démocratie, (co-edited with Olivier Duhamel and based on a television series we jointly produced), Editions du Rocher, Paris, 1998
  • Le Rayonnement d’une maison d’édition dans l’Europe des Lumières: la Société typographique de Neuchâtel 1769–1789, (co-directed with Michel Schlup), Editions Gilles Attinger, Neuchâtel, 2005
  • The Bohemians. A Novel. Anne Gédéon Lafitte, Marquis de Pelleport, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2010. French edition as La Bohème littéraire. Les Bohémiens. Marquis de Pelleport (Paris, Mercure de France, 2010). Dutch edition as A.G.L. de Pelleport. De Bohemiens. Met een inleiding van Robert Darnton, Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, 2006

Books: Special Editions and Works Not Available in English

  • Drei Vorschläge, Rousseau zu lesen(essays by Ernst Cassirer, Jean Starobinski, and Robert Darnton), Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1989. Translations into Italian and Spanish
  • The Darnton Debate. Books and Revolution in The Eighteenth Century, Haydn Mason, ed., Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, 1998
  • Luz y contraluz de une historia antropologica, Editorial Biblos, Buenos Aires, 1995
  • Denkende Wollust, Eichborn Verlag, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1996
  • Poesie und Polizei. Öffentliche Meinung und Kommunikationsnetzwerke im Paris des 18 Jahrhunderts, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt-am-Main, 2002
  • Pour les Lumières. Défense, illustration, méthode, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2002
  • El coloquio de los lectores. Ensayos sobre autores, manuscritos, editores y lectoresFonda de Cultura Económica, Mexico City, 2003
  • Die Wissenschaft des Raubdrucks. Ein zentrales Element im Verlagswesen des 18. Jahrhunderts, Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung, Munich, 2003


Démocratie, a series of 26 half-hour telecasts co-written and co-hosted with Olivier Duhamel for French educational television (La Cinquième-Arte), 1998

Articles and Review Articles

excluding book reviews, translations sometimes listed separately

"Marat n'a pas été un voleur: une lettre inédite," Annales historiques de la Révolution française, no. 185 (1966), pp. 447–450

"The Grub Street Style of Revolution: J.-P. Brissot, Police Spy," The Journal of Modern History vol. 40 (1968), pp. 301–327

"Le lieutenant de police J.C.P. Lenoir, la Guerre des Farines, et l'approvisionnement de Paris à la veille de la Révolution," Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine vol. 16 (1969), pp. 611–624

"The Memoirs of Lenoir, Lieutenant de Police of Paris, 1774–1785," The English Historical Review, vol. 85 (1970), pp. 532–559

"Une lettre inédite de Turgot," Annales historiques de la Revolution française, no. 202 (1970), pp. 657–661

"Les papiers du marquis de Sade et la prise de la Bastille," Annales historiques de la Révolution française, no. 202 (1970), p. 666

"Reading, Writing, and Publishing in Eighteenth-Century France: A Case Study in the Sociology of Literature," Daedalus (winter, 1971), pp. 214–256; reprinted in Historical Studies Today, Felix Gilbert and Stephen Graubard, eds. (New York, 1972)

"In Search of the Enlightenment: Recent Attempts to Create a Social History of Ideas," The Journal of Modern History, vol. 43 (1971), pp. 113–132

"The High Enlightenment and the Low-Life of Literature in Prerevolutionary France," Past and Present, no. 51 (1971), pp. 81–115; reprinted as the first of the annual prize essays awarded by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, vol. 3 (1973), pp. 83–124

"French History: The Case of the Wandering Eye," The New York Review of Books, April 5, 1973, pp. 25–30. An expanded version of this article appeared in French in Minuit, April 25, 1973

"Death's Checkered Past" and "Giving New Life to Death," The New York Review of Books, June 13, 1974, pp. 11–13 and June 27, 1974, pp. 30–32

"Franz Anton Mesmer," The Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1975)

"Le livre français à la fin de l'Ancien Régime," Annales: économies, sociétés, civilisations, no. 3 (May–June, 1973), pp. 735–744

"The Encyclopédie Wars of Prerevolutionary France," The American Historical Review, vol. 78 (December, 1973), pp. 1331–1352; reprinted as the annual prize essay in Studies in EighteenthCentury Culturein 1975

"Writing News and Telling Stories," Daedalus (spring, 1975), pp. 175–194

"Poverty and Revolution in France, 1750–1850," The New York Review of Books, September, 1975, pp. 17–22

"Un commerce de livres `sous le manteau' en province à la fin de l'Ancien Régime," Revue française d'histoire du livre, vol. 6 (August, 1975), pp. 5–29; reprinted in Roland Mortier and Hervé Hasquin, eds., Etudes sur le XVIIIe siècle (Brussels, 1976), pp. 39–56

"Trade in the Taboo: The Life of a Clandestine Bookdealer in Provincial France," the Rosenbach Lectures, University of Pennsylvania, published in Paul J. Korshin, ed., The Widening Circle: Essays on the Circulation of Literature in Eighteenth-Century Europe (Philadelphia, 1976), pp. 11–83

"The Life of a `Poor Devil' in the Republic of Letters," Essays on the Age of Enlightenment in Honor of Ira O. Wade, Jean Macary, ed. (Geneva and Paris, 1977), pp. 39–92

"The History of mentalités: Recent writings on revolution, criminality, and death in France," Structure, Consciousness, and History, Richard H. Brown and Stanford M. Lyman, eds. (Cambridge, England, 1978), pp. 106–136

"The World of the Underground Booksellers in the Old Regime," Vom Ancien Regime zur Französischen Revolution. Forschungen und Perspektiven, Ernest Hinrichs, Eberhard Schmitt, and Rudolf Vierhaus, eds. (Göttingen, 1978), pp. 439–479

"The Rise of the Writer," The New York Review of Books, May 31, 1979, pp. 26–29

"L'Atelier de Panckoucke en l'An II," in Revue française d'histoire du livre, new series, no. 23 (April–June, 1979), pp. 359–370

"Intellectual and Cultural History," in Michael Kammen, ed., The Past Before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States (Ithaca, NY, 1980), 327–354

"What's New About the Old Regime?" The New York Review of Books, April 3, 1980, pp. 28–30

"Hunting for Humanity," The New York Review of Books, May 15, 1980, pp. 3–4

"Poland Rewrites History," The New York Review of Books, July 16, 1981, pp. 6–10

"A Bibliographical Imbroglio: Hidden Editions of the Encyclopédie," in Jean-Daniel Candaux and Bernard Lescaze, eds., Cinq Siècles d'imprimerie genevoise (Geneva, 1981), II, 71–101

"Neue Aspekte zur Geschichte der Encyclopédie," in Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Rolf Reichardt, and Thomas Schleich, eds., Sozialgeschichte der Aufklärung in Frankreich (Munich, 1981), II, 34–65

"Eighteenth-Century French Collections," Acquisitions Newsletter, National Library of Australia, no. 46 (October, 1980), 35–38

"Work and Culture in an Eighteenth-Century Printing Shop," Quarterly Journal, Library of Congress (winter, 1982)

"The Art of Dying," The New York Review of Books, May 13, 1982, pp. 8–12

"What Is the History of Books?" Daedalus, (summer, 1982), pp. 65–83. Reprinted in Kenneth Carpenter, ed., Books and Society in History (New York and London, 1983), pp. 3–26 and in several other works.

De Betekenis van moeder de Gans, Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam, 1984 (the annual Huizinga Lecture at the University of Leyden)

"A Survival Strategy for Academic Authors," The American Scholar vol. 52 (1983), pp. 533–537

"Policing Writers in Paris circa 1750," Representations, no. 5 (spring, 1984), pp. 1–31. A somewhat different version appeared in French: "Dossiers secrets sur les écrivains des Lumières," L'Histoire, no. 64 (February, 1984), pp. 64–71

"The Origins of Modern Reading," The New Republic, no. 3,606 (February 27, 1984), pp. 26–32

"The Meaning of Mother Goose," The New York Review of Books, February 2, 1984, pp. 41–47

"Danton and Double-Entendre," The New York Review of Books, February 16, 1984, pp. 19–24

"Working-Class Casanova," The New York Review of Books, June 28, 1984, pp. 32–37

"The Great Cat Massacre, 1730," History Today, vol. 34 (August, 1984), pp. 7–15. (another version of an essay published earlier.)

"Sounding the Literary Market in Prerevolutionary France," Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 17 (summer, 1984), pp. 477–492

"Lesen im vorrevolutionären Frankreich," Neue Rundschau, vol. 95 (1984), pp. 187–198

"Le livre prohibé aux frontières: Neuchâtel," Histoire de l'édition française: Tome II: Le livre triomphant (1660–1830), (Paris, 1984), Roger Chartier and Henri-Jean Martin, eds., pp. 342–359

The Epistemological Strategy of the Encyclopédie," in Bernhard Fabian and Paul Raabe, eds., Gelehrte Bücher vonHumanismus bis zur Gegenwart(Wiesbaden, 1983), pp. 119–134

"La Ilustración y los 'bajos fondos' de la literatura de la Francia prerrevolucionaria," Revista de Occidente, no. 41 (October, 1984), pp. 7–46 (a translation of a previously published article)

"Endpapers," Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 11, 1984, p. 15

"Les Contes de la mère L'Oye," Lettre Internationale, no. 2 (autumn, 1984), pp. 72–77

"Revolution sans Revolutionaries," The New York Review of Books, January 31, 1985, pp. 21–23

"La lecture rousseauiste et un lecteur 'ordinaire' au XVIIIe siècle," in Roger Chartier, ed., Pratiques de la lecture, Marseille and Paris, Editions Rivages, 1985, pp. 125–155

"Scholarship and Readership: New Directions in the History of the Book," in Books and Prints, Past and Future (New York, 1984), pp. 33–51

"The Social Life of Rousseau: Anthropology and the Loss of Innocence," Harper's Magazine, July, 1985, pp. 69–73.

"Dialogue à Propos de l'histoire culturelle," (with Pierre Bourdieu and Roger Chartier)Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, no. 59 (September, 1985), pp. 86–93

"Rousseau und sein Leser," Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, Vol. XV (1985), pp. 111–146

"First Steps Toward a History of Reading," Australian Journal of French Studies, vol. 23 (1986), pp. 5–30

"Geschäfte der Aufklärung," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 18, 1986, pp. 33–34

"The Symbolic Element in History," The Journal of Modern History, vol. 58 (March, 1986), pp. 218–234

"Pop Foucaultism," The New York Review of Books, October 9, 1986, pp. 15–16

"The Forgotten Middlemen of Literature," The New Republic, September 15–22, 1986, pp. 44–50

"Les Encyclopédistes et la police," Recherches sur Diderot et sur l'Encyclopédie, no l (October, 1986), pp. 94–109

"Robert Shackleton and a Vanishing Species of Dons," The American Oxonian vol. 54 (1987), pp. 90–93

"L'Anthropologie ou la perte de l'innocence," Lettre internationale, no. 10 (1986), pp. 36–38

"Le marché littéraire français vu de Neuchâtel (1769–1789), in Jacques Rychner and Michel Schlup, eds., Aspects du livre neuchâtelois (Neuchâtel, 1986), pp. 59–75

"Literary History and the Library," Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol. 48 (winter, 1987), pp. 145–153

"Un Colporteur sous l'Ancien Régime," in Martine Poulain and Françoise Serre, eds., Censures:de la bible aux larmes d'éros (Paris, 1987), pp. 130–139

"The Facts of Literary Life in Eighteenth-Century France," in Keith Baker, ed., The Political Culture of the Old Regime (Oxford, 1987), pp. 261–291

"Histoire du livre-Geschichte des Buchwesens: An Agenda for Comparative History," Publishing History no. 22 (1987), pp. 33–41

"L'Encyclopédie, an Eighteenth-Century Best-Seller," The Courier (July, 1988), pp. 28–31

"A Star Is Born," The New York Review of Books, October 27, 1988, pp. 84–88

"Livres philosophiques," in Giles Barber, ed., Enlightenment Essays in Memory of Robert Shackleton, The Voltaire Foundation (Oxford, 1988), pp. 89–107

"The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Scholars," ASECS News Circular, no. 70 (fall, 1988), p. 3

"What Was Revolutionary About the French Revolution?" The New York Review of Books, January 19, 1989, pp. 3–10

"An Open Letter to a TV Producer: Liberty, Equality, Absurdity," The New Republic (April 3, 1989), pp. 29–32

"Rousseau in Gesellschaft. Anthropologie und der Verlust der Unschuld," in Ernst Cassirer, Jean Starobinski, and Robert Darnton, Drei Vorschläge Rousseau zu lesen (Frankfurt au Main, 1989: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag), pp 104–114, also in Italian as Tre letture di Rousseau (Editore Laterza, Rome, 1994)

"El beso de la fraternidad," La Gageta del fondo de cultura económica (June, 1989), pp. 20–27, translation of a previously published article

"Ideology on the Bourse," in Michel Vovelle, ed., L'Image de la Révolution française (Paris and Oxford, 1989, Pergamon Press), pp. 124–139

"Five Theses on Cultural Transmission," Intellectual History Newsletter, vol. 11 (June, 1989), pp. 3–4

"Toward a History of Reading," The Wilson Quarterly, vol. XIII, Autumn, 1989, pp. 87–102

"Was war revolutionär an der Französischen Revolution?" Neue Rundschau, No. 3, 1989, pp. 5–22

"Ecrit sur le mur," Le Courrier de l'UNESCO, June, 1990, pp. 12–17

“What Was Revolutionary About the French Revolution?” The Eleventh Charles Edmondson Historical Lectures (Waco, Texas; Baylor University Press), 51 pp.

"Aus der Sicht des Zensors. Von der Uberwachung der Literatur," Lettre Internationale, number 10 (autumn, 1990), pp. 6–9

"Don Juanism from Below" in Jonathan Miller, ed., Don Giovanni. Myths of Seduction and Betrayal (New York, 1990), pp. 20–35

"Ein Zusammenbruch geborgter Legitimität. Die deutsche Revolution 1989 entsprach nicht den Handbüchern und Wünschen der intellektuellen," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 7, 1990, p. 3, reprinted in The German Tribune, November 25, 1990, pp. 5–7

"The Fall of the House of Art," The New Republic, May 6, 1991, pp. 27–33

"The Good Old Days," The New York Review of Books, May 16, 1991, pp. 44–48

"The Forbidden Books of Pre-revolutionary France," Colin Lucas, ed., Rewriting the French Revolution, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991, pp. 1–32. Also as "Die verbotenen Bestseller in vorrevolutionären Frankreich," Leipziger Jahrbuch zur Buchgeschichte I (1991), pp. 117–138

"The Brissot Dossier," French Historical Studies, vol. 17 (spring, 1991), pp. 191–205

"Adventures of a Germanophobe," The Wilson Quarterly, vol. 15 (summer, 1991), 113–119

"Runes of the New Revolutions," The Times Higher Education Supplement, September 6, 1991, pp. 16–17

"An Enlightened Revolution?" The New York Review of Books, October 24, 1991, pp. 33–36

"O significado cultural da censura: a França de 1789 e a Alemanha oriental de 1989," Revista Brasileira de Ciências sociais, No. 18 (February, 1992), pp. 5–17

"Introduction," "Les métamorphoses de l'Encyclopédie," in Recherches sur Diderot et sur l'Encyclopédie (April, 1992), pp. 21–23

"Reading a Riot," The New York Review of Books, October 22, 1992, pp. 44–46

"Die Republik des Geistes mit Blick nach Osten" in Martin Meyer, ed., Intellektuellendämmerung: Beiträge zur neuesten Zeit des Geistes, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, 1992, pp. 226–248

"The Literary Revolution of 1789," Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, vol. 21 (1991), pp. 3–26

"Reviving the Republic of Letters," Transactions of the Eighth International Congress on the Enlightenment (Oxford, 1993), pp. 3–16

"La France, ton café fout le camp!" De l'histoire du livre à l'histoire de la communication," Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, no. 100 (December, 1993), pp. 16–26

"Freed Between the Lines," The Times Higher Education Supplement, February 18, 1994, pp. 16–17

"Last der Geschichte," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 16, 1994, p. 63

"Book History, the State of Play" in Sharp News vol. III (summer, 1994), pp. 2–4

"The Life Cycle of a Book: A Publishing History of d'Holbach's Système de la nature," in Carol Armbruster, ed., Publishing and Readership in Revolutionary France and America. (Westport, 1993), pp. 15–43

"Seven Bad Reasons Not to Study Manuscripts," Harvard Library Bulletin vol. IV, No. 4 (Winter, 1993–94), pp. 37–42

"Sex for Thought," The New York Review of Books, December 22, 1994, pp. 65–74

"Robespierre—der Osten," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 12, 1994, p. 27

"Censorship, A Comparative View: France, 1789–East Germany, 1989" in Olwen Hufton, ed., Historical Change and Human Rights. The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 1994, Basic Books, New York, pp. 101–130

"Sex ist gut fürs Denken! Vom emanzipatorischen Potentialen der Pornographie," Lettre international, no. 28 (March, 1995), pp. 54–59

"Histoire du livre—Geschichte des Buchwesens: An Agenda for Comparative History" in Hans Erich Bödeker, ed., Histoire du livre, nouvelles orientations (Paris, 1995), 451–458. Also reprinted in Studia Culturologica, III (1994), pp. 187–192 (actually published in 1995)

"An Exemplary Literary Career" in Jeffrey Merrick and Dorothy Medlin, eds., André Morellet (1727–1819) in the Republic of Letters and the French Revolution (New York, 1995), pp. 5–26

"A Philosophe Confronts the Terror" in Ibid., pp. 27–38

"Informo, dunque diffamo. Quando la stampa distorce la realtà," in Etruria Oggi, no. 38 (April, 1995), pp. 24–26

"Cherchez la femme" in The New York Review of Books, August 10, 1995, pp. 22–24

El libelo politico," Nexos, no. 212 (August, 1995), pp. 37–45

"Diffusion vs. Discourse: Conceptual Shifts in Intellectual History and the Historiography of the French Revolution," in Carlos Barros, ed., Historia a debate (Santiago de Compostela, 1995), III, pp. 179–192

"The Pursuit of Happiness," The Wilson Quarterly (autumn, 1995), pp. 42–52

"In der Medienfalle. Eine kleine Geschichte des Unflats," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Oct. 11, 1995, p. 5

"Fraternity: A Heretical View," Odysseus (Moscow, 1994), pp. 232–238 (actually published in 1995)

"How To Read a Book," The New York Review of Books, June 6, 1996, pp. 52–57

"Nouvelles Pistes en histoire du livre," Revue française d'histoire du livre, no. 90–91 (1996), pp. 172–180

"Zur Bewegung geschrumpft. Was ist Aufklärung? Eine Antwort im Zeitalter der Inflationen," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Oct. 2, 1996, pp. 6

“George Washington’s False Teeth,” The New York Review of Books, March 27, 1997, pp. 34–38

“Du Libertinage aux Lumières,” La Lettre clandestine, no. 5 (1996), pp. 157–160.

“Free Spirit,” The New York Review of Books, June 26, 1997, pp. 9–11

“Shifting Symbolic Scenery in Berlin,” Andre Burguière, Joseph Goy, and Marie-Jeanne Tits-Dieuaide, eds., L’Histoire Grande Ouverte: Hommages à Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie (Paris, 1997), pp. 133–138

“Best-Sellers and Gossip-Mongers in Eighteenth-Century France,” UNESCO Courier, June 1997, pp. 14–18

“Fraternidade ou os periogs da história ethnográfica,” Folha de S. Paulo, June 6, 1997, pp. 9–10

“Condorcet and the Craze for America in France,” in Franklin and Condorcet, Two Portraits from the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, 1997), pp. 27–39

“La Ilustración en el cadalso” in Crónica dominical, May 18, 1997, pp. 1–5

“Stratégies financières d’une maison d’édition au XVIIIe siècle,” Frédéric Barbier et al., eds., Le Livre et l’historien. Etudes offertes en l’honneur du Professeur Henri-Jean Martin (Paris and Geneva, 1997), pp. 519–526

Note: The list of publications from 1998 is missing.

"What American Century?" European Review, vol. 7 (1999), pp. 455–459

“The Real Marquis” The New York Review of Books, January 14, 1999, pp. 19–24

“The East-West Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies” in Michel Delon and Jochen Schlobach, eds., La Recherche dix-huitiémiste Objets, méthodes et institutions (1945–1995) (Paris, 1998), pp. 179–227

“George Washington’s False Teeth: A Civic Sermon,” Ibid, pp. 149–165, (a reprint of an article published earlier)

“The New Age of the Book,” The New York Review of Books, March 18, 1999, pp. 5–7

“Lost and Found in Cyberspace,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 12, 1999, pp. 134–135

“New Life in e-books” (reprint of NYRB article), The Times Higher Education Supplement, March 5, 1999, p. 10

“Le Nouvel Age du livre” in Le Debat, no. 105 (May–August, 1999), pp. 176–184, (reprint of NYRB article)

“Poetry and the Police in Eighteenth-Century Paris,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, vol. 371 (Oxford, 1999), pp. 1–22

“Das amerikanische Jahrhundert,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25 Sept. 1999, p. III

"An Early Information Society: News and the Media in Eighteenth-Century Paris," The American Historical Review vol. 105, no. 1 (February 2000), pp. 1–35. A much expanded electronic version of this essay, my presidential address to the American Historical Association, was published online at Reprinted in Portuguese in Varia historia, July 2001, pp. 9–51

"Seeing and Hearing in the Age of Watteau," published online by The American Federation of Arts at

“Philosophical Sex," Pornography in Old Regime France," in Mark S. Micale and Robert L. Dietle, eds., Enlightenment, Passion, Modernity. Historical Essays in European Thought and Culture (Stanford, 2000), pp. 88–110

"Looking the Devil in the Face," The New York Review of Books, February 10, 2000, pp. 14–16

"Public Opinion and Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris," in Peter-Eckhard Knabe, ed., Opinion (Berlin, 2000), pp. 149–230

"Libraries: A Backward Look into Their Future," Biblion: The Bulletin of the New York Public Library, vol. 8, no. 2 (spring, 2000), pp. 3–10

"Extraordinary Commonplaces," The New York Review of Books, Dec. 21, 2000, pp. 82–87

"Robert Darnton" in Maria Lúcia Garcia Pallares-Burke, ed., As muitas faces da história (São Paolo, 2000), pp. 233–268

“Préface” in Roland Mortier, Les Combats des Lumières (Ferney-Voltaire, 2000), pp. xxv–xxxi

"Epistemological Angst: From Encyclopedism to Advertising," Tore Frängsmyr, ed., The Structure of Knowledge: Classifications of Science and Learning Since the Renaissance (Berkeley, 2001), pp. 53–75

"Books in the British Raj: The Contradictions of Liberal Imperialism," in Stephan Fussel, ed., Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 2001 (Mainz, 2001), pp. 36–59. Another version appeared as "Literary Surveillance in the British Raj: The Contradictions of Liberal Imperialism," Book History, vol. 4 (2001), pp. 133–176

“Un-British Activities,” The New York Review of Books, April 12, 2001, pp. 84–88

“The Great Book Massacre,” The New York Review of Books, April 26, 2001, pp. 16–19

"Kleine Geschichte der Encyclopédie," in Anette Selg and Rainer Wieland, eds., Die Welt der Encyclopédie (Eichborn, Frankfurt-am-Main, 2001), pp. 454–464

"A Euro State of Mind," The New York Review of Books, Feb. 28, 2002, pp. 30–32. A somewhat different version appeared in German as "Das Glück der Gemeinschaft," Der Spiegel, Jan. 7, 2002, pp. 148–159, reprinted in Stefan Aust and Michael Schmidt-Klingenberg, eds., Experiment Europa. Ein Kontinent Macht Geschichte (Stuttgart and Munich, 2003), pp. 125–143; in Portuguese as "Fronteiras imagininárias," in Folha da Sao Paulo, July 21, 2002, pp. 4–9; and in Spanish in Lettra internacional, no. 75 (2002), pp. 4–9

"J.-P. Brissot and the Société typographique de Neuchâtel (1779–1787)", Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century (2001), pp. 5–47

"Robert Darnton" in Maria Lúcia G. Pallares-Burke, The New History (Polity, Cambridge, 2002), pp. 158–183

"La Société typographique et les batailles autour de l'Encyclopédie" in L'Edition neuchâteloise au siècle des Lumières: La Société typographique de Neuchâtel (Neuchâtel, 2002), pp. 114–129

"La Société typographique de Neuchâtel et la librairie française," ibid., pp. 210–231

"Book Production in British India, 1850–1900," Book History, vol. 5 (2002), 239–262

"How Historians Play God," Raritan: A Quarterly Review, vol. 22, no. 1 (summer 2002), pp. 1–19. Reprinted in European Review, vol. 11, no. 3 (2003), pp. 267–280 and in History of Historiography, no. 49 (2006), pp. 3–15

A short article on electronic publishing in Izvestia, published in early January, copy not yet received

"The Heresies of Bibliography," The New York Review of Books, May 29, 2003, pp. 43–45

"History, Anthropology and Journalism," in Sergueï Karp, ed., Etre dix-huitiémiste (Ferney-Voltaire, 2003), pp. 259–277

"I Like Contradictions," Zeitenblicke, no. 2 (2003)

"Entrevista," in Topoi. Revista de Historia, Rio de Janeiro, Sept. 2002, pp. 389–397

"Wielka rzez kotów," in Konteksty. Antropologia kultury, Etnografia Sztuka (Warsaw, 2003), pp. 83–97

"The Science of Piracy: A Crucial Ingredient in Eighteenth-Century Publishing," Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century vol. 12 (2003), pp. 3–29. Reprinted in French as “La Science de la contrefaçon,” Revue Voltaire, no. 4 (2004), pp. 253–270

"Mlle Bonafon et La Vie privée de Louis XV," Dix-huitième siècle, no. 35 (2003), pp. 369–391

"It Happened One Night," The New York Review of Books, June 24, 2004, pp. 60–64. Portuguese version in Folha de S. Paulo. Mais!, June 13, 2004, pp. 9–12; Spanish version in Varia historia, vol. 21 (July, 2005), pp. 290–304

"Eine anstrengende Tour," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 7, 2004, p. 3

"All the News That's Fit to Sing," Smithsonian, vol. 35 (October, 2004), pp. 110–119

"Vies privées et affaires publiques sous l'Ancien Régime," Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, no. 154, pp. 24–35

"Il Faut Savoir Compter," French Historical Studies, vol. 27 (fall, 2004), pp. 725–731

"Mlle Bonafon and the Private Life of Louis XV: Communication Circuits in Eighteenth-Century France," Representations (summer, 2004), pp. 102–124. (This is a much revised version of an article originally written in French for Dix-Huitième siècle and published in 2003.) An enlarged version came out as a booklet in Spanish: Mademoiselle Bonafon y la vida privada de Luis XV: Circuitos de communicación en la Francia del siglo XVIII, Cuadernos de la Facultad de Letras y Ciencias Humanas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, no. 25 (March, 2005), 55 pp. Also reprinted in Marie-Christine Skuncke, ed., Media and Political Culture in the Eighteenth Century (Stockholm, 2005), pp. 21–54; in Monika Estermann, Ernst Fischer, and Ute Schneider, eds., Buchkulturen: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Literaturvermittlung (Wiesdbaden, 2005), pp. 189–210; and in Grands Articles. Sélections des meilleurs articles publiés par les revues françaises et internationales, no. 1 (fall, 2005), pp. 66–77

“A cultura do boca a boca,” Folha de S. Paulo, Feb. 6, 2005, p. 4

“Discourse and Diffusion,” Contributions to the History of Concepts, vol. I, no. 1 (March 2005), pp. 21–28

“Old Books and E-Books. The Gutenberg Prize Acceptance Speech of 2004,” Gutenberg-Jahrbuch (Mainz, 2005), pp. 17–20

“Préface,” “La Science de la contrefaçon,” and “Entre l’éditeur et le libraire: les étapes des ventes,” in Robert Darnton and Michel Schlup, eds., Le Rayonnement d’une maison d’édition dans l’Europe des Lumières: la Société typographique de Neuchâtel 1769–1789 (Editions Gilles Attinger, Neuchâtel, 2005), pp. 7–15, 88–113, and 343–374. “La Science de la contrefaçon” also appeared in Revue Voltaire, no. 4 (2004), pp. 253–270 and as “A ciência da piratoaria: um ingrediente crucial na edição do século XVIII,” in In si(s) tu. Revista de cultura urbana, March 2005, pp. 126–157

“Collecting and Researching in the History of Books,” Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol. 67, no. 1 (autumn, 2005), pp. 49–55

Preface to François Moureau, La plume et le plomb. Espaces de l’imprimé et du manuscrit au siècle des Lumières (Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2006)

Bohemians Before Bohemianism, KB Lecture, 2006, published as a pamphlet by The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (Wassenaar, 2006), 51 pp

“On Clifford Geertz: Field Notes from the Classroom,” The New York Review of Books, January 11, 2007, pp. 32–33

“Gamla böcker och e-böcker. Tal vid mottagandet av Gutenberg-priset 2004,“ Biblis, no. 36 (winter, 2006–2007), pp. 2–9

“Old Books and E-Books,” European Review (2007), vol. 15, 165–170

“Anthropology, History, and Clifford Geertz,” Historically Speaking (March–April, 2007), vol. 8, 33–34

“Why Study the History of Books?” Princeton University Library Chronicle (spring, 2007), vol. 67, 673–680

Foreword to Thierry Rigogne, Between State and Market: Printing and Bookselling in Eighteenth-Century France (Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, 2007), xv–xvii

“Hvad er Boghistorie?” Passage 57 (summer 2007), 7–28

“ “What Is the History of Books?” Revisited,” Modern Intellectual History (2007), vol. 4, 495–508

“The Devil in the Holy Water: Political Libel in Eighteenth-Century France,” Proceedings of the British Academy (2007), vol. 151, 387–422

“Finding a Lost Prince of Bohemia,” The New York Review of Books, April 3, 2008, 44–48

“The Library in the New Age,” The New York Review of Books, June 12, 2008, pp. 72–80

“Google and the Future of Books, The New York Review of Books, Feb. 12, 2009, pp. 9–11

“On the Ropes?” Publishers Weekly, Sept. 14, 2009

“Reading, Now and Then,” The Huffington Post, Oct. 5, 2009

“Google and the New Digital Future,” The New York Review of Books, Dec. 17, 2009, pp. 82–84

“Blogging, Now and Then,” NYRBlog, March 18, 2010

“The Grub Street Project. A Cautionary Tale,” The Shape of Things To Come, Jerome McGann, ed. (Rice University Press, Houston, Texas), 59–63

“La numérisation, Google et l’avenir des bibliothèques,” Revue de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, no. 35 (2010), pp. 61–65

“Talking About Brazil with Lilia Schwarcz,” NYRBlog, August 17, 2010

“A Republic of Letters,” The New York Times Book Review August 22, 2010, p. 15

“Can We Create a National Digital Library?” The New York Review of Books, October 28, 2010, p. 4

“How Google Can Save America’s Books,” NYRBlog, November 23, 2010

“The Library: Three Jeremiads,” The New York Review of Books, December 23, 2010, pp. 22–26

“Les petites gens de la littérature,” La Bastille, ou “l’enfer des vivants” à travers les archives de la Bastille, Elise Dutray-Lecoin and Danielle Muzerelle, eds. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, 2010), pp. 102–111

“Singing in the Streets of 18th-Century Paris,” The Guardian, December 4, 2010, p. 16

“A Republic of Letters,” The New York Times Book Review, August 22, 2010, pp. 15–16

“Hat Robespierre je gelacht?” Die Zeit, February 17, 2011, p. 47

“1789–2011,” NYRBlog, February 22, 2011

“Préface”, Dictionnaire des vies privées (1722–1842), eds. Olivier Ferret, Anne-Marie Mercier-Faivre, and Chantal Thomas (Oxford, 2011), pp. xv–xvii

“The Voices of Librarians and the Digital Public Library,” Library Journal, online edition, March 22, 2011 and print edition, April 15, 2011, p. 12

“Six Reasons Google Books Failed,” NYRBlog, March 28, 2011

“The Devil in the Details,” H-France Forum, vol. 5, issue 4 (Fall, 2010, online)

“Google’s Loss: The Public’s Gain,” The New York Review of Books, April 28, 2011, pp. 10–12

“5 Myths of the ‘Information Age’”, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 22, 2011, pp. B9–B10

“The Wolf Man’s Revenge,” The New York Review of Books, June 9, 2011, pp. 39–41

“The History of Books and the Digital Future,” (The American Trust for the British Library, New York, 2010; a separately published pamphlet)

“The Old Girl Network,” Raritan, summer 2011, vol.31, pp.156–175

“Jefferson’s Taper: A National Digital Library,” The New York Review of Books, November 24, 2011, pp. 23–25

“Anecdotes, fragments, bribes, blogs: “l’information aux XVIIIe siècle,” Histoire et civilization du livre (Librairie Droz, Geneva, 2011) pp. 347–353

“In Defense of the New York Public Library,” New York Review of Books, June 7, 2012, pp. 12–14

“In Defense of the New York Public Library: An Exchange,” The New York Review of Books, July 12, 2012, pp. 67-68.

“La chandelle de Jefferson.  Une bibliothèque numérique nationale” (a French version of an earlier article in English) and “Pour une solution internationale” (a new essay in French) in Le Débat, no. 170 (May-August 2012), pp. 112-119 and 130-132.

“Con la biblioteca digitale rinasce l’illuminismo,” (a translation of an earlier article) in Ranieri Polese, ed., Fare libri.  Come cambia il mestiere dell’editore (Parma, 2012), pp. 161-168.

“Outlook: the world of books”, Investir la culture.  Actes du Forum d’Avignon.  Culture, économie, médias (Paris, 2012), pp. 525-535.

“The New York Public Library: The Turning Point,” The New York Review of Books, Oct. 25, 2012, p. 70.

“Chasing Paper,” The New York Review of Books, Dec. 6, 2012, pp. 33-36.

“Enjoy the Unavoidable Suffering,” The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 18, 2012,

“The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe, 1769-1794” (review essay), Reviews in History (December, 2012) at

“La Politique en musique: Paris, 1749,” Les Histoires de Paris (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle) (Paris, 2013), Thierry Belleguic and Laurent Turcot, eds., 19-28.

“Digitize, Democratize: Libraries and the Future of Books,” The Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, 36 (Fall, 2012), 1-20.

“L’information en miettes,” Protocoles éditoriaux.  Qu’est-ce que publier? (Paris, 2013), Olivier Bomsel, ed., pp. 97-109.

“The National Digital Public Library of America Is Launched!”, The New York Review of Books, April 25, 2013, pp. 4-6.

“Préface,” Jacques Rychner, Jacques-Barthélemy Spineux (1738-1806) Prote de la Société typographique de Neuchâtel.  De Liège à Carouge en passant par Paris, Neuchâtel et La Neuveville (Neuchâtel, 2013), pp. 11-15.

“Blogging, Now and Then (250 Years Ago)”, European Romantic Review, 24:3 (2013), 255-270.

“The Good Way to Do History,” The New York Review of Books, Jan. 9, 2014, pp. 52-55.

“Milton, Locke, and Net Neutrality,” The Chronicle Review.  The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 60, no. 41 (July 18, 2014), B2.

“First Steps Toward a History of Reading,” Australian Journal of French Studies, vol. 51 (2014), 152-177 (a reprint with a new preface).

““L’historien est une sorte de détective”  Entretien exclusif avec Robert Darnton”, Orages, no. 14 (March, 2015), 238-250.

“How to Become a Celebrity,” The New York Review of Books, May 21, 2015, 8-10.