Charles Seymour Professor of History
Fields of interest:
Modern France; Urban & social history; Modern European history since the Renaissance
John Merriman, who received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, teaches, researches, and teaches French and Modern European history. In 2018, he received the American Historical Association award for career “Distinguished Scholarship.” He was awarded Yale’s Harwood F. Byrnes/Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize in 2000 and Yale’s de Vane Medal for distinguished undergraduate teaching and scholarship in 2019. He holds an honorary degree awarded in France in 2003 and in 2009 received the “Medal of Meritorious Service to Polish Education” (Medal Kimisji Edukacji Narodowej) from the Ministry of Education of Poland. He has directed (or in a few cases co-directed) 32 doctoral dissertations at Yale. He has been visiting professor at the Université-Lumière, Lyon 2, the Université de Rouen, the Sorbonne, and the École des Hautes-Études.
John Merriman’s books include Dynamite Club: How A Café Bombing Ignited the Age of Modern Terror was published by Houghton-Mifflin in 2009, by JR Books in London, and in French translation by Tallandier as Dynamite Club: L’Invention du Terrorisme à Paris, and in Chinese translation, as well. Yale University Press published a second edition in 2016, with a new preface discussing several of the recent terrorist attacks in France and the United States. He recently published Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits: The Crime Spree that Gripped Belle Époque Paris (Nation Books, 2017). Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune appeared with Basic Books in New York in 2014 and by Yale University Press in Great Britain. It has been translated into Portuguese in Brazil and in Dutch, Spanish, and Chinese. In 2019 the University of Nebraska Press published a collection of his essays: History on the Margins: People and Places in the Evolution of Modern France.
Merriman’s other books include The Agony of the Republic: The Repression of the Left in Revolutionary France, 1848-1851 (1978); The Red City: Limoges and the French Nineteenth Century (1985), published in French as Limoges, la Ville Rouge (1990); The Margins of City Life: Explorations on the French Urban Frontier(1991), French edition, Aux marges de la ville; faubourgs et banlieues en France 1815-1870 (1994); and The Stones of Balazuc: A French Village in Time (2002, was published in Chinese translation in 2015), in French as Mêmoires de pierres: Balazuc, village ardéchois (Paris, 2005), and in Dutch; and Police Stories: Making the French State, 1815-1851 (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Merriman’s A History of Modern Europe since the Renaissance, 2 vols., appeared in its fourth edition in 2019 (1996; second edition 2002, and third edition 2009, translated into Chinese.
John Merriman’s edited books include 1830 in France (1975); Consciousness and Class Experience in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1979); French Cities in the Nineteenth Century (1981); For Want of a Horse: Chance and Humor in History (1985); Edo and Paris: Urban Life and the State in Early Modern Europe (with James McClain and Ugawa Kaoru, 1994); and co-edited (and contributed to), with Jay Winter: The Encyclopedia of Europe, 1789-1914 and The Encyclopedia of Europe, 1914-2006, (each 5 volumes, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006). His entries in the latter include “The French Suburban Riots, 2005” and “The Rolling Stones.”