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John Merriman

john merriman.jpg

Radical Ideas

Imagine living in a time when writing and publishing an encyclopedia was a revolutionary idea. Imagine living in a time when it was considered dangerous to educate the public.

Equality, tolerance, and belief in reason are foundations of The Enlightenment. Historian John Merriman explains the significance of the period and shows how counter-revolutionaries nearly stripped us of those important ideals.

Wednesday, April 14th

7:30 pm — 8:30 pm 


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. When he's not listening to The Rolling Stones, 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.

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