John M. Merriman

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John Mustard Merriman (born 1946) is a Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale University.[1] He is the author of many books including his most well known A History of Modern Europe since the Renaissance (1996 & 2002), a popular survey text for undergraduate history classes at many American universities and colleges. Merriman was born and raised in Oregon where he attended a Jesuit all-boys high-school, although he does not consider himself religious.[2] His favorite music is The Rolling Stones, "[I’ve] never written a thing without a record on."[3] Merriman formed many of his current political views during the volatile Vietnam years; he still describes himself as "virulently anti-establishment".[3] His recent books include The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in the Fin-De-Siecle Paris Ignited The Age of Modern Terror (2009) about the French Anarchist Emile Henry (1872-1894), and Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune (2014) focusing on the Paris Commune of 1871, particularly on "The Bloody Week".

He received his Ph.D. and B.A. at the University of Michigan. Merriman teaches French and Modern European history and first began teaching at Yale in the mid-1970s where he still resides.[3] He was the seventh master of Branford College (1983-1991). He lives part of each year with his family in France.[2]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2000 Yale University Harwood F. Byrnes/Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize
  • 2002 Docteur Honoris Causa in France
  • 2009 “Medal of Meritorious Service to Polish Education” (Medal Kimisji Edukacji Narodowej) awarded by the Ministry of Education of Poland

Published works[edit]


  • 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)
  • The Margins of City Life: Explorations on the French Urban Frontier (1991)
  • A History of Modern Europe since the Renaissance, 2 vols. (1996 and second edition 2002)
  • The Stones of Balazuc: A French Village in Time (2002), available in French as Mêmoires de pierres: Balazuc, village ardechois (Paris, 2005).
  • Police Stories: Making the French State, 1815-1851 (Oxford UP, 2006)
  • The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in the Fin-De-Siecle Paris Ignited The Age of Modern Terror (2009)
  • Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune (2014)

Edited books

  • 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)
  • The Story of Mankind (with Hendrik Willem Van Loon, first published 1921, updated by Merriman in 1999)
  • The Encyclopedia of Europe, 1789-1914 and The Encyclopedia of Europe, 1914-2006, (each 5 volumes, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006, co-edit (and contributed to) with Jay Winter)



  1. ^ John Merriman, Yale faculty page.
  2. ^ a b HIST 276: France Since 1871 (Fall, 2007), at Open Yale Courses. Merriman peppers his course lectures with biographical details.
  3. ^ a b c "Listening to Music with... John Merriman", Nick Vinocur, Yale Daily News, October 27, 2006

External links[edit]