Yale University

From the 2017 Award for Scholarly Distinction citation in the 2018 Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony booklet

John M. Merriman is the Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale University, where he is an internationally recognized specialist in the history of modern France. Originally from Oregon, Merriman earned his BA, MA, and PhD from the University of Michigan, the latter under the direction of Charles Tilly. Professor Merriman has published numerous major books, ranging from The Agony of the Republic: The Repression of the Left in Revolutionary France, 1848–1851 (1978) to The Stones of Balazuc: A French Village through Time (2002) and Dynamite Club: How a Bomb in Fin-de-Siècle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror (2009 and 2015) to Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune (2014). Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits: The Crime Spree that Gripped Belle Époque Paris is just out this year. He has also edited and co- edited many books, including 1830 in France (1975), Consciousness and Class Experience in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1979), and Scribner’s Encyclopedia of Modern Europe, 1789 to 1914 and Since 1914 (both 2006, with Jay Winter). He has also written the very influential and highly regarded textbook A History of Modern Europe since the Renaissance (2 vols., 1996, third ed. 2009). Professor Merriman’s books have been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese.

As his many publications make clear, John Merriman is one of the leading historians of modern France and modern Europe working in the United States. His books are distinguished by an exceptional familiarity with the archives as well as beautiful writing and thoughtful argumentation. His scholarly work has had a major impact on his field and been very influential both in America and abroad. He has been recognized with numerous professional awards, including Yale’s Harwood F. Byrnes/Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize in 2000, a Docteur Honoris Causa in France in 2002, and Poland’s Medal of Meritorious Service to Polish Education in 2009.

John Merriman passed away May 22, 2022.