Books by Robert Darnton

Released: Feb. 2, 2018

"Thoughtful and well-researched, but nonscholars would be satisfied with an essay-length treatment of this esoteric moment in publishing history."
A journey into the peculiar, nearly lawless world of bookselling in France circa 1778. Read full book review >
CENSORS AT WORK by Robert Darnton
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 22, 2014

"In the current climate of debate over national surveillance, Darnton's vibrant history takes on particular relevance."
Darnton (History/Harvard Univ.; The Case for Books, 2009, etc.) takes an ethnographic approach in this deeply researched comparative history, examining how censorship functioned in three authoritarian regimes: 18th-century monarchal France; 19th-century India under the British Raj; and 20th-century East Germany. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 27, 2009

"Of much interest to anyone with a stake in the developing Google settlement, as well as for fans of books about books."
Harvard University Library director Darnton (George Washington's False Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century, 2003, etc.) offers measured essays on books, libraries and publishing. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 1, 2003

"Sharp perspectives, adroit observations, vivid historical consciousness. (17 illustrations)"
An irresistible tour of 18th-century oddities and overviews. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: March 1, 1995

"A fascinating, if peculiar, study of the flip side of Enlightenment France's Great Books, though the broader implications are just out of this volume's reach. (Photos, maps, not seen)"
Continuing his expert exploration of 18th-century French publishing and reading, Darnton (Berlin Journal, 1991, etc.) takes on the salacious, seditious, and sociological natures of the potboilers banned and in high demand during the reign of Louis XV. Read full book review >
BERLIN JOURNAL by Robert Darnton
NON-FICTION
Released: June 3, 1991

"Lacking cohesion, this reads frequently like an afterthought, with the additional flaw of placing the historian in conflict with the journalist."
Spending a year in Germany to write another monograph on the 18th century, Darnton (The Kiss of Lamourette, 1989, etc.; European History/Princeton) encountered history in the raw: the fall of the Berlin Wall and the movement toward German unification. Read full book review >