Robert Darnton is the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and University librarian, emeritus, at Harvard University. After a brief stint as a reporter for the New York Times, he became a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard. He taught at Princeton from 1968 until 2007, when he came to Harvard.
At Radcliffe, Darnton is working on part of a two-volume work on publishing and the book trade. It shows how publishers and booksellers actually operated and what books actually reached readers in France from 1769 to 1789.
Darnton earned an AB at Harvard University and a BPhil and PhD at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has written and edited many books, the latest of which are The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future (PublicAffairs, 2009), The Devil in the Holy Water, or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), Poetry and the Police: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Belknap Press, 2010), and Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature (W. W. Norton, 2014). He has served as a trustee of the New York Public Library and the Oxford University Press and as president of the American Historical Association and the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Among his honors are election to the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Book Critics Circle Award, a National Humanities Medal, and the Institut de France’s Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.