Monday, December 21, 2015

David A. Bell

David A. Bell is the Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the Department of History at Princeton. Born in New York and educated at Harvard, Princeton and the École Normale Supérieure, he previously taught at Yale and Johns Hopkins, where he also served as Dean of Faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of three prize-winning books, most recently The First Total War (2007).

Bell's new book is Napoleon: A Concise Biography.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
For work, I’m currently reading sources on the Haitian Revolution, including Marcus Rainsford’s fascinating early history of the events. Rainsford was a British army officer who spent considerable time in Haiti during the Revolution, and came to know and admire Toussaint Louverture.

As I’ve spent the past few years trying to learn Russian, I’m also working my way through Leo Tolstoy’s fascinating short Sebastopol Sketches, which were based on his experience in the besieged town during the Crimean War of the 1850’s. Many of the observations of battle he made in these early stories were later reworked (at considerably greater length) in War and Peace.

Finally, for pure relaxation I usually fall back on detective stories. I recently came across Michael Connelly’s terrific Harry Bosch series, and have been zooming through them at the rate of one a week or so.
Visit David A. Bell's Princeton University webpage.

Learn more about Napoleon: A Concise Biography at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 69 Test: The First Total War.

--Marshal Zeringue