Patrice Higonnet is Robert Walton Goelet Research Professor of French History at Harvard and retired in 2015. He has in the past published on many historical themes ranging from seventeenth- and twenty-first-century art, eighteenth-century diplomacy, nineteenth-century French deputies, American nationalism, French immigrants to America, French rural life, and the Vichy years (1940–1944). Higonnet’s book Class, Ideology, and the Rights of Nobles (1981) is a study of Jacobin politics during the French Revolution. Sister Republics (1988) compares the French and American revolutions. Goodness Beyond Virtue: Jacobins in the French Revolution (1998) considers the genesis and evolution of Jacobinism during the French revolution. His Paris: Capital of the World (2002) described the history and myths of the French capital from 1750–1940. His Attendant Cruelties: Nation and Nationalism American History appeared in 2007. In the last few years he has returned to an examination of the French Revolution. His "micro-storia" biography of Marie Antoinette’s architect Richard Mique, who designed her toy farm at Versailles and was executed in 1794 with his son and his republican son-in-law, was published last spring. Three essays (in Past and Present, 2006; in the Revue Historique, 2010; and in the forthcoming Festschrift for E. Leroy-Ladurie) form an outline of a new book (The Dreams and Sleep of Reason) on the origins and nature of Jacobin Terrorism, a word coined in 1794. His review essay entitled “Robespierre” appeared in the July issue of Foreign Affairs.
Robert Walton Goelet Research Professor of French History, Harvard University