Teaches modern French history. Four of his books have appeared in French, including Aux marges de la ville: faubourgs et banlieues en France, 1815-1871 (Éditions du Seuil); Mémoires de pierres: Balazuc, un village ardéchois (Tallandier); Limoges, la ville rouge (Belin, 1990); and a study of the short life of the anarchist Émile Henry, Dynamite Club, l’invention du terrorisme à Paris (Tallandier). His most recent book “Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune,” was published by Basic Books in New York and Yale University Press in London. He has been awarded a Doctorat Honoris Causa in France.
His other books include The Agony of the Republic: The Repression of the Left in Revolutionary France, 1848-51; Police Stories: Building the French State; and A History of Modern Europe Since the Renaissance, now in its third edition. He has also edited various collections of essays and co-edited The Encyclopedia of Europe, 1789 to the present.
He has been awarded a Doctorat Honoris Causa in France. At Yale he was awarded the Harwood F. Byrnes/Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize.