DR. Jacob S. Soll
______Department of Philosophy 3450 Vista Haven Road
University of Southern California Sherman Oaks, CA Los Angeles, CA 90089-0034 91403 USA (213) 740-4084 (267) 496-1005
University Professor (February, 2018), University of Southern California
Professor (July, 2012), Departments of Philosophy, History, and Accounting
University of Southern California, Dornsife College and Leventhal School of Accounting
Professor (July, 2010), Department of History, Rutgers University, Camden, from September, 1999. The Graduate Faculty, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2006.
Fernand Braudel Visiting Professor, European University Institute, Fiesole, Italy, 2007
Lecturer, Department of History, Princeton University, 1997-99
Ph.D. Cambridge University, Early Modern European History, October, 1998
D.É.A. École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, October, 1993
B.A. History, French minor, Honors and Distinction, University of Iowa, 1991
The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations
(Basic Books, 2014). More than 60,000 copies sold worldwide. Reviewed around the world by the major press, WSJ, Financial Times, Prospect, The Literary Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, etc. plus positive reviews in papers in the UK, China, India, New Zealand, Australia, Holland, Italy; NPR, BBC, and other radio interviews and related articles in the NYT, Boston Globe, Slate, Bloomberg, Barons, Fortune etc. Foreign editions: Penguin, UK (Hardcover and 2nd paperback edition); Lua de Papel, Portugal; Leya, Brazil; CITIC, China; Korea; Taiwan; Greece, Diplographica. The Japanese translation, published by Bungei Shunju, has sold more than 40,000 copies since April 2015, and was positively reviewed by every major Japanese, Tiawanese and Korean daily. The Taiwanese edition is also a bestseller, while the Greek edition has received significant coverage.
The Information Master: Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s Secret State Intelligence System
(Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009; paperback 2nd edition, 2011).
Publishing The Prince: History, Reading, and the Birth of Political Criticism 1513-1789
(Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005; ; paperback 2nd edition 2009).
Winner of the American Philosophical Society Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History.
Books in Progress
Free Market: The History of a Dream (Under contract, Basic Books, in progress)
The Enlightenment Library and the Quest for Universal Knowledge (Under
Contract, Yale University Press, in progress).
Jean-Baptiste Colbert: Economic Writings (Commissioned Contract, Anthem Press, in
Paula Findlen, Jacob Soll and Corey Tazzara, eds., Florence After the Medici: Tuscan
Enlightenment, 1737-1790 (New York: Routledge, 2019)
The Republic of Letters between Renaissance and Enlightenment, Editor, special
issue of e-journal, Republics of Letters, published by Stanford University:
The Uses of Historical Evidence in Early Modern Europe, Special Issue of the
Journal of the History of Ideas 64 (2003), editor.
• “To the History of the Book and Back Again: Bibliography, Sociology and the
Historiography of Knowledge,”forthcoming, Journal of Interdiscplinary
• “Jean Baptiste Colbert: Accounting and the Genesis of a State Archive in Early
Modern France,”Proceedings of the British Society 212(2018).
• “From Virtue to Surplus: Jacques Necker’s Compte Rendu (1781) and the
Origins of Modern Political Discourse,”Representations 134 (2016), pp. 29-63.
• “The Reception of The Prince, Or Why We Understand Machiavelli the Way we
Do,”Social Research. An International Quarterly, 1 (2014), pp. 31-60.
• “From Note-Taking to Data Banks: Personal and Institutional Information
Management in Early Modern Europe,”20: 3 (2010), Intellectual History
Review, pp. 355-75.
• “Accounting for Government: Holland and the Rise of Political Economy in
Seventeenth Century Europe,”The Journal of Interdisciplinary History,
XL: 2 (Autumn, 2009), pp. 215-238.
• “The Cultural Origins of the Think Tank in Early Modern France: From the
Dupuy Academy to Colbert’s Policy Library,”in German, “Die kulturellen
Ursprünge des Think Tanks im Frankreich der Frühen Neuzeit: Von der
Akademie der Brüder Dupuy zu Colberts staatspolitischer Bibliothek,”
Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte, 3 (2009), pp. 44-60.
• “Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s Republic of Letters,”Republics of Letters, on-line
e-Journal, Stanford University, 1(2009),
• “How to Manage an Information State: Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s Letters to His
Son,”in Ann Blair and Jennifer Milligan, eds, “Toward a Cultural History
of Archives, special issue of Archival Science, vol. 7, 4 (2007), pp. 331-342.
• “J. G. A. Pocock and the Republic of History: Tacitus, Machiavelli and John
Adams in the Atlantic Tradition,”Shiso (Special Issue in Honor of J. G. A
Pocock in Japanese, February, 2008), pp. 82-107. Revised English version in
Republics of Letters 2,1 (2010): URL:
• “The Antiquary and the Information State: Colbert’s Archives, Secret Histories and the
Affaire of the Régale 1663-1682,” French Historical Studies 31 (2008), pp. 3-28.
•“The Uses of Historical Evidence in Early Modern Europe”
Journal of the History of Ideas, 64 (2003), pp. 149-57.
•“Empirical History and the Transformation of Political Criticism in France
from Bodin to Bayle”
Journal of the History of Ideas, 64 (2003), pp. 297-316.
• “Healing the Body Politic: French Royal Doctors, History and the Birth of a
Nation 1560-1634”Renaissance Quarterly 55 (2002), pp. 1259-1286.
• “Amelot de La Houssaye (1634-1706) Annotates Tacitus”
Journal of the History of Ideas 2 (2000) pp. 167-187.
(Winner of the Forkosch Prize)
•“Amelot de La Houssaye and the Tacitean Tradition in France”
Translation and Literature 6 (1997) pp. 186-202.
• “The Hand-Annotated Copy of the Histoire du gouvernement de Venise, or How
Amelot de La Houssaye Wrote his History,” Bulletin du Bibliophile 2 (1995) pp. 279-293.
Book Chapters and Conference Proceedings
• “Accounting, Information and Politics in Early Modern Europe,”forthcoming in
Blair, Goering and Grafton, eds. A History of Information in Early Modern
• “The Encyclopedic Prince: Grand Duke Peter Leopold (1747-1792) and the
Meaning of Tuscan Enlightenment,”in Findlen, Soll, and Tazzara, 2019
• “The Grafton Method, or the Science of Tradition,”in Ann Blair and Anja-Silvia
Goeing, eds., For the Sake of Learning: Essays in Honor of Anthony Grafton, 2
vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 2, pp. 1019-1032.
• “Intellectual History and the History of the Book,”in Richard Whatmore and
Brian Young, eds. A Companion to Intellectual History, (Chichester: John Wiley
And Sons/Blackwell, 2016), pp. 72-82.
• “Accounting and Accountability in Dutch Civic Life,”in Margaret Jacob and
Catherine Secretan, eds., In Praise of Ordinary People: Early Modern Britain
Andthe Dutch Republic (London: Palgrave, 2014)
• “Introduction: Translating The Prince by Many Hands,”to Roberto Del Pol, ed.,
The First Translations of The Prince (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010), pp. 9-14.
• “A Lipsian Legacy? Neo-Absolutism, Natural Law and the Decline of Reason of
State in France 1660-1760,”in Erik de Bom, Marijke Janssens, Jan Papy, and
Toon Van Houdt, eds., Unmasking the Realities of Power: Justus Lipsius and
the Dynamics of Political Writing in Early Modern Europe (Leiden: Brill, 2010),
• “Louis XIV and the Golden Notebooks: Reason of State, Political Economy, and
the Rise of Royal Information Culture, forthcoming, in Jean-Pau Rubiès and
Filippo di Vivo, eds., Exploring Cultural History: Essays in Honour of Peter
Burke (London: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 151-68.
• “Machiavelli, Justus Lipsius, and the Idea of Civic Prudence: Tracing the
European Fortunes of The Prince 1513-1700,”in Artemio Enzo Baldini, ed.,
Machiavellismo e machiavellismi nella tradizione politica eurpea (secoli XVI
XIX). Una prima ricognizione. Atti del Convegno internazionale di Torino, 8-9
settembre 2005 (Florence: Olschki, 2011).
• “Jean-Baptiste Colberts geheimes Staatsinformationssystem und die Krise der
bürgerlichen Gelehrsamkeit in Frankreich 1600-1750,”in Arndt Brendecke,
Markus Friedrich and Susanne Friedrich, eds., “Information in der Frühen
Neuzeit. Status, Bestände, Strategien,”Pluralisierung & Autorität (Münster:
LIT Verlag, 2008), pp. 359-74.
•“Entre bibliothèquaire et agent d’information: Baluze au service de Jean
Baptiste Colbert,”in Jean Boutier, ed., Étienne Baluze(1630-1718):Érudition
et politique dans l’Europe classique (Limoges: Presses Universitaires de
Limoges, 2008), pp. 79-91.
• “Crashed”(Review), The New Republic, 2018
• “How Islam Shaped the Enlightenment”(Review), The New Republic, 2018
• “The Zookeeper’s Wife”(Review), The New Republic, 2017
• “The Long and Brutal History of Fake News,”Politico, 2016
• “Accountants Must Rebrand Themselves,”Leading editorial for Economia, 2016
the UK’s most important accounting publication
• Five articles for Politico, Summer and Fall 2015
•“Germany’s Destructive Anger,”New York Times Op-Ed, July 15, 2015
•“Greece’s Accounting Problem,”New York Times Op-Ed, Jan 20, 2015
•“The Culture of Criticism: What We Owe the Enlightenment,”The New
Republic, May 24, 2015 (more than 2,000 social media shares)
•“Trees in a Forest of Knoweldge: From Page to Pixel in Manuel Lima’s
The Book of Trees,”Perspectives, October, 2014
•“The Vanished Grandeur of Accounting: Once, Bookkepers Were Valorized in Art.
Sound Funny? The Joke Might Be On Us,”Boston Globe, Op-Ed, June 8, 2014
•“No Accounting Skills, No Moral Reckoning,”New York Times Op-Ed
April 27, 2014
•“The Economic Logic of the Humanities,”Chronicle of Higher Education
Feb. 24, 2014
•“For The Love of Old Paper,”Chronicle of Higher Education, September 23, 2013
•“Why the World Should Learn to Love Good Accountants,”
Think Magazine (The Qatar Foundation), July 18, 2013
•“Colbertism Failed in France: Will it Succed in China?”
The Boston Globe, July 14, 2013
•“Someone Tell the Vatican: Monarchy and Banks Don’t Mix”
The Boston Globe, June 9, 2013
•“I Would Prefer Not To: What Paperwork Means to Modern Life,”
The New Republic, January 10, 2013
•“AccountedFor:The OriginsofModern Finance,”The New Republic,Oct 17,2012
•“History as Fantasy,”The New Republic, March 29, 2012
•“Note This,”The New Republic, August 25, 2011
•“Hawking History,”Book Forum, Dec. 2009
•“Avoidance by the Numbers,” New York Times Sunday Op-Ed Page, Nov 21, 2009
Other Essays and Review Articles
•“Bibliotheques et lecteurs dans l’Euope moderne,”(review)Journal of Modern
History, 90 (2018), pp. 671-673.
•“Status Interaction During the Reign of Louis XIV,”(review),
Journal of Modern History, 88, 4 (2017), pp. 35-6.
•“Invisible Hands,”(review), Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2 (2016), pp,
•“Brokers of Public Trust: Notaries in Early Modern Rome,”(Review), 2010
American Historical Review, (2011), pp. 237-8.
•“Dissimulation and the Culture of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe,”(Review),
H-France 10 (2010), pp. pp. 616-19.
•“Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought,”(Review), 2009
Journal of Modern History 81 (2009), pp. 639-40.
•“Une histoire de l’identité,”(Review) H-France, January, 2009:
• “Cultural Translation in Early Modern Europe,”(Review)
AmericanHistorical Review, 113 (2008), pp. 893-4.
• “Juan de Mariana and Early Modern Spanish Political Thought,”(Review)
Renaissance Quarterly, 61 (2008), p. 172.
•“Le parlement de Paris ou la voix de la raison (1559-1589),”(Review)
American Historical Review, 3 (2006), pp. 909-10.
• “Justus Lipsius (1547-1606)”
Dictionary of Early Modern History (New York: Scribners, 2003), pp. 513-514.
• “Historians and Ideologues: Essays in Honor of Donald Kelley”(Review)
Journal of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas, 8 (2003),
• “A Culture of Fact”(Review)
Eighteenth-Century Thought, 1 (2003), pp. 379-82.
Renaissance Quarterly 55 (2003), pp. 1417-18.
• “The Social History of Skepticism”(Review)
Journal of Interdisciplinary History2 (2000) pp. 280-1.
• “The Dutch Revolt and the French Wars of Religion”(Review)
Sixteenth Century Journal (2000).
• “The Nature of the Book”(Review)
The Library Quarterly 69 (1999), pp. 367-9.
• "The First Princeton Conference on the History of the Book"
Bulletin du Bibliophile 2 (1997) pp. 222-226.
• "The Making of the Wren Library" (Review)
Bulletin du Bibliophile 2 (1996) pp. 410-412.
Awards and Honors
•Visiting Fellow, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Invited.
•Visiting Fellow, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, 2018
•National Endowment for the Humanities, Public Scholar Grant, 2017 (accepted
•MacArthur Foundation Fellow, 2011-2016
•Visiting Scholar, Trinity College, Cambridge University, 2009
•John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, 2009-10
•Fernand Braudel Visiting Professor, European University Institute, Florence,
• Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, American Philosophical Society, 2005
•Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2005-2006
• Franklin Grant, American Philosophical Society, 2004
• Selma V. Forkosch Prize for the Best Article Published in the Journal of the
History of Ideas in the Year 2000
• Rutgers University Research Council Grant, 2000-1
• Fellow, Rutgers University Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary
•Luso-American Foundation Research Fellowship, Summer, 1998
• Magdalene College Research Scholarship, Summer, 1998
• Magdalene College Leslie Wilson Research Scholarship, Summer, 1997
• Magdalene College Research Award, Easter Term, 1997
• Cambridge Historical Society Research Grant, Easter Term, 1997
• Royal Historical Society Research Grant, Lent Term, 1996
• Prince Consort and Thirlwall Fund Grant, Easter Term, 1996
•Bibliographical Society Research Grant, Easter Term, 1996
• Overseas Research Scholarship, 1995 (3-year tuition fellowship)
• Cambridge Overseas Trust Bursary, 1995 (3-year tuition fellowship)
• Rotary Club Study Abroad Fellowship, 1991
• Phi Beta Kappa University of Iowa, 1991
• Member of the Leo Gershoy Book Prize Committee, AHA, 2018-
•Advised for State Visit to California and to USC of Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro
•Boardmember, Kazarian Foundation for Public Financial Management
• Co-organizer with Bob Shrum, “Migration and the Modern State,”a
conference at USC with speakers including former British Prime Minister,
…. Gordon Brown and the European Commission High Commissioner for Refugees,
…..Dimitris Avramopoulos, March, 2018
•Organizer, Visit and Speech of Dr. Pedro Sánchez, Secretary General of the Spanish
Socialist Party, January, 2018
• Advisor to the Prime Minister of Greece and Greek government on financial reform
and debt relief, 2017
• Participant in two events decicated to Greek edition of my book by the Greek
government involving senior representatives of all the Greek political parties and
USC President Max Nikias
• Advised Portuguese Government on economic reform
• Organizer, international conference at the USC Martens Economic History
Forum/EMSI, Jan de Vries’First Modern Economy Thesis Revisited, 2017
• Book manuscript reviewer Harvard University Press; University of Chicago Press
• 2016 Organizer of the“USC Global Leadership Summit: Government Financial
Transparency and Accountability, & the European Economic Crisis: Paths to
Invited ministerial representatives of all the major stakeholders (IMF, ECB, EU,
German Government, and Greek Politial Parties in the Greek Debt Crisis with
more the $700,000 of outside funding to USC from the Kazarian Foundation and
unprecedetned cross disciplinary support between Dornsife College, the Martens
Economic Forum/EMSI and the Leventhal School of Accounting, 2016
• 2015 Co-Organizer of Florence after the Medici, EMSI Conference, 2015
• 2015 Organizer as Director of Martens Economic Forum, Accounting and
Accountability in Early Modern Britain
• 2015 Helped obtain $500,000 endowment to found the USC Dornsife/EMSI
Martens Economic Forum, of which I am the director
• 2012 Program Committee Chair, American Historical Association
• Editorial Board, French Historical Studies
• Grant Committee, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2008
• Referee, European Research Council 2008-2013.
• Program Committee Member, Society for French Historical Studies, Annual
Meeting, Rutgers University, March, 2008
• Co-Founder and Associate Editor, Republic of Letters, a journal founded at
Stanford University in Collaboration with Professor Dan Edelstein, 2007.
• Co-Organizer, “The Republic of Letters: Between Renaissance and
Enlightenment,”Conference at Stanford University, Nov 30-Dec 1, 2007
• Co-Organizer, “Machiavellismo e Machiavellismi nella tradizione politica
occidentale (secoli XVI-XX): Progetto di una Rete di ricerca et di dibattito in
presenza e su Internet (2007-2013), Fondazione Luigi Firpo, Turin, Italy.
• Co-Editor and Founder, Book Series: “Cultures of Knowledge in Early Modern
Europe,”University of Michigan Press
• Associate Member, Groupe Interdisciplinaire de l’Histoire du Littéraire, EHESS,
• Member, Research Group on Reason of State, Università degli studi di Napoli Federic II
• Referee, MacArthur Foundation, 2002
• Article Referee, American Historical Review, Journal of the History of Ideas; Book
History, French Historical Studies,Renaissance Quarterly. Bulletin du Bibliophile,
William and Mary Quarterly
• Book Referee, Harvard University Press, University of Chicago Press, University
of Michigan Press, University of Pennsylvania Press
University Administrative, Departmental and Campus Service
• Organized President’s Distinguished Lecture by Pedro Sánchez, Prime
Minister of Spain
• USC Tenure and Promotions Committee, 2018-19
• USC New Student Commencement Faculty Speaker, 2018
• Leventhal School of Accounting, Trustee Meeting Keynote, November 3, 2017
• Faculty Speaker for the official opening of University Village, with President
Nikias and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti October 3, 2017
• Helped host and led public discussion with Prime Minister David Camermon of
the UK, USC President’s Distinguished Lecture Series, Feb. 2, 2017
• USC Student Commencement Faculty Speaker, 2017
• USC Department of History, Van Hunnick Chair in Modern European History
Search Chair, 2017
• USC New Student Commencement Faculty Speaker, 2016
• USC Department of History, Graduate Studies Committee Member, 2015-
• USC Department of History Graduate Studies Committee
• USC Dornsife College Dean Search Committee, 2015-16
• USC Provost Search Committee, 2014-15
• Founding Director of USC Martens Economic Forum ($500,000 Donation)
• Department of History, Hubbard Chair Search Committee Member, 2014-15
• Department of History, Executive Committee
Full Professor Representative, 2014-15
• USC New Student Commencement Faculty Speaker, 2014(twice)
• University Tenure and Promotions Committee, 2014-15
• USC Visions and Voices Speaker, 2014
• USC Trustee Retreat Speaker, 2014
• USC Trojan League Speaker, 2014
• USC Trojan Family Day Speaker, October, 2013
• USC Provostial Libraries Review Committee Member, 2013
• General Education Revision Committee, Sub-Committee Member (Quantitave
• Chair, Executive Committee, History Department, 2013-14
• Chair,Reading, Search Committee, History Department, 2012-13
• Member, Graduate Committee, 2012-13
• Member, Reading, Search Committee, History Department, 2012
• Faculty Senate, Academic Standing Committee, Academic Policy
Committee, Full Professor Promotions Committee, Served on Four Job Search Committees, Promotion Committee Member, Tenure Committee
General Academic Service
Tenure and Promotion Referee: UCLA, 2012 UC Berkeley, 2013, UC Irvine, 2013,
Michigan State, 2014, Yashiva University, 2015; Princeton University, 2015;
Harvard University, 2015; UC Santa Barbara, 2015; Berkeley, 2015; UCLA, 2016;
Berkeley, 2016; University of Michigan, 2016; MIT, 2018; Yale, 2018.
French: native proficiency; Italian: speaking and reading; Portuguese: speaking and reading; Spanish: basic comprehension, can speak with a bad Portuguese accent, and read; German: basic reading; Latin: basic reading with dictionary.