2005 Jacques Barzun Prize
2005 award presented in April 2007
The American Philosophical Society's Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History is awarded to Jacob Soll for his book, Publishing The Prince: History, Reading, and the Birth of Political Criticism, published by University of Michigan Press in 2005. It is a superb example of contemporary book history, printing history and influence. In this book Jacob Soll follows the typographical fortunes and receptions of the French translation of Machiavelli's The Prince and its various and changing meanings into the Enlightenment. In the course of his researches, especially on erudite textual criticism, he makes valuable contributions both to the history of reading as a social and political practice and as a modern medium of subversive as well as absolutist political thought.
Jacob Soll received his Diplôme d'Études Approfondies from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in 1993. He began his doctoral research in Paris, but eventually moved to Magdalene College, Cambridge University, where he finished his Ph.D. in 1998. In 1997, while completing his doctorate, he began lecturing in the history department at Princeton University. He moved to Rutgers University in 1999, where he is currently an associate professor of history.
The Barzun Prize selection committee consisted of chairman Donald R. Kelley, James Westfall Thompson Professor of History Emeritus at Rutgers University, Glen W. Bowersock, Professor of Ancient History at the Institute for Advanced Study, and Michael Wood, Charles Barnwell Straut Professor of English at Princeton University.