Jacob Soll

Professor of History and Accounting

Contact Information
E-mail: soll@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-1657
Office: SOS 153

Curriculum Vitae


  • B.A. History and French, University of Iowa, 1991
  • M.A.S , École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 1993
  • Ph.D. , Magdalene College, Cambridge University, 1998

  • Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    My work examines the origins of modern politics and the modern state by looking at essential elements often overlooked by political historians. My first book, Publishing The Prince examined how editors and publishers transformed Machiavelli's classic work The Prince, making it into a radical work. A second book, The Information Master looks at how Louis XIV's famous minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert used libraries, accounting, classical scholars and scientists to make an information network to build a modern state. New work continues down these avenues. Current book projects include a cultural history of accounting and politics and a history of the role of libraries and information technology in the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries.


    • Soll, J. S. (2011). The Information Master: Jean-Baptiste Colberts Secret State Intelligence System. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
    • Soll, J. S. (2009). Publishing The Prince: History, Reading, and the Birth of Political Criticism 1513-1789. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

    Book Chapter
    • Soll, J. S. (2008). 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. pp. 359-74. Münster: LIT Verlag.
    • Soll, J. S. (2008). Entre bibliothèquaire et agent dinformation: Baluze au service de Jean Baptiste Colbert," in Jean Boutier, ed., Étienne Baluze (1630-1718): Érudition et politique dans lEurope classique. pp. 79-91. Universitaires de Limoges: Limoges: Presses.

    Conference Proceeding
    • Soll, J. S., Hands, M., Pol, R. D. (2010). Introduction: Translating The Prince. Amsterdam: Rodopi. The First Translations of The Prince.
    • Soll, J. S. (2010). 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.
    • Soll, J. S. (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.

    • Soll, J. S. (2011). The Future is Here: Digital Methods in Researching and Teaching History,"(editorial). Perspectives.
    • Soll, J. S. (1997). The First Princeton Conference on the History of the Book. pp. 222-226. Bulletin du Bibliophile.

    Journal Article
    • Soll, J. S. (2012). History as Fantasy. The New Republic. URL
    • Soll, J. S. (2011). Note This. The New Republic. URL
    • Soll, J. S. (2010). From Note-Taking to Data Banks: Personal and Institutional Information Management in Early Modern Europe. Intellectual History Review. Vol. 20: 3, pp. 355-75.
    • Soll, J. S. (2010). J. G. A. Pocock and the Republic of History: Tacitus, Machiavelli and John Adams in the Atlantic Tradition. Republics of Letters. Vol. 2,1, pp. 82-107. URL
    • Soll, J. S. (2009). Avoidance by the Numbers. The New York Times. URL
    • Soll, J. S. (2009). Accounting for Government: Holland and the Rise of Political Economy in Seventeenth Century Europe. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Vol. XL: 2, pp. 215-238.
    • Soll, J. S. (2009). The Cultural Origins of the Think Tank in Early Modern France: From the Dupuy Academy to Colberts Policy Library. Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte. Vol. 3, pp. 44-60.
    • Soll, J. S. (2009). Jean-Baptiste Colberts Republic of Letters. Republics of Letters, Stanford University. Vol. 1 URL
    • Soll, J. S. (2008). The Antiquary and the Information State: Colberts Archives, Secret Histories and the Affaire of the Régale 1663-1682. French Historical Studies. Vol. 31, pp. 3-28.
    • Soll, J. S. (2007). How to Manage an Information State: Jean-Baptiste Colberts Letters to His Son," in Ann Blair and Jennifer Milligan. Archival Science. Vol. 7, 4, pp. 331-342.
    • Soll, J. S. (2003). The Uses of Historical Evidence in Early Modern Europe. Journal of the History of Ideas. Vol. 64, pp. 149-57.
    • Soll, J. S. (2003). Empirical History and the Transformation of Political Criticism in France from Bodin to Bayle. Journal of the History of Ideas. Vol. 64, pp. 297-316.
    • Soll, J. S. (2002). Healing the Body Politic: French Royal Doctors, History and the Birth of a Nation 1560-1634. Renaissance Quarterly. Vol. 55, pp. 1259-1286.
    • Soll, J. S. (2000). Amelot de La Houssaye (1634-1706) Annotates Tacitus. Journal of the History of Ideas. Vol. 2, pp. 167-187.
    • Soll, J. S. (1997). Amelot de La Houssaye and the Tacitean Tradition in France". Translation and Literature. Vol. 6, pp. 186-202.
    • Soll, J. S. (1995). The Hand-Annotated Copy of the Histoire du gouvernement de Venise, or How Amelot de La Houssaye Wrote his History". Bulletin du Bibliophile. Vol. 2, pp. 279-293.

    Honors and Awards

    • MacArthur Fellow, MacArthur Fellowship, 2012  
    • Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, 2009-2010   
    • Visiting Scholar, Trinity College, Cambridge University, 2009  
    • Fernand Braudel Visiting Professor, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 2007  
    • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Recipient, Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2005-2006   
    • American Philosphical Society, Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, American Philosophical Society,, 2005  
    • American Philosphical Society, 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 , 2000-2001   
    • Luso-American Foundation Research Fellowship, Summer, 5/15/1998-8/15/1998  
    • Magdalene College Research Scholarship, 5/15/1998-8/15/1998  
    • Magdalene College Leslie Wilson Research Scholarship, 5/15/1997-8/15/1997  
    • Cambridge Historical Society Research Grant, 3/1997-4/1997  
    • Magdalene College Research Award, 3/1997-4/1997  
    • Bibliographical Society Research Grant, 3/1996-4/1996  
    • Prince Consort and Thirlwall Fund Grant, 3/1996-4/1996  
    • Royal Historical Society Research Grant, 1/1996-3/1996  
    • Overseas Research Scholarship, 1995  
    • otary Club Study Abroad Fellowship, 1991  
    • Phi Beta Kappa University of Iowa, 1991  

  • Department of History
  • 3502 Trousdale Parkway
  • Social Sciences Building (SOS) 153
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 90089-0034