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Distinguished Professor of History

Ph.D. Cornell University 1968; Ph.D. honoris causa, University of Utrecht, 2002

Office: 6260 BUNCHE Hall
Phone: 310-794-4432
Fax: 310-206-9630
E-mail: mjacob@history.ucla.edu

Mailing Address:

For current interests see Industrialization website: http://guides.library.ucla.edu/industrialization

Curriculum Vitae

Class Websites


Europe, Science, Dutch,Belgian, British History

Research Interests

History of Science, Intellectual History


A Trilogy in Early Modern Europe: An Interview with Professor Margaret Jacob, by Jorrit Smit, Shells and Pebbles

Session devoted to her work, Annual meeting, American Historical Association, January, 2012.

Southern California Colloquium in the History of Science Technology and Medicine

UCLA-Utrecht Exchange Program

Dutch Studies at UCLA

UCLA Center for the Interdisciplinary Study and Treatment of Pain

Selected Publications

Forthcoming, Recent and Selected

"The Radical Enlightenment" for the Ashgate companion of the same title

The First Knowledge Economy. Human Capital and Economic Development, 1750-1850, 2014 by Cambridge University Press http://www.cambridge.org/9781107619838 reviewed AHR, 2015

edited with Catherine Secretan, In Praise of Ordinary People. Early Modern Britain and the Dutch Republic, 2014 http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=711782

With Lynn Hunt and Wijnand Mijnhardt, The Book that Changed Europe,Harvard University Press, 2010 reviewed New York Review of Books, June 25th 2010.

The French translation of the book has now been published: http://www.markushaller.com/livre/id/25/Lynn+Hunt+Margaret+Jacob+Wijnand+Mijnhardt+LE+LIVRE+QUI+A+CHANGE+L'EUROPE

Janet Burke & Margaret Jacob, Les premières francs-maçonnes au siècle des Lumières, Bordeaux University Press, 2010.
190pp, avec un cahier de 8 illustrations en couleur.

with Lynn Hunt and Wijnand Mijnhardt, eds. Bernard Picart and the First Global Vision of Religion. Getty Publications, 2010

The Scientific Revolution: A Brief History with Documents, Bedford Books, 2010.

with Catherine Secretan, eds. The Self-Perception of Early Modern Capitalists,Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008

Strangers Nowhere in the World: The Rise of Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern Europe, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
Click here to view this book @ OpinionJournal

The Origins of Freemasonry. Facts and Fictions
, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

“Postscript” to Diego Lucci, ed, Atheism and Deism in the Enlightenment England, Ashgate, 2014

“How Radical Was the Enlightenment?” in Diametros (a Polish journal)

“A New And Last Generation of the Scottish Enlightenment: The Circles around Gregory Watt” to appear in a volume on the Scottish Enlightenment, forthcoming, The Need to Belong: Associationalism in Enlightenment Scotland, ed. Mark Wallace, Bucknell University Press.

“Among the Autodidacts: The Making of Edward Thompson,” Labour/Le Travail, vol. 71, 2013, pp. 156-60

“The Left, Right and Science: Relativists and Materialists,” Logos. A Journal of Modern Science and Culture, vol. 12, 2013, pp. 10 (approx.) an online journal, http://logosjournal.com/2013/jacob/

“French Education in Science and the Puzzle of Retardation, 1790-1840,” História e Economia, vol. 8, 2011, pp. 13-38.

“The Nature of Early Eighteenth-Century Religious Radicalism” in Republic of Letters, vol 1, 2009 http://arcade.stanford.edu/journals/rofl/articles/nature-early-eighteenth-century-religious-radicalism-by-margaret-jacob

“Was the Eighteenth-Century Republican Essentially Anti-Capitalist?” Republic of Letters, vol. 2 2010,

"The cosmopolitan as a lived category," Daedalus, Summer, 2008, pp.18-25.

“Mechanical Science on the Factory Floor: The Early Industrial Revolution in Leeds,” History of Science, vol. 45, 2007, pp. 197-221.

"Scientific Culture and the Origins of the First Industrial Revolution," Historia e Economia. Revista Interdisciplinar, vol. 2, 2006,pp. 55-70

"Bernard Picart and the Turn to Modernity," De Achttiende eeuw, vol. 37, 2005, pp. 1-16.

With Larry Stewart, Practical Matter. The Impact of Newton's Science from 1687 to 1851, Harvard University Press, November 2004.

With M. Kadane, "Missing now Found in the Eighteenth Century. Weber's Protestant Capitalist," American Historical Review, February, 2003, vol 2008, pp. 20-49.

with Lynn Hunt, "Enlightenment Studies," in Alan Charles Kors, ed., Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, 2003 vol 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 418-430.

With D. Sturkenboom, "A Women's Scientific Society in the West: The Late Eighteenth Century Assimilation of Science" Isis, June, 2003, vol. 94, pp. 217-252

With Michael Sauter “Why did Humphrey Davy not apply nitrous oxide to the relief of pain?”, The Journal of the History of Medicine, vol. 57, April 2002, pp. 161-176.

With Lynn Hunt “The Affective Revolution in 1790s Britain,” Eighteenth Century Studies, vol. 34, 2001, pp. 491-521.

With David Reid “Technical Knowledge and the Mental Universe of Manchester’s Cotton Manufacturers,”Canadian Journal of History, vol. 36, 2001, pp. 283-304. French translation appeared in Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine vol. 50-52, 2003.

“Thinking Unfashionable Thoughts, Asking Unfashionable Questions,” American Historical Review, April 2000, vol. 105, pp. 494-500.

“Commerce, Industry and Newtonian Science: Weber Revisited and Revised,” Canadian Journal of History, v. 35, Fall, 2000, pp. 236-51.

The Enlightenment: A Brief History, Bedford Books, 2001.

Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West, published by Oxford University Press; 1997, a sequel to The Cultural Meaning; new edition planned for 2010, with additional chapters

Telling the Truth about History with Lynn Hunt and Joyce Appleby, New York, W.W.Norton, 1994. Reviewed New York Times Book Review, March 25, 1994. TLS, June 10, 1994; The New Republic, Oct. 24, 1994; editions in Spanish, Polish, Lithuanian and Chinese under contract. A selection of the History Book Club. Forums on the book in History and Theory and the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Newton and the Culture of Newtonianism, with Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs. My half discusses Newtonian mechanics and European industrial culture throughout the 18th century. Humanity Press, 1995. Winner of the Watson-Davis Award, History of Science Society

Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth Century Europe, 1991, 350pp. Oxford University Press; reviewed TLS, June 12, 1992; AHR, 1993; JMH, 1994; Italian rights bought by Laterza. French translation appeared in 2004 with L'Orient, Paris.

The Cultural Meaning of the Scientific Revolution, Alfred Knopf, sold to McGraw-Hill, New York, 1988, 273 pp. Reviewed New York Review of Books, April 28,1988; Italian translation, Einaudi Editore, 1992.

The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans, published by George Allen & Unwin, London and Boston,1981; Italian translation, L'Illuminismo Radicale, published by Societa Editrice Il Mulino,1983. Second edition, revised, Cornerstone Books, 2005

The Newtonians and the English Revolution, 1689-1720, Cornell University Press and Harvester Press, Ltd., 1976. Awarded the Louis Gottschalk Prize by the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. Reviewed in New York Review of Books, December 7, 1978. Italian translation, I Newtoniani e la rivoluzione inglese, 1689-I720, 1980 by Feltrinelli Editore, Milan. Reprinted, 1983; Japanese translation, 1990. Available from Gordon and Breach, "Classics in the History of Science."

The Opening of the Great Industrial
Exhibition of All Nations, May 1st 1851


35,000 Borchard Foundation for conference on "The Valorization of Ordinary People," June 2012, La Bretasche, France
2.3 million NIMH - multidisciplinary study of children in chronic pain, 2004-07
100,000 NEH for Collaborative Research - Early Industrial development, 2006 to present
350,000 NSF in the 1990s also for science in the first Industrial Revolution


Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Gottschalk Prize, 1976
Elected Member, American Philosophical Society, 2002
University Research Lecturer, 2004
Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1996-97
Guggenheim Fellow 1988-89
Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1978-79
Fellow, Getty Research Institute, 2006-07
Fellow, University of Warwick, 2010

Grad Students

Jenna Gibbs, Ph.D. associate professor, Florida International University, Miami; Eric Casteel, Ph.D. living in Chapel Hill; Diana Raesner, awarded Fulbright to the Netherlands, 2008-09; Naomi Taback, Ph.D., British History, awarded Academic Senate, Best Graduate Student teacher,2008, currently full time at Temple University, Philadelphia; Jesse Sadler, Ph.D. Dutch history; Laura Morgan, fifth year, history of science, researching her dissertation on English science 1650-1680; Ingrid De Santo, Dutch history, sixth year, now writing her dissertation; Tara Scarmardo (graduated, M.A. 2011); Twyla Ruby, five year, history of science; Kathryn Renton, co-chair with Teo Ruiz, early modern Spain; writing her dissertation with a Fulbright; M. Tieleman, Dutch and American co-chaired with Carla Pestana, second year.

Served on outside committees: Matt Kadane, Ph.D, Brown University, now tenured at Hobart and Smith; James Delbourgo, Ph.D. Columbia University, now tenured at Rutgers; Natalie Bayer, Ph.D. Rice University, post-doctoral fellow at UCLA 2009-10; now at Drake University, Des Moines; John Slifko, UCLA, Geography Department, Ph.D.

My friend Blizzard; now 6 and a regular visitor to Reagan Hospital

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