2004 Robert Darnton
Born in New York City in 1939, historian Robert Darnton is considered one of the most important ideas historians of the past decades. He studied American History and Literature at Harvard University, as well as European History at the University of Oxford. Darnton has published numerous works, including a book on Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment, which has been translated into five languages. In the short term, the historian worked as a reporter for the New York Times before becoming a professor at Princeton University in 1968. He has been a professor at Harvard since 2007 where he heads the University Library. Due to his focus, he is not particularly interested in looking at the starting point of an idea, but in analyzing its impact on society and the dissemination of it to the public. In 2004, Robert Darnton was awarded the Gutenberg Prize by the City of Mainz and the International Gutenberg Society for his clear vision of the tasks of historical research and his understanding of the book and all other printed matter such as pamphlets as privileged media of the revival of the past.