Detail of antique world map

About Charles King

Charles King, author and Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University

Charles King is the author of seven books, including Gods of the Upper Air; Midnight at the Pera Palace, which received the French Prix du livre de voyage; and Odessa, winner of a National Jewish Book Award.

Translations have appeared in French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and other languages. He lectures widely on international affairs and has worked with major broadcast media such as CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC, the History Channel, and MTV. King’s articles and commentary have been published in magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Foreign Affairs, and The Times Literary Supplement, as well as in leading academic journals.

He is professor of international affairs and government at Georgetown University, where he has served as chair of both the Department of Government and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the world’s premier school of global affairs.

King grew up on a cattle farm in the Ozark foothills of northwest Arkansas, one hollow over from J. William Fulbright’s rural home at Rabbit’s Foot Lodge. He studied history and philosophy at the University of Arkansas and later earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Oxford University, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. Before coming to Georgetown, he was a junior research fellow at New College, Oxford, and a research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, the writer and anthropologist Margaret Paxson.

From an award-winning historian comes a dazzling history of the birth of cultural anthropology and the adventurous scientists who pioneered it—a sweeping chronicle of discovery and the fascinating origin story of our multicultural world.