Steven Press is an Assistant Professor of History and an affiliated member of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Center for African Studies, and the Stanford Center for Law and History.
Press' first book, Rogue Empires: Contracts and Conmen in Europe's Scramble for Africa (published Spring 2017 with Harvard University Press), received the American Historical Association's Pacific Coast Branch Book Award. Rogue Empires draws on archival work in ten countries and three languages. It offers a new approach to understanding European colonialism in Africa by examining one of its pivotal projects: empires run by companies and individual adventurers.
Press' second book, Blood and Diamonds: Germany's Imperial Ambitions in Africa, appeared in 2021 with Harvard University Press.
In an article in the Journal of Modern History, Press explored the exchanges between Germany, China, and Cuba that led to the USA's lease for Guantanamo Bay in 1903. His article on post-Napoleonic European nationalism appeared in Central European History, as did a more recent article about Wilhelmine Germany's Weltpolitik.
Press graduated with a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and an A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught at Harvard and Vanderbilt before coming to Stanford. His research interests include European sovereignty, international relations, and commodity networks.