Charles S. Maier

Charles S. Maier

Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History
Charles S. Maier

Charles S. Maier, born February 23, 1939 in New York City, is the Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History at Harvard University.  From 1991 to mid-2002 he was Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies and served, 1994-2001, as Director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies.  Maier graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude in 1960, studied at St. Antony's College, Oxford on a Henry Fellowship during 1960-61, and returned to take his Ph.D. in history at Harvard, 1961-67.  He taught at Harvard as instructor, assistant professor, and lecturer from 1967 to l975; was a visiting professor of history at the University of Bielefeld in the German Federal Republic during the spring semester of l976; then served as Associate Professor and Professor of History at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, until 1980.  He was appointed Professor of History at Harvard in 1981.  Together with Professor Sven Beckert he directs The Weatherhead Initiative on Global History, a program that funds student research and post-doctoral exchanges and runs an ongoing seminar on topics that span different world regions.  He teaches undergraduate courses on modern world history, the two world wars, and political trials and political justice (Ethical Reasoning 12).

Maier was a Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in the spring of 2011.  He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1977-78), the German Marshall Fund of the United States (1980-81), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1984-85), and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (1989-90), when he was concurrently for the first time a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He was a recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize for 2002-03 and was affiliated with the comparative history center at the Free University of Berlin.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.  He chaired the SSRC-ACLS Joint Committee on Western Europe in the early l980s, served on the German American Academic Advisory Council, 1998-1999, and was chair of the selection committee of the American Academy in Berlin, 1999-2004.  He has been awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Cross of Honor for Science and Art (first class) by the Republic of Austria.

Among his publications are numerous scholarly articles and the books Recasting Bourgeois Europe: Stabilization in France, Germany, and Italy in the Decade after World War I (Princeton University Press, 1975; reprinted 1988 and for a 40th anniversary edition in 2015, and translated into Italian and Spanish);  In Search of Stability: Explorations in Historical Political Economy (Cambridge University Press, l987);  The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity (Harvard University Press, 1988, and translated into German);Dissolution: The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany (Princeton University Press, 1997, and, in German and Italian translations, 1999); Among Empires: American Ascendancy and its Predecessors (Harvard University Press, 2006); and Leviathan 2.0: Inventing Modern Statehood(Harvard University Press, 2014, and earlier included in Emily Rosenberg, ed., World Connecting, 2012).  Edited works include, among others, The Politics of Global Inflation (with Leon Lindberg; Brookings Institution 1985).Changing Boundaries of the Political: Essays on the Evolving Balance between State and Society, Public and Private in Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1987); The Marshall Plan and Germany (Berg Press, 1991 and Nomos Verlag 1992); and The Shock of the Global: the 1970s in Perspective (Harvard University Press, 2010).  His most recent book, Once within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and Belonging since 1500, is scheduled for publication by Harvard University Press in the autumn of 2016.

Maier was married for 52 years to Pauline Maier, the eminent American historian, who died in 2013.  Their family includes three grown children (Andrea, Nicholas, and Jessica) and six grandchildren.

Curriculum vitae

Selected Publications

  • The World Economy and the Cold War in the Middle of the Twentieth Century,” forthcoming in The Cambridge History of the Cold War, vol.1, Melvyn Leffler and Odd Arne Westad, eds. vol. 1 (Cambridge, 2009), 44-66.
  • Return to Rome: Half a Century of American Historiography in Light of the 1955 Congress for International Historical Studie,” in La storiographia tra passato e futuro. Il X Congresso Internazionale di Scienze Storiche (Roma 1955) cinquant’anni dopo. Atti del convegno internazionale, Roma, 21-24 settembre, 2005, Gerhard Kock, ed. (Rome: Unione internazionale degli Istituti di Archeologica, Storia e Storia dell'arte in Rome, 2008), 189-211.
  • Chapter 1: “The World at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century: Crisis within Imperialism,” Chapter 2: “Stabilization, Crisis, and the Second World War,” and Chapter 3: “The End of Empire and the Transformations of the International System,” in the UNESCO, History of Humanity: Scientic and Cultural Development, vol. VII, The Twentieth Century, S. Gopal and S. L. Tikhvinsky, eds. (London: Routledge and Paris: UNESCO, 2008), pp. 21 left - 55 right.
  • Among Empires: American Ascendancy and its Predecessors Harvard University Press (2006).
  • "“Transformations of Territoriality 1600-2000"" in Transnationale Geschichte: Themen, Tendenzen und Theorien, Gunilla Budde, Sebastian Conrad, Oliver Janz, eds. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (2006).
  • “‘Songs of a Prisoner’: Luigi Dallapiccola and the Politics of Voice under Fascism,” (with Karen Painter) in Italian Music during the Fascist Period, Roberto Iliano, ed., Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), pp. 567-588.
  • "Doing History, Doing Justice: The Historian and the Truth Commission" in Truth v. Justice, Robert Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, eds. Princeton University Press (2000)
  • "Consigning the Twentieth Century to History: Alternative Narratives for the Modern Era" in American Historical Review (June 2000).
  • Dissolution: The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany Princeton University Press (1997).
  • The Marshall Plan and Germany edited volume, Berg Press (1991).
  • The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity Harvard University Press (1988).
  • In Search of Stability: Explorations in Historical and Political Economy Cambridge University Press (1987).
  • Recasting Bourgeois Europe Princeton University Press (1975, 1988, 2015).

Contact Information

Center for European Studies
Room 121
27 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-495-4303 ext. 273

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