Charles S. Maier, born February 23, 1939 in New York City, is the Leverett Saltonstall Research 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 1975; was a visiting professor of history at the University of Bielefeld in the German Federal Republic during the spring semester of 1976; then served as Associate Professor and Professor of History at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, until 1981, when he returned to Harvard as Professor of History (later as Krupp Foundation Professor of History), 1991-2002, then as the first Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History until his retirement in June 2019.
He served as director of the undergraduate program in Social Studies from 1993 to 1997 and as Director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies from 1994 to 2001. 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. During his teaching career he offered undergraduate courses on modern global history, the two world wars, the European Union, and political trials and political justice (Ethical Reasoning 12).
Maier held visting appointments as a director of research at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (2007), and asa visiting professor at the LUISS University of Rome (2014), and the Sapienza University of Rome (2019). He 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 1980s, 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 and a doctorate honoris causa in European Studies from the University of Padua.
Among his publications are numerous scholarly articles and the books, most recently Once within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and Belonging since 1500 (Harvard University Press, 2016). Earlier works include 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 and co-edited books 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).
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 eight grandchildren. In 2017 he married Marjorie Anne Sa'adah, Joel Parker Professor of Government, Emerita at Dartmouth University.