The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Honoring MHS Trustee Pauline Maier

Pauline Maier

All of us at the MHS were saddened by the sudden passing of Pauline Maier, a distinguished historian and author of Revolutionary-era America and the foundations of U.S. democracy, and a good friend of the Society, on Monday, 12 August. She was 75.

A great historian, teacher, and author, Maier was committed to making history vivid and accessible to all. She wrote for both general and scholarly audiences by building suspense in telling stories whose outcome readers already knew. Her best-known books include American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (1997), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 (2010), winner of the George Washington Book Prize. Along with books and textbooks she produced more than 30 edited volumes, articles published in scholarly journals, and other publications, and wrote book reviews for publications including The New York Times Book Review and the William and Mary Quarterly.

Maier’s involvement with the Society began as a graduate student doing research in the MHS library. As a professor, she encouraged her students to visit the MHS and use its collections just as she had done. She was elected a Fellow of the MHS in 1983 and served on the Board of Trustees. She was an active member and enjoyed lively conversations with many staff and fellow Board members. Maier was Chair of the Adams Papers Committee and had served on the Publications and Fellows committees. She was active the Society’s teacher workshops improving the teaching of history through the use of primary source documents. As well, she presented at, participated in, and moderated many of the Society’s Boston Area Early American History Seminar sessions. An advocate of history scholarship, Maier was a proponent of making the Society’s collections available to everyone.

permalink | Published: Thursday, 15 August, 2013, 3:53 PM