Norman M. Naimark is the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies, a Professor of History and (by courtesy) of German Studies, and Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution and (by courtesy) of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies. Norman formerly served as the Sakurako and William Fisher Family Director of the Stanford Global Studies Division, the Burke Family Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program, the Convener of the European Forum (predecessor to The Europe Center), Chair of the History Department, and the Director of Stanford’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
Norman earned his Ph.D. in History from Stanford University in 1972 and before returning to join the faculty in 1988, he was a professor of history at Boston University and a fellow of the Russian Research Center at Harvard. He also held the visiting Catherine Wasserman Davis Chair of Slavic Studies at Wellesley College. He has been awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1996), the Richard W. Lyman Award for outstanding faculty volunteer service (1995), and the Dean's Teaching Award from Stanford University for 1991-92 and 2002-3.
Norman is interested in modern Eastern European and Russian history and his research focuses on Soviet policies and actions in Europe after World War II and on genocide and ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century. His published monographs on these topics include The History of the "Proletariat": The Emergence of Marxism in the Kingdom of Poland, 1870–1887 (1979, Columbia University Press), Terrorists and Social Democrats: The Russian Revolutionary Movement under Alexander III (1983, Harvard University Press), The Russians in Germany: The History of The Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949 (1995, Harvard University Press), The Establishment of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe (1998, Westview Press), Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing In 20th Century Europe (2001, Harvard University Press), and Stalin's Genocides (2010, Princeton University Press). Moreover, he is the author and editor of numerous additional articles, books, and chapters.
In his latest book, Genocide: A World History (2016, Oxford University Press), Norman builds upon his earlier work by presenting the entire history of genocide in a single comprehensive but concise volume. The book examines numerous genocides that occurred between those in ancient civilizations and the post-Cold War genocides in the Balkans and Darfur including the warrior genocides such as during the expansion of the Mongolian empire, communist genocides such as those under Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, and anti-communist genocides as occurred during the Guatemalan civil war. This book contributes to the literature not only by providing a single, complete presentation of the history of genocide, but also by its inclusion of social and political groups as subjects of mass extermination. In so doing, Norman is able to identify additional episodes of genocide throughout history, thereby facilitating a better understanding of how mass murder has been used as a political tool and how it has developed over time.
Having completed Genocide: A World History, Norman is turning his attention to his other major research stream: the postwar history of Europe and, in particular, the period from the end of WWII to 1948/49. He is currently working on a book manuscript that builds upon earlier work in which he examines what happens after war and genocide.