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Dr Pauline Maier

Dr Pauline Maier

(1938-2013) ~ Inducted 2016

Professor Pauline Maier,like the great 19th century American historian George Bancroft and writers Julia Ward Howe, Edward Everett Hale, Owen Wister, and Clement Clarke Moore, was a long-time summer resident of Rhode Island. Little Compton was her retreat. She now joins these luminaries and fellow authors in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Pauline was born in 1938 as Pauline Rubbelke in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she attended parochial schools. Her father was a firefighter and her mother was a homemaker with five children. On entering Radcliffe (now part of Harvard University) as an undergraduate, her original ambition was to be in the newspaper business. She was a writer on T^e Harvard Crimson and worked summers at the Quincy, Massachusetts Patriot Ledger. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1960 with a bachelors degree in History and Literature. While on the Cr~^^so^ staff she met her future husband, Charles S. Maier. After graduation Pauline and Charles attended schools in England on fellowships. Upon completing their studies, they married and toured Europe together. Then the couple returned to Harvard to pursue doctoral degrees, Charles in European History and Pauline in American studies. After earning their Ph.D. degrees, Charles (1938-2013) began his career at Harvard. Pauline taught at the University of Massachusetts Boston for nine years, and one year at the University of Wisconsin before taking her position in Cambridge at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 as William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of American History. Her career has included various appointments at five prestigious universities, and numerous fellowships and awards. Maier s best-known books include A'mer'ican Scripture: Mak^^g the Declarat~io^ of L^nde'pe^de^ce (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. Both works demonstrated the vitality of local and state-level political debates at the nations founding. Both have received rave reviews and high scholarly praise. Paulines books were intended for both general and scholarly audiences, and she invested additional effort in furthering public understanding of history. She wrote Tha American People: A History (1986), a middle-school textbook covering American history from its beginnings through 1984. She also co-authored a 2002 college textbook, Inventing America: A History of the United States. In addition to her books and textbooks, Pauline produced more than 30 articles for scholarly journals, edited other publications, and wrote many scholarly book reviews. In 1998, Maier won MITS James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, which recognizes extraordinary professional accomplishment and is given to only one faculty member each year. In 2012, the Center for the Study of the American Constitution dedicated volume 2 of its 3-volume Rhode Island ratification set to Pauline as a tribute to her work on this topic. Sadly, on August 12, 2013 Pauline died in Cambridge, Massachusetts after a long battle with lung cancer. She is survived by her three children and her husband and partner Dr. Charles Maier who receives this induction today on Paulines behalf.


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