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Jonathan Steinberg is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Modern European History and former Chair of the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his A. B. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Cambridge University.
After serving for 33 years at Cambridge University as University Lecturer and then Reader in European History, Fellow of Trinity Hall, and Vice-Master, he now teaches at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is an emeritus fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and served as an External Examiner in Part II of the Cambridge History Tripos for 2009 to 2011.
Steinberg's teaching covers modern Europe since 1789 with specialization in the German and Austrian Empires, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and modern Jewish history. He has also taught graduate seminars in historical thought and method and recently has taught economic thought from Adam Smith to Karl Marx.
He is the author of Yesterday’s Deterrent: Tirpitz and the Birth of the German Battle Fleet, Why Switzerland?, All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust and Die Deutsche Bank und ihre Goldtransaktionen im Zweiten Weltkrieg (also published in English). His reviews have appeared in The London Review of Books, The Evening Standard, The Financial Times, and The Times Literary Supplement. In 2003 he completed European History and European Lives, 1715 to 1914, a 36-part series of biographies produced by The Teaching Company. Dr. Steinberg has also written many radio and TV documentaries, including BBC Radio Four's salute to the Constitution of the United States, Secure in Their Persons. He was co-editor of The Historical Journal, Cambridge University Press, from 1990 to 2000 and his biography Bismarck: A Life was published by Oxford University Press in early April, 2011. It was short-listed for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in July 2011 and short-listed for the Duff Cooper Prize in 2012. A German edition 'Bismarck. Magier der Macht' was published by Propylaen Verlag, a subsidiary of Ullstein,in October, 2012 a Danish edition published by Sohn and a Romanian edition published by Eikon appeared at the same time.
Steinberg served as an expert witness in the Commonwealth of Australia War Crimes prosecution. He was also appointed to the Historical Commission of the Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt am Main to examine bank activity and gold transactions during World War II. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland, and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets.
Steinberg's father is the noted rabbi and author Milton Steinberg.