Source: (2000) In Truth v. justice: The morality of truth commissions, eds. Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, 261-278. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Maier investigates the intersection of the roles of the historian and truth commissions or formal court proceedings in the aftermath of large-scale abuses. The focus is on parallels in those roles in establishing, explaining, and interpreting a narrative of political violence. Examples come from post-World War II war-crimes trials, Chile, Argentina, Germany (after unification with East Germany), and South Africa. In this context, Maier points to the need for the historian to “interrogate" the historical record developed by commissions and courts, as well as the need for the historian to study the investigating body itself (commissions and courts) and its work. This leads to discussion of the similarities and differences in historical narratives established by the historian and by commissions and courts, as well as discussion of the significance of narrative itself.