Heinrich August Winkler studied History, Philosophy, Public Law and Political Science at the Universities of Münster, Heidelberg and Tübingen. He received his doctorate in Tübingen in 1963 with a thesis on the history of the Deutsche Fortschrittspartei (German Progressive Party). From 1964 to 1970, Winkler was a research assistant at Freie Universität Berlin. On attaining his post-doctoral lecturing qualification, he initially held a professorship in Berlin before moving to Albert Ludwig University, Freiburg, in 1972. Winkler returned to Berlin in 1991 and became Professor of Modern History at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He is Professor Emeritus since April 1, 2007.
Winkler is the author of numerous monographs. In Germany: The Long Road West (Oxford University Press), a two-volume work originally published in German in 2000, he examined the question of a special German path and described the country’s development into a German nation-state and democracy. For his work he was awarded Das politische Buch, the prize of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, in 2001, as well as the Friedrich Schiedel Literature Prize in 2002. The first two volumes of Winkler’s Geschichte des Westens have been published to date (2009 and 2011, C.H. Beck Verlag); the third volume is currently a work in progress. He also regularly publishes articles in scholarly journals, reviews and articles on historical and political topics in daily and weekly newspapers.