Margaret Olwen MacMillan was born in Toronto in 1943. After earning an Honours B.A. in Modern History from the University of Toronto, she completed a B.Phil. in Politics at Oxford University, where she subsequently wrote her doctoral thesis on the social and political attitudes of the British in India.
From 1975 to 2002, Dr. MacMillan was a Professor of History at Ryerson University in Toronto, including five years as that department's chair. In addition to her teaching in the classroom and academic publications, she has collaborated with Professor Robert Bothwell on an innovative series of educational radio programmes for CJRT/Open College on international relations. In 2002, she was named Provost of Trinity College and a Professor of History at the University of Toronto.
From 1995 to 2003, Professor MacMillan co-edited International Journal, published by the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. Since 1995, she has served as a member of the National Board of Directors of the CIIA, among many and varied voluntary activities.
Professor MacMillan's first book, Women of the Raj, reflected her continuing scholarly interest in imperial India. It was selected for the Book of the Month Club and the History Book Club. In addition to numerous articles and reviews on diverse aspects of Canadian and world affairs, she has co-edited books dealing with Canada's relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with international relations in the twentieth century and, most recently, with Canadian-Australian relations.
The publication which has garnered her the greatest attention and praise has been a magisterial study of the diplomatic aftermath of the First World War, which was published in London as Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and subsequently in New York as Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. In its original edition, this superb volume won the Duff Cooper Prize for an outstanding literary work in the field of history, biography or politics, the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best work of non-fiction published in the United Kingdom.