Naimark received all of his degrees at Stanford. He taught at Boston University, and was a fellow at Harvard University's Russian Research Center before returning to Stanford as a member of the faculty in the 1980s. Naimark is of Jewish heritage; his parents were born in Galicia.
He is a member of the editorial boards of a number of professional journals such as:
He is most known to the public for his acclaimed study The Russians In Germany.
Naimark is the Spring 2011 recipient of Alex Springer Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin.
- A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press, 2011 (Paperback ed. 2012, ISBN 978-0199930371). (Editor, together with Ronald Grigor Suny and Fatma Müge Göçek)
- Stalin's Genocides (Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity). Princeton University Press, 2010.
- Fires Of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing In 20th Century Europe (Harvard, 2001)
- The Russians In Germany: The History Of The Soviet Zone Of Occupation, 1945–1949 (Harvard, 1995)
- Terrorists And Social Democrats: The Russian Revolutionary Movement Under Alexander III'' (Harvard, 1983)
- The History Of The "Proletariat": The Emergence Of Marxism In The Kingdom Of Poland, 1870–1887 (Columbia, 1979)
- “Totalitarian States and the History of Genocide”. Telos 136 (Summer 2006). New York: Telos Press.
- Remembering Genocide in Srebrenica July 13, 2005
- Facing Up to Kosova April 24, 2000
- Daniel Johnson (October 22, 1995). "The Zone". The New York Times.
- Biography of Naimark from Stanford
- HNet review of The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949.
- Historians to reconsider Russian occupation of Eastern Europe
- HNet review of Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe.
- Interview with Naimark on "New Books in History."
- American Academy in Berlin
- Norman M. Naimark: Stalin and Europe, 1945–1953 – Video of a lecture given at the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam on April 14, 2011.