Biography and History

Arnold A. Rogow (1924-2006) was a political scientist, author, and psychotherapist. His main area of research was psychological explanations for politics, especially the decision-making of leaders, notably James Forrestal and Alexander Hamilton.

Rogow taught at the University of Iowa and Stanford University before becoming a professor of political science at the City College of New York (part of CUNY) in 1966, where he remained for the rest of his career. Soon after coming to New York, Rogow studied at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and became a practicing psychotherapist in addition to his academic responsibilities. Rogow became a leading figure in the study of the psychodymanics of political behavior and was instrumental in establishing it as a cross-field interdisciplinary concentration at CUNY. He also served as the associate editor of the Journal of Conflict Resolution from 1956 to 1963 and was a member of the original editorial committee of Comparative Politics.

Rogow was a pioneer and prolific writer in the field of psychiatry and politics, and wrote or edited over a dozen books, as well as numerous articles, during his career utilizing his psychoanalytic expertise. His major works include James Forrestal: A Study of Personality, Politics, and Policy (1963), Power, Corruption and Rectitude with Harold D. Laswell (1963), The Psychiatrists (1970), The Dying of the Light: A Searching Look at America Today (1975), Thomas Hobbes: Radical in the Service of Reaction (1986), and A Fatal Friendship: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr (1998). His book on James Forrestal, the first Secretary of Defense and the nation's highest-ranking individual to later commit suicide, was Rogow's first major work to utilize psychology to examine a political figure. Rogow relied on both the archival record and interviews or correspondence with over fifty individuals who knew Forrestal in various capacities, including some of the psychiatrists involved in treating his illness, to identify the factors which led Forrestal to commit suicide in 1949.

Arnold Austin Rogow was born on August 10, 1924 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin in 1947 after interrupting his undergraduate education to serve in the Army as an infantryman during World War II. Rogow earned his Ph.D. in political science from Princeton University in 1953, where he wrote his dissertation on "The Labor Government and British Industry, 1945-1951." He married Patricia Evans and they had three children: Jennifer, Sarah, and Jeanne. Rogow died on February 14, 2006 at the age of 81.

Source: From the finding aid for MC240

  • Arnold A. Rogow Papers on James V. Forrestal. 1933-1993 (inclusive), 1940-1960 (bulk).

    Call Number: MC240

    Arnold A. Rogow (1924-2006) was a political scientist, author, and psychotherapist. His main area of research was psychological explanations for politics, especially the decision-making of leaders, notably James Forrestal and Alexander Hamilton. The Rogow Papers are composed of materials he collected for his book James Forrestal: A Study of Personality, Politics, and Policy (The Macmillan Press: New York, 1963) and include correspondence with individuals who knew Forrestal, Rogow's notes, and other research materials.

  • Arnold A. Rogow Papers on James V. Forrestal. 1933-1993 (inclusive), 1940-1960 (bulk).

    Call Number: MC240

    Arnold A. Rogow (1924-2006) was a political scientist, author, and psychotherapist. His main area of research was psychological explanations for politics, especially the decision-making of leaders, notably James Forrestal and Alexander Hamilton. The Rogow Papers are composed of materials he collected for his book James Forrestal: A Study of Personality, Politics, and Policy (The Macmillan Press: New York, 1963) and include correspondence with individuals who knew Forrestal, Rogow's notes, and other research materials.