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Burston, D. (2006). In Memoriam: Paul Roazen 1936-2005. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 14(1):131-140.

(2006). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 14(1):131-140

In Memoriam: Paul Roazen 1936-2005

Daniel Burston

Paul Roazen died on November 3, 2005, from complications of Crohn's disease, at the age of sixty-nine, in Boston. He was born in Boston on August 14, 1936, the second of three children in a Jewish family. In 1954, he graduated from Brookline High School, and in 1958, from Harvard College, where he studied American Government with Robert McCloskey. He went on to do graduate work in political science and psychoanalytic thought at the University of Chicago, Oxford, and finally, at Harvard, where he was mentored by Louis Hartz and studied briefly with Erik Erikson.

With the help of Helene Deutsch, Roazen embarked between 1964 and 1967 on a massive research project, interviewing seventy people who had known Freud personally, and forty others who were involved in the early history of the psychoanalytic movement. This voluminous body of data furnished the basis for many of his books in years to come. He was the first nonpsychoanalyst to be granted access to the library at the British Psychoanalytical Society. Anna Freud heartily regretted her part in that decision when Roazen published Brother Animal (1969), an instructive but extremely controversial gloss on the life and work of Victor Tausk, who had once shown considerable promise but committed suicide in 1919 while under Deutsch's care. As it happened, Freud was analyzing Deutsch while she was analyzing Tausk, and in retrospect, Freud's attitude toward Tausk was profoundly disconcerting. Roazen antagonized Anna Freud and her circle even further when he revealed—in Freud and His Followers (1975) —that she had been analyzed by her own father. Kurt Eissler, a Freudian stalwart, wrote not one but two scathing critiques of Roazen: Talent and Genius: The Fictitious Case of Tausk Contra Freud (1971), and Victor Tausk's Suicide (1983).

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