Paul Roazen, 69, a historian of the psychoanalytic movement and the author of numerous books on Sigmund Freud and his followers, died Nov. 3 at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He had complications from Crohn's disease.
An emeritus professor of political science at York University in Toronto, he was the author of 22 books and hundreds of articles, reviews and essays.
In 1965, Dr. Roazen set out to interview all of Freud's surviving patients, pupils, colleagues, disciples, friends and relatives in the United States and Europe. Much of his work grew out of his hundreds of hours of interviews. The first of his books to draw on them was "Freud and His Followers" (1975), essentially an oral history of psychoanalysis.
An indefatigable researcher as well as a prolific writer, Dr. Roazen came to know Freud as well as anyone could without having met him. His interviews uncovered information that prompted reevaluations and reassessments of the man who set in motion one of the most compelling -- and controversial -- intellectual movements of the 20th century.
Among those discoveries was Freud's acknowledgments that the analytic method was not necessarily an ideal form of therapy. Dr. Roazen also found out that Freud didn't particularly care for Americans, in part because New York City had a dearth of public toilets.
A decade after "Freud and His Followers," Dr. Roazen published "Helene Deutsch: A Psychoanalyst's Life" (1985), an authorized biography that relied on letters, papers and many hours of interviews with one of Freud's original disciples and a brilliant psychoanalyst in her own right.
Reviews were mixed. Writing in The Washington Post, Suzanne Gordon noted that Deutsch's life and work offered rich ground for the biography, but she found flaws in the approach. "Roazen," she wrote, "seems to want to be everything to everyone -- popular biographer, psychoanalytic insider and posthumous public relations advisor. Given such an ambitious agenda, it's not surprising he fails to do any one thing very well."
Writing in the New York Times, reviewer Sherry Turkle found "great merit" in Dr. Roazen's treatment of the relationship between the life experiences of women in Freud's circle, including Deutsch, and what it was about him that they found so compelling.
Paul Roazen was born in Boston in 1936 and received his undergraduate degree in government from Harvard College in 1958. He subsequently studied at the University of Chicago, Oxford University and again at Harvard University, where he received his doctorate in 1965.
From 1965 to 1971, he taught in the Government Department at Harvard. He taught political and social science at York University from 1971 to 1995, when he took early retirement and moved back to Cambridge.
He was interested initially in Freud's political and social thought, despite warnings from colleagues that Freud wasn't an apt subject for a political theorist. Dr. Roazen ignored the warnings. In writing extensively about the father of psychoanalysis, he became, in essence, the father of the history of psychoanalysis.
Although he appreciated the deep and abiding influence of Freud and the psychoanalytic movement, he was neither a psychoanalyst himself nor an apologist for the movement. He frequently irked the Freudian establishment when he revealed details its members would rather have kept suppressed.
For example, in "Brother Animal: The Story of Freud and Tausk" (1969) he delved into the complex and murky relationships that led to the suicide of Victor Tausk, Freud's brilliant friend and younger colleague.
Dr. Roazen also was the first to reveal that Freud analyzed his daughter, Anna Freud. His penchant for revealing Freudian secrets in his many books prompted Anna Freud to remark in a letter, "Everything Paul Roazen writes is a menace."
Dr. Roazen's other books include "Freud: Political and Social Thought" (1968), "Oedipus in Britain: Edward Glover and the Struggle Over Klein" (2000) and "Edoardo Weiss: The House That Freud Built" (2005).
His marriage to Deborah Heller Roazen ended in divorce.
Survivors include two sons, Jules Roazen of New York City and Daniel Heller-Roazen of Princeton, N.J.; a brother; and sister.
"His life was his work," Heller-Roazen said. At the time of his death, his son noted, he was excited about a cache of papers he recently had discovered in the Library of Congress having to do with William Bullitt, who, with Freud, wrote a psychobiographical study of Woodrow Wilson.