Roazen received his A.B. at Harvard University in 1958. He then studied at the University of Chicago and Magdalen College, Oxford, before returning to Harvard for his PhD dissertation, which bore on Freud's political and social thought. After teaching at Harvard as an Assistant Professor in Government, he accepted an appointment in Social and Political Science at York University in Toronto in 1971, where he taught until his early retirement in 1995.
In 1965 Roazen began to interview surviving friends, relatives, colleagues and patients of Sigmund Freud. His first 'big' book, Freud and his followers, was based on hundreds of hours of material. This was a path-breaking and influential work, which remains a basic reference for historians of psychoanalysis today.
Roazen was the first non-psychoanalyst whom Anna Freud allowed to access the archives of the British Psychoanalytical Institute. He was able to see the huge material Ernest Jones had used to write his biography of Freud.
In 1993, Roazen became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
His papers are collected in the Paul Roazen Collection of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University.
- Freud: Political and Social Thought, New York, Knopf, 1968
- Brother Animal: The Story of Freud and Tausk, N.Y., Knopf, 1969
- Freud and his followers, New York, Knopf, 1975
- Erik H. Erikson: The Power and Limits of a Vision, N.Y., The Free Press, 1976
- Helene Deutsch: A Psychoanalyst’s Life, N.Y., Doubleday, 1985
- Encountering Freud: The Politics and Histories of Psychoanalysis, New Brunswick, N.J., Transaction Publishers, 1990
- Meeting Freud’s Family, Amherst, University of Mass. Press, 1993
- Heresy: Sandor Rado and the Psychoanalytic Movement, with Bluma Swerdloff, Northvale, N.J., Aronson, 1995
- How Freud Worked: First-Hand Accounts of Patients, Northvale, N.J. : J. Aronson, 1995
- Canada’s King: An Essay in Political Psychology, Oakville, Ontario, Mosaic Press, 1998
- Oedipus in Britain: Edward Glover and the Struggle Over Klein (N.Y., Other Press, 2000)
- Political theory and the psychology of the unconscious : Freud, J. S. Mill, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Fromm, Bettelheim and Erikson, London, Open Gate Press, 2000
- The historiography of psychoanalysis, New Brunswick (US) ; London (UK), Transaction Publ., 2001
- The Trauma of Freud: Controversies in Psychoanalysis, New Brunswick, N.J., Transaction Publishers, 2002
- Cultural Foundations of Political Psychology, New Brunswick, N.J., Transaction Publishers, 2003
- On The Freud Watch: Public Memoirs, London, Free Association Books, 2003
- Edoardo Weiss: The House that Freud Built (New Brunswick, N.J., Transaction Publishers, 2005)
- Victor Tausk: Sexuality, war, and schizophrenia : collected psychoanalytic papers, edited and with an introduction by Paul Roazen ; translations by Eric Mosbacher &others. - New Brunswick, US : Transaction Publishers, 1991
- Freud under analysis : history, theory, practice ; essays in honour of Paul Roazen, ed. by Todd Dufresne. - Northvale, NJ ; London : Aronson, 1997
- Dufresne, Todd (2007). “Psychoanalysis Eats Its Own: Or, The Heretical Saint Roazen,” in Psychoanalysis and History, ed. J. Forrester, 9(1): 93-109.
- Hans-Jürgen Wirth: „Nachruf auf Paul Roazen“ in: Freie Assoziation - Das Unbewusste in Organisationen und Kultur, 9. Jahrgang, Heft 01/2006 –