Life and career
Rosenbaum was born into a Jewish family in New York City, New York and grew up in Bay Shore, New York. He graduated from Yale University in 1968 and won a Carnegie Fellowship to attend Yale's graduate program in English Literature, though he dropped out after taking one course. He wrote for The Village Voice for several years, leaving in 1975 after which he wrote for Esquire, Harper's, High Times, Vanity Fair, New York Times Magazine and Slate.
Rosenbaum spent more than ten years doing research on Adolf Hitler including travels to Vienna, Munich, London, Paris, and Jerusalem, interviewing leading historians, philosophers, biographers, theologians and psychologists. Some of those interviewed by Rosenbaum included Daniel Goldhagen, David Irving, Rudolph Binion, Claude Lanzmann, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Alan Bullock, Christopher Browning, George Steiner, and Yehuda Bauer. The result was his 1998 book, Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil (Harper Collins. ISBN 0-679-43151-9).
In Explaining Hitler, Ron Rosenbaum also recounted in detail the previously little-reported story of the efforts of anti-Hitler journalists at the Munich Post who, from 1920 to 1933, published repeated exposés on the criminal activities of the National Socialist German Workers Party (i.e. the Nazis). Matthew Ricketson, coordinator of the Journalism program at RMIT University's School of Applied Communication in Melbourne, Australia, called this book "a brilliant piece of research".
In The Shakespeare Wars he discussed recent controversies among literary historians, actors, and directors over how the works of William Shakespeare should be read, understood, and produced.
His most recent book is "How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III", which discusses the paradoxes of deterrence, the danger of nuclear proliferation, and whether the bomb comprises an "exceptionalist" argument about warfare and genocide.
An Agnostic Manifesto
In 1971, Rosenbaum wrote an article for Esquire, "Secrets of the Little Blue Box" (later reprinted in The Secret Parts of Fortune), which inspired Apple Computer icon Steve Jobs to explore computers. The article received new attention in the wake of Jobs' passing.
- How the End Begins: The Road To a Nuclear World War III (2011) ISBN 0857202766
- The Shakespeare Wars (2006) ISBN 0812978366
- Editor of: Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism (2004) ISBN 0812972031
- The Secret Parts of Fortune: Three Decades of Intense Investigations and Edgy Enthusiasms (2000)
- Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil (1998) ISBN 0-670-82158-6
- Travels with Doctor Death (1991)
- Manhattan Passions: True Tales of Power, Wealth, and Excess (1988)
- Rebirth of the salesman: tales of the song & dance 70s (1979)
- Murder at Elaine's: A novel (1978)
- List of Adolf Hitler books
- The Secret History of Hacking, a 2001 documentary film featuring Rosenbaum.
- Complete Slate Spectator archive
- New York Observer
- To aid researchers, author Ron Rosenbaum has allowed the scanning of Explaining Hitler at Amazon.com
- Reviews of The Hitler Of History by John Lukacs & Explaining Hitler: The Search For The Origins Of His Evil by Ron Rosenbaum
- Excerpt: The Shakespeare Wars on CBC Words at Large
- Audio interview with Rosenbaum on How the End Begins
- Phillip Nobile and Ron Rosenbaum, "The Curious Aftermath of JFK's Best and Brightest Affair," New Times, July 7, 1976, pp. 22–33.