Harold Foote Gosnell

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Harold Foote Gosnell (December 24, 1896 – January 9, 1997) was an American political scientist and author, known for his research and writings on American politics, elections, and political parties.

He attended the University of Rochester, graduating summa cum laude in 1918. He went on to the University of Chicago, where in 1922 he received his doctorate, and then taught until 1941. During World War II, he was in Washington DC, as a budget analyst and later as an operations officer for the United States Department of State, while he continued to study and write on politics. He served in government until 1960, taught at American University, and from 1962 to 1972 was a professor at Howard University.[1][2]

An associate of political scientist Charles Edward Merriam, Gosnell published work in the 1920s that pioneered new approaches using psychology to examine voting and political behavior.[1] In 1936, Gosnell won the first Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Negro Politicians: Rise of Negro Politics in Chicago.[3]

Each year, the Society for Political Methodology awards a prize for the best work in political methodology which has been presented at any political science conference during the preceding year. This award is called the Gosnell Prize for Excellence in Political Methodology.[4]


  • Boss Platt and His New York Machine: A Study of the Political Leadership of Thomas C. Platt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Others (University of Chicago, 1924; repr. 1969).
  • Machine Politics: Chicago Model (University of Chicago, 1937; 2d ed. 1969).
  • Negro Politicians: The Rise of Negro Politics in Chicago (University of Chicago, 1935; 2d ed. 1968)
  • Champion Campaigner: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Macmillan, 1952).
  • Harold Foote Gosnell (1968). Machine Politics: Chicago Model. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-30492-2. 
  • Harold Foote Gosnell. Truman's Crises: A Political Biography of Harry S. Truman (1980)


  1. ^ a b "Harold F. Gosnell Papers". uchicago.edu. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  2. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (January 16, 1997). "Harold Foote Gosnell, 100, Scholar of American Politics". New York Times. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards - Negro Politicians: The Rise of Negro Politics in Chicago". Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards - The 80th Annual. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "About the Society". The Society for Political Methodology. Retrieved 1 October 2011.