Roger Boesche

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Roger Boesche
BornJanuary 24, 1948
DiedMay 23, 2017(2017-05-23) (aged 69)
ResidenceEagle Rock, Los Angeles, California
Alma materStanford University
OccupationPolitical theorist
EmployerOccidental College
Spouse(s)Mandy Boesche

Roger Boesche (January 24, 1948 – May 23, 2017) was an American political theorist. He was the Arthur G. Coons Distinguished Professor of the History of ideas at Occidental College.

Early life[edit]

Roger Boesche was born on January 24, 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[1][2] He graduated from Stanford University, where he earned a PhD in political science.[1][2]


Boesche taught American and European political thought at Occidental College from 1977 to 2017.[1] He was promoted to an endowed chair: the Arthur G. Coons Distinguished Professor of the History of Ideas.[3] One of his students was President Barack Obama.[1] He served as the president of Occidental College's faculty council from 1990 to 1992, and he won the Loftsgordon Award, the Graham L. Sterling Memorial Award, and the Linda and Todd White Teaching Prize.[3] Boesche also played a role in Occidental College's disinvestment from South Africa.[2]

Boesche was the author of several books, three of which were about Alexis de Tocqueville.

Personal life[edit]

Boesche met his future wife, Mandy, at a Vietnam War protest.[1] She later taught at The Waverly School.[1] They resided in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, and they had a daughter, Kelsey, who became an opera singer.[1]


Boesche died on May 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.[1][2]


  • Alexis de Tocqueville: Selected Letters on Politics and Society (1985)
  • The Strange Liberalism of Alexis de Tocqueville (1987)
  • Theories of Tyranny: From Plato to Arendt (1996)
  • The First Great Political Realist: Kautilya and His Arthashastra (2002)
  • Tocqueville's Road Map: Methodology, Liberalism, Revolution, and Despotism (2006)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kim, Victoria (May 24, 2017). "Roger Boesche, Oxy professor who sparked Obama's interest in politics, dies at 69". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Roger Boesche, Professor Who Stirred Obama's Interest in Politics, Dies at 69". The New York Times. May 25, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Roger Boesche". Occidental College. Retrieved May 25, 2017.