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 was an editor of The Fire Island News and then 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.
In December 2015 Rosenbaum published the article "Thinking the Unthinkable," in which he expresses his view that there exists a frightening possibility that Israel might not survive as a nation. In it he claims that 'The Palestinians want a Hitlerite Judenrein state, however much violence it takes to accomplish it. Not separation, elimination.' The Palestinians are, he asserts, engaged in incessant state and religious incitement to murder Jews. The 'stabbing intifada' is not an insurgency, but a matter of 'the ritual murder of Jews'. Whereas Hitler tried to hide his crimes, the Palestinians celebrate killing Jews.
- The Secret Parts of Fortune (2011)
- Rosenbaum, Ron (2006). The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascos, Palace Coups. New York: Random House.
- How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III
- Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil
- Travels with Dr. Death and Other Unusual Investigations (1991)
- Rosenbaum, Ron (Jan 2013). "The spy who came in from the cold 2.0". Interview. Smithsonian. 43 (9): 24–28. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
- Against Normalization: The Lesson of the “Munich Post”, Los Angeles Review of Books, 5. February 2017
- Ravished by Shakespeare By WALTER KIRN, Published: October 8, 2006, New York Times
- Rosenbaum, Ron (2004-07-01). "Racism: power and the press". The Fifth Estate. Archived from the original on 2007-09-20.
- Ron Rosenbaum, 'Thinking the Unthinkable: A Lamentation for the State of Israel,' Tablet magazine December 2015.
- Smithsonian often changes the title of a print article when it is published online. This article is titled "What turned Jaron Lanier against the web?" online.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- 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.