Almond, Gabriel A. 1911-2002

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ALMOND, Gabriel A. 1911-2002

(Gabriel Abraham Almond)

PERSONAL: Born January 12, 1911, in Rock Island, IL; died December 25, 2002, in Pacific Grove, CA; son of David Moses and Lisa (Elson) Almond; married Maria Dorothea Kaufmann, April 29, 1937 (died, 2000); children: Richard J., Peter O., Susan J. Education: University of Chicago, Ph.B., 1932, Ph.D., 1938. Hobbies and other interests: Carpentry, swimming, bird-watching.

CAREER: Brooklyn College (now Brooklyn College of the City University of New York), Brooklyn, NY, instructor in political science, 1939–42; associated with Office of War Information, Washington, DC, 1942–44, and with U.S. War Department, Washington, DC, in European theater, 1945; Yale University, New Haven, CT, research associate at Institute for International Studies, 1947–49, associate professor of political science, 1949–51; Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, associate professor, 1951–54, professor of political science, 1954–59; Yale University, professor of political science, 1959–63; Stanford University, Stanford, CA, professor of political science, 1963–76, then professor emeritus, head of department, 1964–68. Visiting professor, University of Tokyo, 1962, and University of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Social Science Research Council, member of board of directors, chairman of committee on comparative politics, and fellow, 1935–36 and 1946–47; fellow at Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, 1956–67 and 1969–70. Consultant to the U.S. Department of State, the RAND Corp., and the U.S. Air Force.

MEMBER: National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (fellow), American Philosophical Society, American Political Science Association (president, 1965–66), American Association for Public Opinion Research, Academy of Political Science.

AWARDS, HONORS: Ford Foundation grant, 1962–63; National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, 1972–73; overseas fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, 1972–73; James Madison Award, American Political Science Association, 1981; Frank Goodenow Award, American Political Science Association, 1999; the American Political Science Association created the Gabriel A. Almond Award in his honor.


Western European Politics and American Policy, Yale Institute of International Studies (New Haven, CT), 1948.

(Editor) Eugene N. Anderson and others, The Struggle for Democracy in Germany, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1949, reprinted, Russell (New York, NY), 1965.

The American People and Foreign Policy, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1950, 2nd edition, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1977.

(With Herbert E. Krugman, Elsbeth Lewin, and Howard Wriggins) The Appeals of Communism, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1954.

The Politics of German Business, RAND Corp. (Santa Monica, CA), 1955.

(Editor, with James S. Coleman) The Politics of Developing Areas, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1960.

(With Sidney Verba) The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1963, new edition, Sage (Newbury Park, CA), 1989.

(With G. Bingham Powell, Jr.) Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1966, new edition (with Powell) published as Comparative Politics Today: A World View, 1974, new edition (with Powell) published as Comparative Politics: System, Process, and Policy, 1978, new edition (with Powell and Robert J. Mundt) published as Comparative Politics: A Theoretical Framework, HarperCollins College Publishers (New York, NY), 1993, new edition, Longman (New York, NY), 2000.

Political Development: Essays in Heuristic Theory, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970.

(Editor, with Scott C. Flanagan and Robert J. Mundt, and contributor) Crisis, Choice, and Change: Historical Studies of Political Development, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1973.

(Editor, with Sidney Verba) The Civic Culture Study: 1959–1960, Inter-University Consortium for Political Research (Ann Arbor, MI), 1974.

(Editor, with Neil J. Smelser) Public Higher Education in California, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1974.

(Editor, with Sidney Verba) The Civic Culture Revisited, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1980.

(Editor, with Marvin Chodorov and Roy Harvey Pearce) Progress and Its Discontents, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1982.

(Editor, with Samuel P. Huntington) Understanding Political Development: An Analytic Study, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1987.

A Discipline Divided: Schools and Sects in Political Science, Sage (Newbury Park, CA), 1990.

Plutocracy and Politics in New York City, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1997.

(Editor, with G. Bingham Powell, Jr. and Russell J. Dalton) European Politics Today, Longman (New York, NY), 1999, 3rd edition, 2006.

Ventures in Political Science: Narratives and Reflections, Lynne Rienner (Boulder, CO), 2002.

(With R. Scott Appleby and Emmanuel Sivan) Strong Religion: The Rise of Fundamentalisms around the World, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2003.

(Contributor) India and the Politics of Developing Countries: Essays in Memory of Myron Weiner, Sage Publications (Thousand Oaks, CA), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Gabriel A. Almond was a respected political scientist who took a multidisciplinary approach to his writings, incorporating psychology, sociology, economics, and anthropology into his theories. Throughout his career, Almond pursued his interests in post-colonial nations, the effects of public opinion and religion on politics, Communism, and the study of political science. Almond is best known for his work in developing the study of comparative politics in a systematic fashion, such that, for example, predictions could be made about the future political growth of developing nations based on patterns found in the development of other countries. He was also a pioneer in studying the ways that beliefs and attitudes held by the people of a nation influenced that country's politics. Many of the conclusions Almond reached in these studies, which are cataloged in the 1960 title The Politics of the Developing Areas and 1963's The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations, "may now sound commonplace," according to Almond's obituary in the London Times, but "the emphasis on culture changed the English tradition of analysing politics in class terms."

Almond was a graduate of the University of Chicago, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1938. His thesis paper, Plutocracy and Politics in New York City, went unpublished until 1997 because the university's administrators did not appreciate its criticism of what Almond called "the idle rich" and its author's unflattering portrait of John D. Rockefeller, who was a major benefactor of the university at the time; however, for decades the thesis remained a kind of cult classic among students. "The book has many interesting insights on the role of glittery social events in creating a sense of in-group cohesion in the 'plutocracy,'" G. William Domhoff wrote in a review of the monograph for the American Journal of Sociology.

One of Almond's last published writings was Strong Religion: The Rise of Fundamentalisms around the World, written with R. Scott Appleby and Emmanuel Sivan. "Decades of study here result in what may be the single most cogent sociohistorical analysis of the modern religious phenomenon called fundamentalism," William P. Collins noted in his review of the book for the Library Journal. The authors discuss Islamic fundamentalism, a popular topic at the time Strong Religion was published, but place it within a larger matrix of Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, and other religious fundamentalisms, comparing and contrasting dozens of these anti-secular movements. "Readers who are not immediately familiar with militant Sikhism, or Buddhist 'extremism' in Sri Lanka, or the haredi and Gush Emunim movements in Israel will learn much," commented Foreign Affairs reviewer David Aikman, "and the analysis of the distinctiveness of Sunni Islamic revivalism in contrast with the Shi'ite variety is genuinely useful."



Penguin International Dictionary of Contemporary Biography, from 1900 to the Present, 2nd edition, Penguin (New York, NY), 2001.

Reader's Adviser, R.R. Bowker (New Providence, NJ), 1994.


American Journal of Sociology, January, 1999, G. William Domhoff, review of Plutocracy and Politics in New York City, p. 1250.

American Political Science Review, March, 1975, review of Crisis, Choice, and Change: Historical Studies of Political Development, p. 293.

Foreign Affairs, July-August, 2003, David Aikman, review of Strong Religion: The Rise of Fundamentalisms around the World, p. 188.

Library Journal, January, 2003, William P. Collins, review of Strong Religion, p. 116.

Middle East Journal, fall, 2003, review of Strong Religion, p. 704.

National Catholic Reporter, October 10, 2003, Wayne A. Holst, review of Strong Religion, p. 10a.


Independent, (January 9, 2003).



Los Angeles Times, January 8, 2003, p. B11.

New York Times, January 13, 2003, p. A22.

San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 2003, p. A27.

Times (London, England), January 17, 2003, p. 38.

Washington Post, January 13, 2003, p. B7.