Rosberg, Carl G(ustaf) 1923–1996

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Rosberg, Carl G(ustaf) 1923–1996

PERSONAL: Born February 28, 1923, in Oakland, CA; died October 3, 1996; son of Carl Gustaf and Ethel (Moore) Rosberg; married Elizabeth Joanna Wilson, October 23, 1954; children: James Howard, David Nils. Education: Georgetown University, B.S., 1948, M.S., 1950; Oxford University, Ph.D., 1954.

CAREER: Boston University, Boston, MA, research associate in African studies program, 1955–58; University of California, Berkeley, visiting assistant professor, 1958–59, assistant professor, 1959–63, professor of political science, 1967–89, chairman of department, 1969–74, director of Center for African Studies, director of Institute of International Studies, 1973–89. U.S. State Department, member of Advisory Council on African Affairs, 1962–67; RAND Corporation, consultant, 1964–67; Rockefeller Foundation, member of field staff; University College, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, head of political science department, 1967–69; on the faculties of the University of Makerere, Kampala, Uganda, and University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya. Military service: U.S. Army Air Force, 1943–45, served as navigator; prisoner of war, 1944–45; received Purple Heart and Air Medal.

AWARDS, HONORS: Ford Foundation fellow, 1954–55; Rosberg Scholar Award was established in Rosberg's honor by the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1966.


The Commonwealth of Nations as an Evolving Intergovernmental System, (Washington, DC), 1950.

Africa and the World Today, [Chicago, IL], 1960.

(With George Bennett) The Kenyatta Election: Kenya 1960–1961, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1961.

(Editor, with William Friedland) African Socialism ("Hoover Institution" series), Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 1964.

(Editor, with James Smoot Coleman) Political Parties and National Integration in Tropical Africa, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1964.

(With John Nottingham) The Myth of "Mau Mau": Nationalism in Kenya ("Hoover Institution" series), Praeger (New York, NY), 1966.

(Editor, with Thomas M. Callaghy) Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment (Institute of International Studies, "Research" series, number 38), University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1979.

(Editor, with Robert M. Price) The Apartheid Regime: Political Power and Racial Domination (Institute of International Studies, "Research" series, number 43), University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1980.

(With Robert H. Jackson) Personal Rule in Black Africa: Prince, Autocrat, Prophet, Tyrant, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1982.

(Editor, with David E. Apter), Political Development and the New Realism in Sub-Saharan Africa, University Press of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), 1994.

SIDELIGHTS: Carl G. Rosberg was born in Oakland, California, and served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. His plane was shot down over Romania in 1944, and he was a prisoner of war until 1945, when he was liberated by Russian troops. Rosberg's groundbreaking efforts in creating scholarly exchanges with the former Soviet Union and China were carried out through University of California programs. As director of the Institute of International Studies, Rosberg established a graduate fellowship program and the exchange program that included students from Berkeley and Nairobi, Kenya.

Many of Rosberg's students went on to become leaders in African studies in universities around the world. He coauthored articles and books with his students and helped them in their careers. Several of his coauthored volumes have become standards in African studies, including The Myth of the "Mau Mau": Nationalism in Kenya and Personal Rule in Black Africa: Prince, Autocrat, Prophet, Tyrant, a book to which former student Herbert H. Werlin referred in his 1994 article, a tribute to Rosberg, in the Journal of Asian and African Studies.

Rosberg died following a series of illnesses in 1996. The writer of his obituary in the Berkeley/Stanford African Studies Newsletter noted that the long-time educator "had a tremendous impact as a teacher and as a mentor."



Journal of Asian and African Studies, July-October, 1994, Herbert H. Werlin, "Ghana and South Korea: Explaining Development Disparities—An Essay in Honor of Carl Rosberg," p. 205.

New Statesman, June 23, 1967, Thomas Hodgkin, review of The Myth of "Mau Mau:" Nationalism in Kenya.

New York Times Book Review, March 5, 1967, Elspeth Huxley, review of The Myth of "Mau Mau."

Times Literary Supplement, May 18, 1967, review of The Myth of "Mau Mau," p. 417.



Berkeley/Stanford African Studies Newsletter, winter, 1996–97.

Los Angeles Times, October 12, 1996, p. A18.