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Gabriel Abraham Almond

Almond was born in Rock Island, Illinois, U.S., the son of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. He attended the University of Chicago, both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student, and worked with Harold Lasswell. Almond completed his Ph.D. degree in 1938, but his doctoral dissertation, Plutocracy and Politics in New York City, was not published until 1998, because it included unflattering references to John D. Rockefeller, a benefactor of the University of Chicago.

Almond taught at Brooklyn College (now the City University of New York) from 1939 to 1942. With U.S. entry into World War II, Almond joined the Office of War Information, analyzing enemy propaganda, and becoming head of its Enemy Information Section. After the war, Almond worked for the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in post-war Germany.

Almond returned to academic life in 1947 and taught at Yale University (1947–1950) and (1959–1963), Princeton University (1950–1959), and Stanford University (1963–1993). He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1961.[1] He was chair of the political science department at Stanford from 1964 to 1969 and spent time as a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo, the University of Belo Horizonte, and the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Although Almond retired in 1976 and became an emeritus professor at Stanford, he continued to write and teach until his death.

Almond chaired the Social Science Research Council's Committee on Comparative Politics for many years and was president of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for 1965-66. In 1981, he received APSA's James Madison Award, which is given to a political scientist who has made a "distinguished scholarly contribution" during his or her career. He was also the first recipient of the Karl Deutsch Award of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) in 1997. Almond died in Pacific Grove, California aged 91.


Almond broadened the field of political science in the 1950s by integrating approaches from other social science disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, and anthropology, into his work. He transformed an interest in foreign policy into systematic studies of comparative political development and culture. Almond's research eventually covered many topics, including the politics of developing countries, Communism, and religious fundamentalism.

Almond was a prolific author, publishing 18 books and numerous journal articles, and co-writing many others. His most famous work was The Civic Culture (1963), co-authored with Sidney Verba. It popularized the idea of a political culture - a concept that includes national character and how people choose to govern themselves - as a fundamental aspect of society. Almond and Verba distinguished different political cultures according to their level and type of political participation and the nature of people's attitudes toward politics. The Civic Culture was one of the first large-scale cross-national survey studies undertaken in political science and greatly stimulated comparative studies of democracy.

Almond also contributed to theoretical work on political development. In Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach (1966), Almond and G. Bingham Powell proposed a variety of cultural and functional ways to measure the development of societies. For a period in the 1960s and 1970s, Almond's approaches came to define comparative politics.

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PublisherPrinceton University Press
Pages count608
File size6.7 Mb
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
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