Paul Robinson works on the history of European (and sometimes American) thought in the 19th and 20th centuries. His writing has focused on three topics. The first is the history of psychoanalysis. The second is the history of ideas about human sexuality, especially the experience of gays and lesbians. The third is the connection between intellectual history and the history of opera. He his the author of many books, including The Freudian Left: Wilhelm Reich, Geza Roheim, Herbert Marcuse (1969), Opera and Ideas: From Mozart to Strauss (1985), and Gay Lives: Homosexual Autobiography from John Addington Symonds to Paul Monette (1999).