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Ear to the Ground

Famed Historian Schlesinger Dead at 89

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Posted on Mar 2, 2007
Arthur Schlesinger
planetpoint.com

Arthur M. Schlesinger died Wednesday from a heart attack at the age of 89. A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Kennedy White House fixture, Schlesinger wrote or edited more than 25 books and once referred to George W. Bush’s post-9/11 policy as “a ghastly mess.”


Washington Post:

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., 89, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who wrote about the evolution of the American democratic tradition, served in the Kennedy White House as a “court philosopher” and was among the foremost public intellectuals of his era, died Feb. 28 at New York Downtown Hospital after a heart attack.

Schlesinger rose to prominence at 28 when his book “The Age of Jackson,” about the democratization of U.S. politics under President Andrew Jackson in the early 19th century, won the 1946 Pulitzer for history. Twenty years later, his book “A Thousand Days,” an account of his role as special assistant to President John F. Kennedy, won the Pulitzer in the category of biography or autobiography.

In the 1950s, Schlesinger also wrote three volumes about President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, the Depression-era political and economic doctrine. Published as “The Age of Roosevelt,” the books were considered valuable accounts of a tumultuous period.

Sean Wilentz, a history professor and former director of American studies at Princeton University, said of Schlesinger: “He was certainly one of the outstanding American historians of his generation. He set the terms for understanding not just one or two but three eras of American history—Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. It’s enough for most historians to write one book and get recognition for it.”

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By RAE, March 3, 2007 at 12:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He’s certainly in a better place now… no matter where that might be. America is going insane and better to be gone when it hits the wall.

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By trantieungoc, March 2, 2007 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rest in peace ! No more friends or foes !

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By Stephen Smoliar, March 2, 2007 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the belief that the best way to honor Schlesinger’s memory is through his writings, I have reproduced three particularly perceptive passages from “Has Democracy a Future?” in my own blog at:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2007/03/remembering-schlesinger.html

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