Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Much of what we know about American history came from reading the books of this man. According to The New York Times:
The cause was a heart attack, said Mr. Schlesinger’s son Stephen. He died at New York Downtown Hospital after being stricken in a restaurant.

Twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Mr. Schlesinger exhaustively examined the administrations of two prominent presidents, Andrew Jackson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, against a vast background of regional and economic rivalries. He strongly argued that strong individuals like Jackson and Roosevelt could bend history.

The notes he took for President John F. Kennedy to use in writing his own history, became, after the president’s assassination, grist for Mr. Schlesinger’s own “A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House,” winner of both the Pulitzer and a National Book Award in 1966.
He wrote “The Disuniting of America” in 1991 and drew flames for comparing Afrocentrism to the Ku Klux Klan. He also criticized the then-new “multicultural society.”

Schlesinger took the attacks with the air of someone who really understands the Long View. “What the hell,” he said. “You have to call them as you see them. This too shall pass.”


Anonymous said...

I don't think that this country places much value in its intellectual thinkers, but in the last year we have lost Schlesinger and John Galbraith. I think it will be hard to find replacements for these two greats.

John Stone said...

I totally agree with Anon 1258

Anonymous said...

Back in the mid-1990s, while living out of town, I had the unexpected thrill of meeting Mr. Schlesinger, who like me was a lodger for the evening at Walnut Street Inn here in Springfield. We talked candidly about politics for more than an hour in the parlor of the bed & breakfast inn. To this day I regard him as one of the most brilliant people I've ever had the good fortune to meet. He was as humble as he was worldly. Such a loss.