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A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950
As a preeminent historian of our time, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., continues in his many books and articles to show Americans who we are as a nation, to explain our past, and to illuminate possibilities for the future. But here, in the first volume of his long-awaited memoirs, he turns his acute historian's eye on his own past. In the elegant and witty language of one of o ...more
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published November 21st 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(first published 2000)
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Aug 16, 2007 John rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: enthusiasts of 20th century history
The lengthy but lighthearted memior recounting the first half of the life of Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Aside from charming anecdotes and insighful stories, this book contains Schlesinger's remembrance of the golden age of US cinema (along with enough obscure titles to fill a Netflix cue for the better part of a year), a charming paen to the martini (always with gin and very dry), and some excellent insights into the state of the American psyche before and during World War II.
An autobiography peppered with historical references. Well written, but dry. I could not relate to Schlesinger's experiences which made it difficult to stay interested in the book. I still want to read his historical analyses, as I think he is probably a better historian than memoir writer.
Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr., born Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger, was a Pulitzer Prize recipient and American historian and social critic whose work explored the liberalism of American political leaders including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy. He served as special assistant and "court historian" to President Kennedy from 1961 to 1963. He wrote a detailed account of th ...moreMore about Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr....