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Book reviews for "Schlesinger,_Arthur_Meier" sorted by average review score:

Jimmy Carter (World Leaders Past and Present)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (1989)
Authors: Ed Slavin and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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Jimmy Carter: The People's Aardvark . . .
"The People's Aardvark" is Ed Slavin's sub-title for the chapter on "Purging Corruption," which focuses on Jimmy Carter's successful run for the Presidency in 1976. You see, that year, in the wake of Watergate, a Democratic party official had declared the party "could run an aardvark this year and win." Of course, one of the purposes of Ed Slavin's biography of Jimmy Carter is to given readers a better sense of how the first Southerner since Zachary Taylor to be elected to the White House (No, Texans do not count) was a bit more than an aardvark (with all apologies to Cerebus). Slavin begins his biography with Carter's last day in office, clearly recognizing the Iranian hostage crisis as the crucible of his presidency. The other chapters are devoted to Carter's youth and years in the military, his political career in Georgia, the surprisingly successful run for the Presidency, the impact of the oil crisis on Carter's domestic policy, his greatest success with the Camp David Accord, his foreign policy with regards to the Panama Canal and the Soviet Union, and a final chapter that parallels the downfall of the Shah of Iran with Carter leaving office. Written in 1989, this book touches only briefly on Carter's work since leaving the White House. However, there are other juvenile biographies that deal more with his political and social work over the past twenty years that have made him one of the more active ex-Presidents.

"Jimmy Carter" is a biography that effectively emphasizes depth over breadth. There are competing biographies that certainly provide more biographical information and details about the Carter Presidency. However, Slavin limits the number of topics to provide more substance and more analysis than you will normally find. The result, is a better understanding of the complex issues that defined the Carter presidency and which highlighted his strengths and weaknesses as a leader. Obviously, Slavin proves Carter to be more than the aardvark of the moment. "World Leaders Past & Present" is a biographical series written especially for young adults and intended to introduce people from history whose ideas and actions have determined the course of history from John Adams to Zhou Enlai. This book, and I suspect others in the series, has an introduction on "Leadership" by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. that defines the focus and import of the series.

John Smith: English Explore and Colonist (Colonial Leaders)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Publishing (2000)
Authors: Tara Baukus Mello and Arthur Meier Schlesinger
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The true story of the life of Captain John Smith
There is probably no more legendary figure in the history of colonial America than Captain John Smith, the English Explorer. Of course, this is due mainly to the story of how his life was saved by the Indian maiden Pocahontas. To be fair, Smith's story was obscured by such tales long before the Disney movie. In this informative juvenile biography, Tara Baukus Mello gives young readers the true story of John Smith. We learn about Smith's early career as a soldier, which saw him brought to Constantinople as a slave, before he joined the Virginia Colony and came to Jamestown. After exploring the truth behind the legends of Smith, Pocahontas and the Powhatan tribe, Mello also looks at the period where Smith was the leader of Jamestown and then traces his final explorations and the important books he wrote about life in the New World. This book in the Colonial Leaders series is illustrated with historic pictures as well as contemporary color photographs of the Jamestown restoration. Other volumes in this series cover both colonists like Lord Baltimore, military leaders like Peter Stuyvesant, and religious leaders like Anne Hutchinson. Young students, as well as their teachers, who are interested in getting beyond what they find in American History textbooks about any of these famous figures will find this series provides excellent additional information.

Martin Luther King (World Leaders Past and Present)
Published in Paperback by Chelsea House Publishing (1989)
Authors: Robert E. Jakoubek, Nancy Shuker, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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Martin Luther King by Robert E. Jacoubek and Nancy Shuker
The book Martin Luther King by Robert E. Jacoubek and Nancy Shuker demonstrates the amazing struggle Martin Luther King, Jr. and the black community went through to gain the independence and free will their ethnic group deserves. This book is a very good learning device because within the book there is a leadership essay by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. which clearly states what leadership is and how it affects the world. This essay helps you understand what America was like during Mr. King's lifetime.

The authors didn't write much about Martin Luther King's personal life. Instead, they talked about what conflicts he faced and what specific important things he accomplished. This way of writing allowed the reader to learn more about his heroic tasks. The authors wrote in a very factual manner. They gave many examples of what Mr. King accomplished by talking about his conflicts and then explaining the resolution he came up with.

The authors also used a story-telling technique in their book. They told most of the story in a "third person" view. To do this, they properly fit many actual quotations from Mr. King's speeches into the story. This way of writing allows the reader to learn more from the story that is told. The following quotation from the book is one example of this story-telling technique: "King told the crowds at that night's mass meeting: 'Now they know that an injunction will not stop us.'"

This book is great for all ages. The way the authors wrote helped me understand what a hero really was and what characteristics Martin Luther King had to produce such an advancement and to make the world more equal. The book makes you think of questions that influence what a hero really is. When I read the book, I thought of questions like: "Do leaders lead by force or by persuasion" By command or consent?" Raising these basic questions makes you think about the passage and what it really means.

I would recommend this wonderful book to everyone. It expressed Mr. King's story in a very logical manner which made it much easier to read. It showed how hard Martin Luther King worked at helping his ethnic group succeed in life with segregation and mistreatment surrounding their lives. The book taught me never to give up, no matter how difficult the task is and some day you will get what you deserve and worked hard for. In the end, after all the crime and mistreatment that had taken place, Martin Luther King finally pursued his dream and his people are set free.

Nelson and Winnie Mandela (World Leaders Past and Present)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (1989)
Authors: John J. Vail and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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Our heroes
Mandela has made us as an African people proud. The book was a good revies of the S. African struggle and Mandela's part in it.
A must read for all Africans.

Politics of Upheaval: The Age of Roosevelt
Published in Paperback by Houghton Mifflin Co (Pap) (1974)
Author: Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr.
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A Classic FDR Study
"The Politics of Upheaval" ranks as one of the finest narrative historical works in American annals. Arthur Mr. Schlesinger Jr., a former John F. Kennedy presidential aide and speechwriter to Democratic presidential nominee Adlai E. Stevenson, has crafted in highly readable fashion one of the premier studies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's groundbreaking first term.

Schlesinger creates an enduring portrait of America's Depression president by presenting the challenges he faced during a tumultuous period and revealing how he surmounted them. Schlesinger cites Roosevelt's great triumphs such as passage of the Social Security Act in 1935 and the Rural Electrification Act, which brought badly needed power to farm communities leveled by the Great Depression. Schlesinger also provides a fascinating segment on the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

In order to continue in his battle against the ravages of economic hardship, Roosevelt needed to be reelected. Despite the fact that perilous conditions continued, which Roosevelt fought to surmount, his progressive agenda enabled him to triumph over forces ranging from Senator Huey Long of Louisiana, the Union for Social Justice on the right with Congressman William Lemke, Father Coughlin, and Gerald L.K. Smith, Norman Thomas of the Socialist Party, and on the far left Earl Browder, perpetual presidential nominee of the American Communist Party. FDR boldly challenged Americans to overcome doubt, develop confidence, and work toward a better future by pulling together during a time of great adversity.

Roosevelt took his message to the voters in November. He received the most tumultuous landslide victory in history by winning every state but Maine and Vermont while accumulating better than 61% of the vote in defeating the Republican nominee, Governor Alf M. Landon of Kansas.

Robert Kennedy: In His Own Words: The Unpublished Recollections of the Kennedy Years
Published in Hardcover by Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd) (1991)
Authors: Edwin O. Guthman, Jeffrey Shulman, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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very exciting!
the texts are very complete, but a little bit boring.the best part were the photos! there are some very rare ones.
not buy it if you are not interessed in RFK.

Stonewall Jackson: Confederate General (Famous Figures of the Cifil War Era)
Published in Library Binding by Econo-Clad Books (2001)
Authors: Martha S. Hewson and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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An excellent juvenile biography of Stonewall Jackson
Well, it is clear to me that all of the volumes in the Famous Figures of the Civil War Era series are going to refer to their subjects by their first name, and while calling Stonewall Jackson "Tom" throughout this book does not bother me as much as calling William Tecumseh Sherman "William," I still have a fundamental problem with juvenile biographies that build familiarity between the subject and the reader by this tactic. This is especially true when you are talking about military leaders who led armies slaughtering one another.

That reservation aside, this is an excellent series for teaching young students more about some of the most important figures in the Civil War. Martha S. Hewson does a nice job of capturing the remarkable transformation of Thomas J. Jackson, from an odd professor at the Virginia Military Institute into one of the most brilliant leaders of American troops in the nation's history, immortalized as "Stonewall" Jackson. Hewson does an especially nice job of explaining some of the tactical maneuvers that earned Jackson his reputation. When, after Jackson's death, Robert E. Lee contends that the Confederates would have won the Battle of Gettysburg and therefore the Civil War if Jackson had still been alive, young readers will be inclined to agree. This book is illustrated with historic etchings and paintings, but, surprisingly, no photographs. Side-bars explore details from Jackson's life, such as why the Civil War was called "The Brother's War" and the importance of mapmaking to Jackson's campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. This is an excellent series for providing young students more information about the Civil War.

Yasir Arafat (Major World Leaders)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (2002)
Authors: Colleen Madonna Flood Williams, Albert Schweitzer, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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Yasir Arafat
I used this to do a report about Yasir Arafat. It was a great book! Good photos and information. Also, it was easy to read. I learned that Yasir means "easy going." Pretty cool. I can't wait to read more books by Colleen Madonna Flood Williams. Her name is long, but it's still a nice name.

Robert Kennedy and His Times
Published in Hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Co (1980)
Author: Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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An ispirational and poetic tribute to a complex hero
This is my absolute favorite book in the world, and it is about my personal hero, so perhaps I am a bit biased. Yet this book spoke to me as few have. Robert Kennedy was among the most complex figures to appear on the American scene, and this is a balanced (though admittedly favorable) treatment of his fascinating life. Eminently readable, sometimes even beautifully written, Schlesinger's book seems to flesh Kennedy into a real person right before our eyes. What makes RFK such a hero to me is his humanity. He was not always perfect, not always easy, not always right. But he tried so hard, and worked so tirelessly, that even one who does not admire his social beliefs must respect his efforts. Though many mistrust him because of his late conversion to liberal politics, it is precisely this which makes him so salient a figure to me. As Schlesinger so effectively shows, Kennedy had an amazing ability to grow and change. He was ever in flux, constantly learning. This is why he would have made a great president, and this is why this book is still of so much import to the contemporary reader. As we look askance at a political community which does not seem to offer us sincerity, the picture of a fumbling, hard as nails, emotionally aroused, practical leader with a dedication to principle as well as an excellent political mind is refreshing. I recommend this book to everyone who still cares about the less fortunate in our society.

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr hit a gold mine with Robert Kennedy and His Times, not only is it well written and well reaserched, it is highly informative for the novice RFK historian, or anyone for that matter. This book is perhaps Schlesinger's best work yet and it should have won the Pullitzer Prize; I, personally, found it better than his rendition of John Kennedy, A Thousand Days. I would advise anyone who wants to learn about this great man, and President who should have been, to purchase this book, but read it slowly because it is full of detail.

One of the best
This book is fascinating, not only because of its priciple subject, but because Schlesinger brings to life the personalities and events surrounding RFK's life. J. Edgar Hoover, Joe Macarthy, Martin Luther King, and the kings of organized crime all play prominantly, and the reader learns as much about the zeigeist of Kennedy's time as RFK himself.

This is one the best biographies and history books that I have read. It is also long and detailed, and written from an intimate and personal perspective. Schlesinger was a family friend of the Kennedy's and many of his observations about their family life are recorded.

This book is still considered the definative biography on Kennedy's life, and I highly recommend it.

Theodore Roosevelt (Childhood of the Presidents)
Published in Library Binding by Mason Crest Publishers (2002)
Authors: Hal Marcovitz, Mason Crest Publishers, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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John the Baptist to Edmund Morris's Volume III
This slim volume may serve as a excellent introduction to the life of TR, or as a bracing romp through familiar landscape for devoted TR aficionados. The book itself is a little pricey for what you get, however (I hope a paperback edition of this American Presidents series is made available eventually), and it is pretty evident to the informed reader that Auchincloss is merely reviewing the conclusions of previous biographers. Auchincloss does attend to a particularly interesting period of TR's life, i.e. his decline and fall. From TR's impulsive public declaration not to seek a "third" term, the bloodletting in Africa, his quixotic Bull Moose campaign, the misadventure in the Amazon, to TR's death shortly following the death of his youngest son in WWI ("poor Quinnikins"), Auchincloss's volume was for me a tantalizing foreshadowing of what is certain to be a grand event in biography -- the third volume of Edmund Morris's TR trilogy. This book should help keep you satisfied (if only for a few hours) until the release of Morris' next volume. And after you read Auchincloss's TR, you should read his THE RECTOR OF JUSTIN if you've never done so, and also Edward Renehan's THE LAST LION (excellent mini-biographies of TR's sons, fascinating characters in their own right).

Good book for a tough subject to pin down.
This book serves as a good introduction to Theodore Roosevelt to either satisfy or stimulate one's curiosity before indulging in a lengthier biography. This is a "short" bio, and not meant to be a treatise on T.R. The author was better with his Penguin Lives book on Woodrow Wilson, but he seemed to have more fun with Roosevelt.
As a subject T.R. is especially enjoyable, but more for his forceful character than for any of his objective accomplishments (for which the author notes several, e.g., negotiating the peace between Japan and Russia, and his national conservationist orders, etc.).
The author addresses Roosevelt's sense that his presidency was relatively unspectacular, and since war time presidents receive the most historical attention (e.g., leading to positive evaluations for Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, but negative for Wilson due to his post war failures), Roosevelt felt himself cheated from his place of greatness due to being a peacetime president.
As this author notes, many of T.R.'s beliefs had long lasting value (especially, I feel, his beliefs on the limitations of capitalism as spoken by a pro-business chief executive). Those who followed him, though, soon abandoned these attitudes. The reason for this seems to rest with T.R. He accomplished much emphasizing the forcefulness of his personality and took credit for improvements as being uniquely his. Since he can be the only T.R., his philosophy could not be transmitted to others. When out of office, he was no longer "T.R." and his so-called system collapsed as with a deck of cards. He was ultimately left a shell of his former self.
What if Roosevelt had toned down some of his tendencies? Might he have extended his influence over the next administrations and the country? If so, might this have led to a different result in how America influenced the developing European disputes that resulted in the First World War? These are some of the questions that remained with me from reading this book.

Excellent Series
This is the second volume in the new American Presidents series edited by Arthur M. Schlessinger, and like the first on James Madison, provides excellent, although brief insight into one of America's most fascinating characters. The prime focus of this book is on TR's presidential and post-presidential years. Limited space does not allow for anything more than a brief summary of Roosevelt's early life, which may actually be his most interesting period. Still there is enough to give the reader a basis for understanding Roosevelt's revolutionary power-expanding actions as President. Auchincloss does a wonderful job of filling this short volume with all of the important events of Roosevelt's life while keeping to a very enjoyable and readable style. It is a good introduction to Roosevelt and will leave you wanting to learn more.

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