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

JFK Remembered
Published in Hardcover by Grammercy (1998)
Authors: Jacques Lowe and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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The President
I'm an italian student in Economy and I'm a great fan of Jfk. Probably I think this is one of the best book I have ever read. The photos are very nice and the text of Schlesinger is very interesting.

The text are complete, and there are a lot of rare and cute photos. The book tells about Jack, Jackie and bobby so it's great. I suggest it too all Kennedy fans. I enjoyed it.

A beautiful book on the former first family. The perfect book to share with family and friends. Highly recommended!!!!!! FOR QUESTIONS OR DISCUSSIONS ON JACKIE ONASSIS, PLEAE E-MAIL ME AT HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

An American Album: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Harper's Magazine
Published in Hardcover by LPC Group (01 April, 2000)
Authors: Lewis H. Lapham, Ellen Rosenbush, Lewis H. Lapman, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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harper's folly
though i have been a reader of harper's for only 20 of its 150 years--13 percent of its total publishing history--i welcomed this anthology with great anticipation. Then why was I disappointed when the heavy tome arrived? its size makes it too unwieldly to read, especially in bed where i normally read all my harper's magazines. it's like going to bed with a cement block. granted there are some wonderful essays (read: the history of the magazine parallels the cyclical highs and lows of publishing in this country), some stand out in greater relief, such as trotsky's warning about hitler. there's something to be said about reading journalism as history, and this collection won't disappoint. plus, there are some of my favorite essays of a recent vintage--david foster wallace on the state fair or richard rodriguez on san francisco's new gentilty. in any case, buy this book if you have strong biceps; otherwise, content yourself with the stellar monthly magazine.

Huge Compilation of Great Stories at a Good Price
I kept needing short stories for school reports so I bought this collection to save countless trips to the library. Everything is right in there; no scavanging is needed to find great classic stories. There are so many to choose from that in the event that one of my teachers assigns a specific short story, it will be in there. This anthology proved infinitly useful in the past few months I've had it and will continue to provide me with relevant material in the future for years to come. A must buy.

A showcase of American literary works and images.
Works by some of the finest, most notable American writers who contributed to Harper's Magazine over the decades are gathered in a single volume commemorating over a hundred fifty years of the magazine's publication. An American Album: 150 Years Of Harpers Magazine is a showcase of works and images which contains some outstanding writing, and which should not be missed by any with an affection for American literary style.

The Imperial Presidency
Published in Paperback by Houghton Mifflin Co (Pap) (1989)
Author: Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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Once again important
Although this book focuses on Richard Nixon's abuse of Presidential power, it can apply to the present day as well. Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush have all extended the power of the Presidency in ways the framers of the Constitution would never have dreamed of. I agree with the reviewer who commented about the favoritism towards Kennedy and Roosevelt hence the four stars rather than five. A great read for anyone interested in the American Constitution as it relates to the powers of the President.

Schlesinger's most revolutionary book to date!
Not Schlesinger's best work, however the Imperial Presidency may be his most revolutionary book to date. The book tended to be quite redundant and repetitive. He also placed the best two chapters first, which in turn may not have been the best move. Although this book has its downsides (mentioned above) the chapters on Nixon and Secrecy are well worth the read. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn about the powers of the presidency and Congress and the feud between the two, which has so evidently become a part of our daily lives.

Brilliant and important.
Whatever his shortcomings (see below), historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. has a great mind and writes with a silver pen. I am immensely impressed with his book on the growth of presidential power in America and cannot imagine a better introduction to my future studies on this important subject.

The book's organization is superb. Appropriately, it first discusses the Founding Fathers' likely intentions in regard to the Presidency and where they disagreed amongst themselves. Next it explains the Presidency and its war power, tracing its development through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, and paying special attention to the Second World War, the Korean War and Vietnam. Most of a 64-page chapter is devoted to President Richard M. Nixon's radical ideas and practices. Democracy and foreign policy is then treated, followed by the Presidency and its powers of secrecy, and finally, the Presidency and its future. As these subjects are dealt with, many facts are thrown at the reader, the totality being hard to absorb. Fortunately, nothing is explained in isolation. The author constantly backtracks, providing new historical context and rehashing material already covered. This practice, plus good organization and a high degree of literary skill (Dr. Schlesinger can *write*), make this book highly readable.

Of particular interest is Dr. Schlesinger's discussion of philosopher John Locke's idea of presidential prerogative, of which I was previously unaware (and which I am still mulling over). This is the view that extraordinary national emergencies create temporary exceptions to normal constitutional restrictions on a president's power to act. This prerogative is supposed to come into play during clear threats to the republic that require immediate action and that are recognized by Congress and the people as legitimate emergencies; a president is also supposed to submit himself to the judgment of Congress (e.g., for possible impeachment) after exercising this prerogative, and not pretend that he had been acting within the Constitution (which might set a dangerous precedent). This idea is important because of its influence on the Founding Fathers, who were steeped in Locke, and because of its consequences. Correctly or not, President Abraham Lincoln invoked it during the Civil War, as did President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II. President Richard M. Nixon also made use of it... with far less justification.

Dr. Schlesinger's treatment of President Nixon, the size of whose index entry dwarfs that of any other topic in the book, is also fascinating. Dr. Schlesinger clearly is appalled by the man and devotes many pages to his schenanigans and his almost monarchical views of Presidential power. He demonstrates just how significant a departure was the Presidency under Nixon from the Presidency as conceived by the Founding Fathers. In a statement that is very true, Dr. Schlesinger calls Nixon's Presidency "a culmination, not an aberration, and potentially the best thing to have happened to the Presidency in a long time" (paraphrasing from memory, since I lost the page). It is unfortunate that Congress did not make the most of Watergate and put the Presidency into its proper place (e.g., see its shameful War Powers Act or the Presidency of Bill Clinton). This, Congress's own role in the expansion of Presidential power (its unwise, Cold War-inspired delegation of foreign policy discretion to the Presidency, its evasion of responsibility, its cowardice, etc.), is also given just and ample treatment.

I am concerned about Dr. Schlesinger's possible biases. He discloses, for example, that he was an aide in President John F. Kennedy's administration, and indeed his view of Kennedy's Presidency is relatively rosey. He is also kind to President Roosevelt and must admire him, else he would not be a leading member of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. And as David S. Wyman contends in his definitive history of America's response to the Holocaust, *The Abandonment of the Jews*, Dr. Schlesinger has long maintained (though it does not come up in this volume) that Roosevelt did all he could to save European Jews from the Nazis during World War II--in utter contradiction of the facts.

My main criticism of *The Imperial Presidency* is theoretical. I am a strict constructionist, Dr. Schlesinger believes in a looser, evolutionary interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. He says as much in his first chapter. Quoting President Woodrow Wilson--that despot of democracy whose own collectivist impulses and subversion of the Constitution forced our American boys into the bloody trenches of a European war--he objects to the Constitution's being treated as "a mere legal document, to be read as a will or contract," and advocates that its meaning be determined "by the exigencies and the new aspects of life itself." I will state here simply that under this view of the Constitution, the document's meaning becomes anything anybody at any time wishes it to be--in which case it loses all utility, we might as well have no Constitution and kiss our individual rights goodbye to unscrupulous men and prevailing philosophies that might not, in fact, be in our best interest. We have the power of Amendment for a reason. I dare not speculate how Dr. Schlesinger's beliefs might have affected his scholarship. I will note with irony, however, that the constitutional views he expouses have greatly contributed to the "imperial presidency" he so decries. Was Nixon the chief culprit in Watergate--or was he the culmination of intellectuals like Dr. Schlesinger?

Despite these criticisms, there is more good in *The Imperial Presidency* than bad. I will repeatedly refer back to it whenever I have questions about what powers our presidents have and how they got them. I might buy a more recent edition. Mine was published shortly after Watergate, the constitutional crisis that occasioned the book's writing, but according to's description of it, it is supposed to cover the Presidency through Ronald Reagan. My curiosity is piqued.

Lincoln the War President: The Gettysburg Lectures
Published in Paperback by Oxford University Press (1994)
Authors: Gabor S. Boritt, Kenneth M. Stampp, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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An excellent collection of views.
Although at times the essays in this do not always focus directly on Lincoln, in one he is compared to Bismark, they all reflect the greatness of the man and his post in the Amercan Civil War. This is a must have for those interested in political control of the military, nation building, and or Lincoln.

Eminent Historians with Deep Thoughts on A.L.
"Lincoln the War President" presents seven essays, five of which are by Pulitzer Prize-winning historians, that focus specifically on Lincoln's execution of the Civil War. In "The Shadow of a Coming War," Robert V. Bruce starts the collection off with a fascinating look a the premonitions of civil war that haunted the American republic since the independence was declared, including Lincoln's reluctance to accept war as a real possibility. James M. McPherson's essay "Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender" catalogues Lincoln's brilliance as a "national strategist," dealing with not only military but also political and economic concerns as well. David Brion Davis looks at "The Emancipation Movement" in terms of both its promising goals and its disappointing results. In "One Among Many: The United States and National Unification," Carl N. Delger considers the Civil War as a successful attempt at true national unification, offering the counter-examples of Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Kenneth M. Stampp's essay, "One Alone? The United States and National Self-determination," explores the issue of self-determination and how the Southern struggle for independence compares to other historical examples, including the Eastern Europe after the Soviets. Not surprisingly, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. considers a historical analogy in "War and the Constitution: Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt," looking at how the pair clearly went beyond the limits of the Constitution in trying to defend the nation and the idea of freedom. Finally, Gabor S. Boritt's essay "War Opponent and War President," traces Lincoln's transformation from a Congressman denouncing the Mexican War, to the war president who wanted the Confederate Army destroyed, to a leader speaking out for reconciliation.

"Lincoln the War President" is certainly a thoughtful collection of essays that are enhanced by a concerted effort to put Lincoln's situation and actions in context, trying to keep an eye on the "big picture." In that regard the comparisons to other times and places are useful for helping history students appreciate Lincoln's virtues. While this is a book that students of Lincoln and Civil War buffs will enjoy, it should prove just as interesting to casual students of American History. The arguments it presents would certainly be provocative for both high school and college students to consider. Consequently, these essays would provide teachers with great supplementary material for teaching about Lincoln and the Civil War.

A Hazard of New Fortunes (Modern Library Classics)
Published in Paperback by Modern Library (12 February, 2002)
Authors: William Dean Howells, Arthue M., Jr. Schlesinger, David J. Nordloh, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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Several Sideshows Jell Into A Novel
A usual book review outlines something of the plot, not enough to give everything away, but at least something to catch a potential reader's fancy. I cannot assure you that this book has much of plot---some men come together to run a new bi-weekly magazine in New York in the 1880s, their financial backer has hickish, conservative tendencies and he opposes a certain impoverished writer who supports socialism (then a wild-eyed fantasy. This rich man's son, who abhors any form of business, is made into the managing editor. A crisis develops, takes a sudden unexpected turn, and the men buy out the backer, who leaves for Europe. Most novels have a main character whose moods and motivations are central to the work. Not A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES. Several people figure almost equally in this respect, none of them women, but women are developed more than in most male-authored novels of the time, even including a sympathetic view of a very independent female character. Basil March might be taken for the main character, but that would be mostly because he is introduced first. He is abandoned for long stretches while we follow the lives and personalities of others.

Yet, I must say, I admired Howells' novel very much. It is not for those who require action, sex, or dramatic events. Rather, it is a slice of life of the period, of the place, of family life and social repartee that may be unequalled. Though Howells claimed to be a "realist" and he is often spoken of, it seems, as one of such a school in American literature, the novel oscillates between extremely vivid descriptions of all varieties of life in New York, humanist philosophizing, and mild melodrama, thus, I would not class it as a truly realist novel in the same sense as say, "McTeague" by Frank Norris. Howells had the American optimism, the reluctance to dwell on the darker sides of human nature. This novel may draw accusations, then, of naivete. I think that would be short-sighted. Henry James and Faulkner might be deeper psychologically and Hemingway more sculpted, but Howells sometimes puts his finger right on the very essence of American ways of thinking and on American character. Some sections, like for instance the long passage on looking for an apartment in New York-over thirty pages---simply radiate genius. The natural gas millionaire and his shrewish daughter; the gung-ho, go-getter manager of the magazine; the dreamy, but selfish artists, the Southern belle---all these may be almost stock characters in 20th century American letters, but can never have been better summarized than here. Two statements made by Basil March, a literary editor married into an old Boston family, sum up the feel of A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES, a novel that takes great cognizance of the potential for change in people (always an optimist's point of view). First, he says, "There's the making of several characters in each of us; we are each several characters and sometimes this character has the lead in us, and sometimes that." And lastly, he says "I don't know what it all means, but I believe it means good." Howells was no doubt a sterling man and this, perhaps his best novel, reflects that more than anything else.

If You Admire James, Twain, Tolstoy, or Zola--Read This!
This title should be on the syllabus of every American lit class. Read it and you'll realize that the canon is as full of holes as a chuck of swiss cheese.

A hazard which has gloriously succeeded.
William Dean Howells in his lifetime was ranked with his friend,Henry James as a writer of a new realistic kind of fiction,and however mild and idealistic it seems today,was considered by its admirers as refreshingly revolutionary and by others as cynical meanspiritedness seeking to sacrifice all that was "noble" in art.While actually having little in common with James, (he seems to be closer in spirit to Trollope)Howells' name was always side by side with James' and it was probably supposed that their future reputations would share a similiar fate. Unfortunately,that was not the case-while Henry James is considered a giant of American belles lettres,Howells has been relegated to minor status and except by a happy few,little read."A Hazard of New Fortunes",possibly Howell's best work,is one of the better known-but most people aren't aware that it is one of the greatest works of fiction in American literature.It is an impressive panorama of American life towards the end of the last century.People from Boston,the west,the south and Europe all converge in New York to enact a comedy of manners or tragedy,depending on their fortunes,that compares in its scope and masterly dissection of society, with"The Way We Live Now".Howell's light irony touches upon the eternal divisions between the haves and the have-nots,male and female,the socially secure and the unclassed,and with the Marches,the book's ostensible heroes,uses a typical normal middleclass family-with all of its intelligence,understanding,decency on one side and with all of its pretensions,timidity,selfishness on the other-to reflect the social unease and lack of justice in a supposedly sane and fair world.The book is subtle in its power and underneath its light tone probes the problems of its day with compassion and insight.Indeed,many of the problems it depicts are still relevant today.William Dean Howells wrote so many novels of worth that he deserves to have more than just a cult following; "A Hazard of New Fortunes" amply illustrates this.

The Disuniting of America : Reflections on a Multicultural Society
Published in Paperback by W.W. Norton & Company (1993)
Author: Arthur M. Schlesinger
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I originally was assigned to read this book for a class, and it turned out to be one of my favorites regarding the issues of multicultarism and America today. Schlesinger explores many things, including inclusiveness in History texts regarding minorities, the use of hyphens when describing ethnicity (African-American, for example) and particularly, the fragmentation of ethnic groups in America. This book was utterly thought-provoking. I don't agree with everything Schlesinger says, but I'm rather glad I read it.

Eminently Important for Our Time
I read this book twice just it mine out every once of gold it contained. The author debunks much of the hyper-multicultural political correctness that plagued our universities for much of the early 1990's (It has since subsided since its initial outbreak, but remains a constant problem), but makes his point without sounding reactionary or afraid of change. Instead, he assiduously disseminates the separtist anti-American sentiments of radical multiculturalism while reminding americans of the value of a cultural pluralistic society that honors the traditions and cultures of our ancestors while not forgetting the common bonds of Americanism that unite us all. To that point, he reminds the reader what Americanism truley is; it is not a homogenenous white monoculture that looks and acts like a bad 1950's sitcom. Rather, Americanism is expressed in the democratic values that have allowed all groups to participate in civic life.

His book is a seminal work, important for all, especially whites, such as myself, whose culture has defined the dominant culture in America for 200 years. Change and inclusion are good things. The road to a united America falls on both the natives to accept newcomers and the newcomers to accept the democratic American principles and not form antagonistic enclaves separate from the whole.

Schlesinger served the Kennedy administration, heavily involved in advancing Civil Rights. Any memory of pre-1960s America justifies his passion. Even lynching of Blacks was not illegal until Truman made it so in 1948 and images of fire hose and German Shepard attacks on peaceful Black protestors or their White supporters remains a stark memory. His book, however, is an alert to those of reason regardless of affiliation that the movement has run off its tracks. But that hasn't stopped its wreckage from continuing to plow a path of ruin through its original intent. As Schlesinger puts it, "A culture of ethnicity has arisen to denounce the idea of a melting pot, to protect and perpetuate separate ethnic and racial communities." Its underlying philosophy is that America is not a nation of individuals but a nation of groups, he says; ethnicity is the defining experience; division into ethnic communities establishes the structure of American society and the fundamental meaning of American history. "Multiethnic dogma abandons historic purposes, replacing assimilation by fragmentation, integration by separation." Our modern movements succeed where the Klan failed.

Referencing multiculturalism he asks if it is the school's function to teach racial pride? When does obsession with difference threaten identity? Since this 1993 book this obsession has become an educational standard. Our calendar is split into months for one race pride or another (except white and European). It starts early - believing the purpose of history is therapeutic. He notes, "Once ethnic pride and self-esteem become the criterion for teaching history then certain things cannot be taught." Schlesinger asks the question, "Why does anyone suppose that pride and inspiration are available only from people of the same ethnicity?" One wonders.

Schlesinger's core warning is the same as that of the Founders, that "the virus of tribalism lies dormant, flaring up to destroy entire nations." But that has not stopped the derailment of Civil Rights. As Schlesinger notes, Black America's valid leaders - like so much from the Left that began for the right reasons - have been hijacked for the benefits of opposition, not unification.

Alexander Hamilton (World Leaders: Past and Present)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (1989)
Authors: Steven O'Brien and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
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Dated but worthwhile
More interesting for an examination of how the perception of Hamilton has changed over time than as a biography (the book is over 100 years old). The author was the Senator who destroyed President Wilson's dream of a League of Nations, leaving him a broken man

The Birth of the Nation: A Portrait of the American People on the Eve of Independence
Published in Hardcover by Random House (1968)
Author: Arthur Meier Schlesinger
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Four and a half stars
This short history of American colonialism was published posthumously by the author's sons and wife. It is an entertaining account about the lives of American people. The subjects covered include educational advancements, political and cultural relations with England, social consciousness, and religion. Besides dealing with the life or ordinary people, Schlesinger makes a point of relating interesting details about famous Americans. In particular, the author is attentive to Benjamin Franklin's productive life and John Adams' political ideas. While the length of the book does not allow for an indepth analysis of any of these subjects, Schlesinger paints a vivid portait of American colonial life.

Building the Panama Canal: Chronicles from National Geographic (Cultural & Geographical Exploration Series/Chronicles from National geograpHic)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (1999)
Authors: Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Fred L. Israel, and National Geographic Society
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Building the Panama Canal
This book relates the history of the Panama Canal. It describes how it was planned and built. It includes a political and economical background. Also it explores the health aspects of the project and its impact on humans and animals.

This books includes many photographs from this era. Some are clear, but many are not. It also includes an index. Although this book will be useful for children that are researching the topic, it will not be easy for them to use due to the vocabulary and low interest level. Buy if you need information on this subject.

Part of the Cultural and Geographical Exploration series by National Geographic.

A Life in the Twentieth Century : Innocent Beginnings, 1917 - 1950
Published in Hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Co (21 November, 2000)
Authors: Arthur M. Jr. Schlesinger and Jr., Arthur M. Schlesinger
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Interesting book from an interesting man
Schlesinger writes a book of personal recollections that reads much like a grandfather relating his rich and rewarding life onto his next generation. It is not a hard facts history book, and it will not be remembered as such (regardless of Dr. Kissenger's overly optomistic review on the dust jacket).

There are high points and low points to this book. His experiences at Harvard, worn torn Europe, and the ideological battles between communists and liberals over control of the American left were fascinating. However, we are also privy to every movie, play, book, and cocktail dinner that schlesinger ever attended. It's interesting to gain this perspective, but it gets tedious. This book could have used substantial editing.

I'm a Schlesinger fan, but I skimmed through many pages. Despite these shortcoming, Schlesinger still imparts his genious.

Schlesinger's America
A Life in the 20th Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950 is the first volume of the memoirs of the noted historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. The book examines much of the nation's history in the first half of the twentieth century as well the author's anaylsis of public policy and his impressions of an extraordinary group of writers, politicians, intellectuals, and decision makers. Schlesinger is a name dropper extraordinaire in this volume and his vignettes on the people who crossed his path are interesting and inciteful and at times irreverent and caustic.

The book is a little long (557 pages). The parts concerning his early boyhood, books read, movies seen etc. can get tedious. However, his account of his trip around the world at age 16 with his father, also a noted historian, is facinating.

Schlesinger is an unabashed anti communist, New Deal style liberal. His first great book, The Age of Jackson, won the Pulitzer Prize. In it, as in later works, his sympathies, along with Jackson, lay with the working classes as opposed to the bastions of capital, aristocracy and monopoly. Schlesinger sees a pattern of similarity of reform between the Jacksonians, the Progressives of the early twentieth century, and the New Dealers. (His later books on FDR and JFK are exceedingly sypathetic treatments of his subjects as liberal realists.) This well researched and well written book is still used in college classes today. I read it in a graduate course on the age of Jackson in the late sixties.

After World War II, Schlesinger became one of the leaders of the non -communist left. His book, The Vital Center, written in 1949 was an appeal to liberal democracy, in opposition to the twin totalitarian systems of fascism and Stalinism. At the close of the present book, he states that his philosophy is still consistent with The Vital Center and he would make few changes in it even after fifty years.

In short, A Life in the 20th Century is a good read for history junkies. Schlesinger has been at the forefront of history and history makers and his insights on people and events are always enlightening and entertaining. I look forward to the publication of the second volume.

An excellent memoir (with a little history thrown in)
As a Schesinger fan, I found this book a delightful insight into the life of the best living historian. The book was very well written, and as a current college student, I found his account of his college years particularly interesting.

I would especially recommend this book to anyone interested in either twentieth century history or twentienth century American culture.

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