Related Subjects: Author Index Reviews Page 1 2 3 4 5
Book reviews for "Schlesinger,_Arthur_Meier" sorted by average review score:

The Almanac of American History
Published in Paperback by Perigee (1984)
Authors: Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger and John Stewart Bowman
Amazon base price: $13.95
Used price: $2.45
Collectible price: $12.50
Average review score:

"...a nation of paradox..."
This is simply an excellent reference work -- but also a
wonderful general reading work -- filled with the detail
and chronology -- and flow of American history. It is
difficult to try to convey what the experience of using
this work is like. The "history" of the United States is
presented in crisp, clear, but meaningful style and
point. Each year of the history of the United States
(starting with the 1st section of the CHRONOLOGY, cited
as 1010-1013, but actually beginning with the date of 986:
"Norse navigator Bjorn Herjulfson is blown off course
while searching for Eric the Red's coastal Greenland
settlement, founded in 986." [There is a bit more to
this citation -- the delightful irony, of course, is
the subtle inference that the discovery of "America"
has always been a sort of accident, or unintentional
error...]is filled with the citations of events for
that year arranged in chronological order.
Though there are numerous citations, by day-month-year,
in the work, concerning not just what is happening in
the English colonies, but also in the surrounding land
adjacent to the colonies, the main thrust after 1607,
is to concentrate the citations on the events within
the colonies, and later states. But still, the flow
of the work is what is so amazing -- for one sees the
events unfolding before one's mind on a day to day
basis (instead of reading a clipped general sentence
or two in a general American history book).
This work is divided into 5 major sections -- each
introduced by a noted writer. The "Introduction" is
by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the General Editor.
Schlesinger beings his "Introduction" in a very
provocative fashion: "'In the beginning,' wrote John
Locke in the _Second Treatise on Civil Government_, 'all
the world was America.' Locke intended only a metaphor
for the state of nature that preceded the establishment
of civil society. But his metaphor evokes much more.

It implies a way America was first seen in Europe -- as
a new beginning, a break in the long, sad continuities
of history, a fresh chance for fallen humanity."
From there, Schlesinger writes of the major sources of
paradox which he sees in American history. The first
paradox, he says, is that though Americans seem to live
by experiment (William James's "pragmatic tinkering"),
they also show a recurrent weakness (Schlesinger's term)
for ideology. The second paradox lies in the antagonism
between the American affirmation of equality and the
American tolerance of inequality. The third paradox
is the continuing tension between order and violence
in American life. The fourth paradox lies in the question
of conformity versus diversity. And the final paradox
has to do with the nature of the American experiment
itself -- how Americans, themselves, have seen their
vision, or mission, or goal.
Schlesinger discusses each of these sources of paradox
in the "Introduction." The 5 sections of the work are:
Founding a Nation (986-1787), introduced by Gordon S.
Wood -- Testing a Union (1788-1865), introduced by
Marcus Cunliffe -- Forging a Nation (1866-1900),
introduced by S. L. Mayer -- Expanding Resources
(1901-1945), introduced by Richard C. Wade --and
Emerging as a World Power (1946- ), introduced by
Robert H. Ferrell.
An example of the sort of detail which is available
in this marvelous reference/general reading treasure
is this set of citations -- under the year 1762:
3 November 1762 War: In the secret Treaty of

Fontainebleau, French monarch Louis XV deeds to Spain
all French territory west of the Missisppi River and
the Isle of Orleans in Louisiana to compensate Spain
for her losses at the hands of the British [in the
French and Indian War/Seven Years War]. The French
are anxious to bring an early end to the Seven Years
War. (p. 97)
Then on p. 174, under the year 1800, comes the citation:
1 October 1800 International: In the secret Treaty of San
Ildefonso, Spain cedes Louisiana to France at the command
of Napoleon Bonaparte, who envisions a French colonial
empire on the North American continent. [This ownership,
of course, allows him to sell it to the Jefferson
led government, as the Louisiana Purchase (1803), when
Napoleon's dreams of empire die in Haiti at the
hands of Touissant L'Ouverture.]
There is also an excellent Index in the back to
find people, places, and events in the CHRONOLOGY.

A great reference book
This is a great book packed with useful information. It is a useful book for people who study United States history as well as fo those who want to have a history reference book.

The Timetables of American History
Published in Paperback by Touchstone Books (27 November, 2001)
Authors: Laurence Urdang and Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr.
Amazon base price: $16.10
List price: $23.00 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $13.15
Buy one from zShops for: $14.00
Average review score:

A useful reference work for teachers of American History
We all know that every American History textbook leaves out lots of important events, people, and things that may well be worth knowing. "The Timetables of American History" is a very useful reference work for those teaching/learning about American History because if you are studying something big like the Civil War or something relatively small like the Scopes Trial, this book shows you what was happening at the same time in science, art and politics. This book can be useful in providing topics for bulletin boards or student reports on any period in American History you happen to be covering. If your history book does not tell you what scientific inventions were developed during the Great Depression, what Americans were reading during the Vietnam War, or who the greatest painter of the early 19th century in the United States, then this is the book you want to add to your reference collection.

The Timetables of American History, updated edition
A wonderfully concise look at American History in respect to other happenings around the globe. I read this book at our local library and was so impressed with it that I decided to order it from!

The Cycles of American History
Published in Hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Co (1986)
Author: Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
Amazon base price: $7.98
Used price: $0.75
Collectible price: $2.60
Buy one from zShops for: $5.00
Average review score:

Refreshing Historical Analysis
This novel is yet another classic by Schlesinger. I enjoyed it emmensly for a variety of reasons. First, Schlesinger makes his novel appeling to both the avid history fan, student of history, and teacher of history, thus allowing everyone to understand his work. Furthermore, Schlesinger explains his work in using his every present political shrewdness aswell as dry wit. This is a refreshing change from the dry unending style of many historians. The major points explained in this work are the cycling of American politics and its effects on the past, present, and future. This gives it an even more universal quality which even students of politics can appreciate.

The Disuniting of America
Published in Hardcover by W.W. Norton & Company (1992)
Author: Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
Amazon base price: $11.95
Used price: $0.78
Collectible price: $2.00
Buy one from zShops for: $1.80
Average review score:

A scathing indictment of multiculturalism
Mr. Schlesinger is cogent and to the point. The best attack on multicultural agendas there is--from an intellectual giant. Short enough to be read in one sitting. Unfortunately, America's public schools and their hyper-ethnic curriculums will never catch on. Jesse Jackson only wishes that he could refute Schlesinger's wisdom.

Egypt (World 100 Years Ago)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (1998)
Authors: Burton Holmes, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
Amazon base price: $29.95
Buy one from zShops for: $115.97
Average review score:

Great travelogue with fabulous photos
Holmes' essay is fantastic and would be a great read prior to or following any trip to Egypt. The similarities 100 years since is amazing. The changes are intriguing. I read a library version of this book but decided to buy it for myself for reference and for the great collection of photos. The introductory essays were helpful to understand the Holmes' role in American history.

Francis Marion: The Swamp Fox (Revolutionary War Leaders)
Published in Paperback by Chelsea House Publishing (2000)
Authors: Kay Cornelius and Arthur Meier Schlesinger
Amazon base price: $8.95
Used price: $6.22
Buy one from zShops for: $6.02
Average review score:

Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox
South Carolina was the setting of more battles during the American Revolution than any other state. This Palmetto State had its share of heroes, foremost among them Francis Marion. Veteran storyteller, Kay Cornelius, colorfully details Marion's life from his plantation childhood through his valiant fight for freedom and his return home after the war. Marion's Brigade made a name for themselves in outwitting the British by slipping in and out of their headquarters deep in the swamp. British cavalry who tried to pursue them sank into mud. A British commander said, "We'll never find that cursed Swamp fox!" From then on Marion became known as the Swamp Fox. This Revolutionary War figure deserves attention as a hero and worthy role model. Young readers need more books like this. The addition of a glossary, chronology relevant to Marion's life, Revolutionary War time line, index, and suggestions for further reading make this book enticing for classroom study.

Inside U.S.A
Published in Paperback by New Press (1997)
Authors: John Gunther and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
Amazon base price: $19.95
Used price: $2.35
Collectible price: $2.99
Buy one from zShops for: $15.56
Average review score:

Fascinating look at America 50 years ago
John Gunther's INSIDE U.S.A. comes as close to time travel as we are likely to get, hurling us back to the America of 1947, as he explores, state by state, the people, politics, issues, passions and fads that make up our country. Written with great energy and insight, Gunther captures an America justly proud of its WWII success, still unsure of its role in the world, and populated by fascinating characters like Mayor LaGuardia of New York, Governor Saltonstall of Massachusetts and Boss Hague of Jersey City. Gunther describes regional characteristics that persist today. He captures aspects of America that are gone,l never to return (an "industrial" nation based on coal, iron ore and steel.) And he foresees issues that dog America to this day -- the "Negro problem" (actually, the "White problem.") He condemns the segregationist society he finds in America, so inconsistent with its lofty ideals. As you can tell, I loved this book. It's very hefty -- but every time you are about to put it down, Gunther comes up with another amazing fact or interesting sidelight that keeps you reading. All this said, Gunther does concentrate on the (a) historical, (b) political and (c) economic side of things. You won't find much here about the arts or science. But it is amazing a single individual could have compiled this much data and presented it so interestingly.

Chronicle of the 20th Century
Published in Hardcover by Jl International Pub. (1992)
Authors: Clifton Daniel and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
Amazon base price: $59.95
Used price: $59.99
Average review score:

best bathroom reading I've found
this book is awesome. It gives you a picture into history by using photographs, timelines and newspaper articles.

Its like reading the newspaper throughout the century...
History made easy and fun, thats what this book is all about. I hated history when I was in school because the textbooks were boring. Now this book is something completely different. For every month of each year since the beginning of the century it has the highlights of the important events that happened that time. It is like reading an article in the newspaper, giving you the feeling of the era and also providing great pictures. This chronicle is all about pictures. Its structure has a feeling of a magazine or a newspaper.

The whole idea is that you get all the important events of the 20th century in an enjoyable fashion. It covers all aspects of the history like scientific breakthroughs, artistic movements, wars, politics, from all around the world but with a particular emphasis in the US history ( I have also read the Greek version which gives more emphasis in Greek history).

The book is huge and it is more like an encyclopedia rather than a history book. I like to read it before I go to bed and I doubt that any reader will be able to go from cover to cover singlehandedly. It will really strenghten your skills in world history and because of the informal way of covering the events (more like a reporters point of view rather than a professor of history) you will be able to remember a lot after you have read the book. I enjoyed particularly the coverage of the WWII, it is breathtaking, its like reliving the whole thing. I can only imagine the poor people reading in the newspapers of the era the advancement of Hitlers troop across Europe and then the break of war and the losses and the great battles and..... I can go forever.

This book is also a great option for a gift. Believe me the people that you are going to give this book will really appreciate it and will rember you for a long time.

Facinating History
The use of actual newspaper articles in their original format showed the style of the day as well a presenting the news of the day. Photographs and even some contemporary ads are interesting. Reviewed by two teachers, one eleementary and one high school.

20th Century Day by Day
Published in Hardcover by DK Publishing (2000)
Authors: Clifton Daniel and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
Amazon base price: $35.00
List price: $50.00 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $21.75
Buy one from zShops for: $19.95
Average review score:

Five-star History
I was looking for a book that summarized World history during the 20th century and this is the one I chose to buy. I was more than happy with my copy. It is easy to look up specific events, and great for general browsing. I only had two complaints - one, that there was MORE detail in it (although that would have been very hard for a single volume!), and two, it didn't come with the CD that was made to go with it.

Buy this book!!!
What can I say? The book is an incredible collection of every notable historical event in the last 100 years.

The BEST part, to me, is the "chain reference" feature. When you get to the bottom of an article (about, say, the completion of the Hindenburg), there is a small date in italics at the end which points you to the next article concerning the Hindenburg. This is OUTSTANDING for following a chain of events through history.

GREAT reading for knowledge or leisure!

Bloody Marvelous!
Cor, blimey! You won't be disappointed with this one. So many pages of so many stories, taken from the headlines as they were that day. It's almost like being there, be it 15, or 50 years ago. If you want to see how the print media saw the headlines as they were written then, this is the book for you.

James Madison (Childhoods of the Presidents)
Published in Library Binding by Mason Crest Publishers (2002)
Authors: Lisa Kozleski, Mason Crest Publishers, and Arthur Meier, Jr. Schlesinger
Amazon base price: $17.95
Used price: $8.97
Average review score:

Madison Did Well In Spite of Himself
The first two or three chapters of this book were tough-going. The writing was choppy because the author kept jumping from his own narrative to lengthy quotes from Madison. But persistence paid off. It may not be the definitive biography of James Madison, but it's a good read.

The book is short and focuses on Madison's presidency, with some background on his accomplishments before becoming president. The story that Garry Wills tells is that James Madison enjoyed a moderately successful presidency in spite of himself. While he was a brilliant and effective member of the legislature, he really didn't have what it takes to be a good president. He was too much of an ideologue and not enough of a pragmatic. One of his big mistakes was the embargo. Both before and during his presidency he believed England was more reliant on trade with the U.S. that the the other way around.

The passages about early naval battles in the War of 1812 were fun: the fledgling United States whipping the most powerful navy in the world. Of course, Madison thought the war could easily be won on land and didn't even think we should have a navy. Nor did he think we should have a federal bank, until he ran out of money to carry on the war. The idea that he was ruining the U.S. economy with his embargo probably never occurred to him.

But the book has a happy ending. The War of 1812 ended without destroying the U.S. Additionally, during Madison's presidency the extreme polarization between the Federalists and the Republicans was tempered quite a bit-more people recognized the need for a stronger federal government. All in all, the United States of America was in a better place at the end of Madison's 8 years as president.

Concise and Insightful
This is a very good study of Madison as president. Wills is, as always, a source of insight and the quality of writing is up to his usual high standard. Wills is primarily concerned with explaining why Madison's presidency was not very successful. Wills begins by reminding us that Madison's presidency was perhaps more successful than commonly perceived. He did serve 2 terms and did hand over the office to his chosen successor. The War of 1812, which he blundered into, was brought to a reasonably successful conclusion. Still, this is not a performance that matches his other remarkable achievements. Wills points out that Madison was constitutionally unsuited to being a President, particularly a wartime President. Madison was a modest, actually shy man, who excelled in the committee room but was certainly not the dynamic leader demanded by wartime events. Madison was not, however, merely swept along by events. Wills is careful to show that the War of 1812 was brought on in large part by Madison's unrealistic policies when in Jefferson's administration. Madison's doctrinaire Republicanism and own political choices also hampered his ability to conduct the war well. For example, he allowed the charter of the Bank of the United States to lapse, and the absence of a central bank became a major obstacle to adequate wartime financing. Following a point made originally by Henry Adams in his great series of books on the Jefferson and Madison administrations, what really saved the American republic were the institutions developed by the Federalists, notably the small but highly competent professional military and navy. Madison's administration would conclude with the de facto adoption of many Federalist policies. Wills provides also nice overviews of Madison's pre- and post-presidential careers. He is particularly good on Madison's attachment to the separation of Church and State. Wills is careful to give Madison his due for positive achievements as a President. For example, he was careful to stay within the bounds of the Constitution and his record on Civil Liberties as a wartime president is better than that of Lincoln or FDR. A good book that whets your interest for more information on Madison and this period of American history.

James Madison: Brilliant Thinker/Lackluster Leader
The author, Garry Wills, writes, "Madison's very presidency is semi-forgotten.", and addresses the question "How could James Madison be so outstanding in certain aspects of his life and be overshadowed in others." The text states that an explanation "...could take one of three approaches based on circumstances, on temperament or on specific errors." However, none of these fully explain the dichotomy Madison presents.

Wills notes that Madison had weak points which he carried over to the presidency: "...a certain provincialism with regard to the rest of the world and a certain naiveté with regard to the rest of his human beings." The book's first three chapters cover the "Pre-Presidential Years" noting "Madison is called the father of the Constitution. It is a title deeply deserved on many accounts." He had an intimate connection with all three administrations preceding his presidency being responsible for the framing and passage of the Bill of Rights.

The balance of the book, ten chapters, covers his presidency. He became president under very difficult circumstances. Jefferson literally had given up governing the nation for four crucial months passing on a stalled executive to Madison who had no real executive experience before becoming president. Lacking leadership experience the author relates the many cabinet and personnel problems he experienced while his provincialism often allowed him to get suckered punched in foreign affairs. Contrary to common belief, the Congressional "War Hawks" of the West did not thrust the War of 1812 on him. Madison wanted the war.

The author gives a succinct account of Madison and the conduct of the war from the aborted attempt to conquer Canada to the bright performance of the American Navy. In 1814 when the war was shifting in America's favor, Washington was burned in what the author calls "a perfect study of what was wrong with Madison' conduct of the war..." Political basis for military appointments (a practice continued into the Civil War) and reliance on state militia rather than army professionals contributed significantly to the Washington debacle.

The text gives a brief account of the work of the American peace commission and the treaty ending the war, which the Senate approved on February 16, 1815. The author notes, "Not a single one of its announced war goals had been reached....", but notes that "During his last year in office, Madison rode the swell of popular nationalism...." During the war Madison was truer to the strictures of the Constitution than any subsequent war president "as if to prove that the Constitution did not have to be jettisoned in a crisis."

Garry Wills answers the question of how could James Madison be so outstanding in certain aspects of his life and be overshadowed in others. He concludes this book writing "No man could do everything for the country-not even Washington. Madison did more than most, and did some things better than any. That is quite enough."

The reader will find parallels in today's national politics with the political shenanigans of the Madison era.

Related Subjects: Author Index Reviews Page 1 2 3 4 5

Reviews are from readers at To add a review, follow the Amazon buy link above.