Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian

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Product Details

W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.3 X 1.55 X 9.55 inches | 1.9 pounds
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About the Author

Richard Aldous is the author and editor of eleven books, including The Lion and the Unicorn and Reagan and Thatcher. Aldous is a contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic, and his writing appears regularly in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Book Review, and the American Interest.


In this elegant biography, Richard Aldous reveals the fascinating story of the 'knee-pants genius' who won his first Pulitzer Prize at the age of twenty-eight and went on to become the Kennedys' court historian. Aldous presents an intimate portrait of a man of thought and a man of action living at the 'vital center' of Cold War America."--David Reynolds, author of The Long Shadow
A provocative and definitive account of a man of great achievement and charm who looms over nearly a century of the history that he himself so meticulously recorded. A great read--and an absorbing, essential book.--Mark Danner, author of Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War
Aldous provides a well-researched and balanced examination of Schlesinger and his academic and political achievements.
Aldous effectively captures the optimistic spirit of post-World War II America as viewed through Schlesinger's experiences...Entertaining and exhilarating, this book will appeal mostly to historians but also be enjoyed by popular history readers.
[A] very readable distillation of a long and fruitful life.
[A] convincing portrait, rendered with skill and sensitivity, sympathetic toward its subject while capturing the quirks that made him, in the words of one contemporary, 'so Arthurish.'
[A] compellingly narrated and well-researched biography.
[Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.] has found in Aldous an agreeably judicious biographer. ... Aldous gracefully balances an appreciation for his subject's talents as a writer of narratives and speeches with an acknowledgment of his shortcomings as a political analyst and aide.
The triumph of Richard Aldous's new book is that it separates the myth from the reality, explaining both the seemingly inexorable rise of Schlesinger and how he contributed so much to the subsequent mythologising of the Kennedy era.
Aldous writes with a verve and clarity that matches Schlesinger's ... his book is likely to long endure as the standard work on its gifted title character.--James M. Banner, Jr.
Aldous's absorbing biography will surely be the definitive account of the historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.. Schlesinger was often accused of writing hagiography, but Aldous deftly avoids a similar charge. While clearly admiring of his subject, Aldous is thoughtful and insightful, and at times critical.--Andrew Preston
[A] judicious, balanced account that focuses on the high points of Schlesinger's career.--starred review