×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Liberal Persuasion: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and the Challenge of the American Past
     

The Liberal Persuasion: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and the Challenge of the American Past

by John Patrick Diggins (Editor)
 

For more than half a century, the celebrated historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., has been the guiding force of American liberalism, both intellectually and in practice. The author of many critically acclaimed books, Schlesinger vigorously defended FDR's New Deal policies in his earliest writings and later served as a close advisor to President John F. Kennedy. In

Overview

For more than half a century, the celebrated historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., has been the guiding force of American liberalism, both intellectually and in practice. The author of many critically acclaimed books, Schlesinger vigorously defended FDR's New Deal policies in his earliest writings and later served as a close advisor to President John F. Kennedy. In this volume, twenty of today's most eminent historians join forces to explore Schlesinger's unique brand of liberalism--one that has steered clear of ideological extremism and social fragmentation, favoring instead pluralism and the pragmatic use of state power. By engaging the reader in various aspects of his career and intellectual pursuits, these essays offer an exhilarating journey through American political history, from the Jackson era to multiculturalism, while demonstrating historical writing at its best.

The volume opens with essays on Schlesinger as a historian and a political participant, contributed by William E. Leuchtenburg, Hugh Thomas, George Kennan, John Kenneth Galbraith, and John Morton Blum. The influence of the Jackson era is explored by Robert Remini, Sean Wilentz, and Jean V. Matthews. In a section on modern liberalism and governance, such topics as the New Deal, the Great Society, and the fate of liberalism under the Carter administration are discussed by Alan Brinkley, Kathleen D. McCarthy, Fred Siegel, Leo P. Ribuffo, and Richard C. Wade. Betty Miller Unterberger and Ronald Steel comment on liberalism and the Cold War. Louis Menand and Eugene D. Genovese explore ideological controversies within liberalism, including pragmatic liberalism and relativism and multiculturalism. In the final section, George Cotkin, Neil Jumonville, and Sir Isaiah Berlin write on three figures whom Schlesinger greatly admired: William James, Henry Steel Commager, and Edmund Wilson.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An interesting and provocative beginning point in understanding post-WW II U.S. liberalism."--Choice

Library Journal
A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and longtime political participant and public intellectual, Schlesinger has studied major movements in American politics and defended American liberalism from the New Deal era to our own era, providing pragmatic approaches to political issues and viewing the national government as a means of preserving the economy. He struggled with Marxists in the 1930s and 1940s and multiculturalists in the 1980s and 1990s. Diggins (history, CUNY) has collected essays from 20 eminent scholars supporting and opposing Schlesinger's work and its liberal understanding of history. Essays by William Leuchtenburg, Eugene Genovese, Alan Brinkley, Ronald Steel, and others demonstrate historians' struggles to reach a philosophical understanding of America and the impact of such understanding on governance in our society. A central theme is what the historian's intellectual, political, and academic roles should be. Recommended for public and academic libraries.Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691048291
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/13/1997
Pages:
310
Product dimensions:
6.31(w) x 9.47(h) x 0.97(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews