A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950

A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950

by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Paperback(First Mariner Books Edition)

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From America's most celebrated living historian comes this "sprightly, straightforward account of the first third of an active and charmed life" (New York Times). Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. turns a studied eye on a personal past and reconstructs the history that has made him such an iconic figure for generations of readers. A LIFE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY offers rare and revealing access to both the private world of a great American writer and the fine-grained texture of the American century.
Ranging from a fondly remembered childhood in the Midwest to a fascinating, storied academic and political life, this volume is an important addition to Schlesinger's body of work, "every bit as well written as anything Schlesinger has done" (Providence Sunday Journal) and "sure to be used by students of the times for years to come" (Boston Globe). "With style and humor and a master historian's deft blending of personal detail with epic events" (Wall Street Journal), Schlesinger evokes the struggles, the questions, the paradoxes, and the triumphs that shaped our era as only he can do.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618219254
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 06/01/2002
Edition description: First Mariner Books Edition
Pages: 594
Sales rank: 686,703
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.47(d)

About the Author

ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER, JR., the author of sixteen books, was a renowned historian and social critic. He twice won the Pulitzer Prize, in 1946 for The Age of Jackson and in 1966 for A Thousand Days. He was also the winner of the National Book Award for both A Thousand Days and Robert Kennedy and His Times (1979). In 1998 he was awarded the prestigious National Humanities Medal.

Read an Excerpt


Around sunset we approached Trinidad, a bleak mining town. That night Roosevelt was to give a fireside chat on national defense. We parked by the side of the country road in the hope of minimizing static on the car radio. A crimson glow was fading on the Spanish Peaks. Dusk fell.

All about seemed dark and silent and limitless. Then the well- remembered voice, at once melodious and urgent, came on the air. Some Mexicans appeared out of a little adobe hut, bowing, smiling, apologetic so Benny described the scene in The Easy Chair, the monthly column he contributed to Harper's and asked if they might listen too. The grave presidential tone seized us all. No one stirred, except to light cigarettes, smoking the car into a gray haze. When it was finished, Benny wrote, one of our guests said, 'I guess maybe America declare war pretty soon now.' We waved goodbye and drove on to Trinidad. I guess maybe.

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