A Life in the Twentieth Century

A Life in the Twentieth Century

Innocent Beginnings, 1917 - 1950

By Arthur M. Jr." "Schlesinger

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780395707524, 576pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2000


As a preeminent historian of our time, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., continues in his many books and articles to show Americans who we are as a nation, to explain our past, and to illuminate possibilities for the future. But here, in the first volume of his long-awaited memoirs, he turns his acute historian's eye on his own past. In the elegant and witty language of one of our most readable writers, Schlesinger artfully reconstructs a twentieth-century life.
Schlesinger's personal story is ultimately the captivating history of America coming into its own as a world power. It includes a fondly remembered childhood in the Midwest; life in America of the twenties; student days at Harvard, lived in the shadow of a distinguished father; Cambridge University in England in the twilight year between the Munich Pact and the start of World War II; the bitter debate in the United States in the months before Pearl Harbor; a stint overseas with the Office of Strategic Services; the fate of postwar liberalism, under attack from right and left; the origins of The Vital Center. Here is a dramatic evocation of the struggles, the questions, the paradoxes, and the triumphs that shaped our era.
Interweaving personal and national stories, Schlesinger conjures up the colorful details of everyday life, offering readers a rare and revealing window on both the private world of a notable American writer and the innocent beginnings of the American century. A LIFE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: INNOCENT BEGINNINGS, 1917 -- 1950 is destined to become a classic.

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.

Praise For A Life in the Twentieth Century

"For more than fifty years, Arthur Schlesinger has been at the vital center of our public life. He has not only chronicled American history, he has helped to define it -- as the fighting intellectual of Americans for Democratic Action, adviser to Adlai Stevenson, special assistant to President Kennedy. . .What a remarkable life he has lived; what wonderful books he has written." --President Bill Clinton, on the occasion of awarding the 1998 National Humanities Medal

"A Fascinating and generous account of a life tuned to the music of history." Kirkus Reviews

"a historian's dance to the music of time." Time Magazine

"His book, like Mr. Schlesinger himself, wears a bowtie. It is the competent, neat and natty work of an accomplished and contented man." The New York Times