Stephen Schlesinger

Book: Journals

Journals: 1952-2000 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

For more than half a century, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., was at the vital center of American political and cultural life. From his entrance into political leadership circles in the 1950s through his years in the Kennedy White House and up until his very last days, he was that rare thing, a master historian who enjoyed an extraordinary eyewitness vantage on history as it was being made.

For most of his adult life, Schlesinger dutifully recorded his experiences and opinions in journals. At his request in his final days, his oldest son, Stephen Schlesinger, and his brother Andrew, edited his journals for publication by The Penguin Press in 2007.

Quotes & Reviews

“Shortly before he died… he instructed two of his sons to prepare his diaries for publication. The resulting book, Journals: 1952-2000, contains juicy morsels on every one of its 858 pages.”
Jonathan Alter, Newsweek columnist
“This arch, irresistibly revealing book manages to be both show-stopping and door-stopping, what with its vast range of subject matter and unfettered private sniping… Although Journals: 1952-2000 has been greatly and speedily pared down by his sons Andrew and Stephen Schlesinger, who took on this project less than a year ago and have cut the material to one-sixth of its original length, its ambitions seem clear… [T]his book creates a moving and monumental 48-year chronicle.”
Janet Maslin, New York Times daily review
“It’s hard not to like a book that expounds on Marilyn Monroe on one page and the Monroe Doctrine on the next… [Arthur Schlesinger’s] two older sons, who winnowed the transcripts down, said their father cut ‘astonishingly little’ for reasons of discretion in this ‘jewel box’ of memories.”
Maureen Dowd, New York Times Sunday Book Review
“Journals: 1952-2000, culled by two of his sons, Andrew and Stephen, from 6,000 pages down to a mere 858, [is] far too short. If the American century were cast as a Broadway show, this would be the playbill.”
Sidney Blumenthal,
“Schlesinger’s journals, which [were] edited by his sons, offer us vivid insights into life at the highest level of American political, cultural, literary, journalistic and academic life in the second half of the 20th century.”
Jon Meacham, The Washington Post Book World
“With his health failing, [Arthur] Schlesinger allowed his son Stephen, a foreign policy scholar, and Andrew, a documentarian, to edit the 6,000 typescript pages. The resulting volume, titled Journals: 1952-2000 – lively, enthralling, surprising, witty – nonetheless will leave readers with a question: When can we read the other 5,000 pages?”
David Greenberg, The New York Sun
“Throughout Journals – a deeply revelatory and no-holds-barred tour de force tome – [Arthur] Schlesinger champions his friends and slays his enemies. Edited by his sons Andrew Schlesinger and Stephen Schlesinger (both distinguished scholars in their own right), the wily eminence grise shines radiantly through all of these pages…”
Douglas Brinkley, The Los Angeles Sunday Times Book Review