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

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 576 pages
1 Review
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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

A life in the twentieth century: innocent beginnings, 1917-1950

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The first of two volumes, this memoir by one of the best-known liberal historians of the 20th century traces Schlesinger's life from his very early years in the Midwest through the formative ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Backdrop
1
East from Iowa
23
Midwesterners in Cambridge
41
Life of a Reader
62
Prep School
81
Round the World
93
Harvard College What I Did
108
Harvard College What I Enjoyed
132
Oh So Secret
295
London 1944
314
Wars End
330
The Ages of Jackson
354
Free Lance
375
CPUSA vs ADA
394
Alarums and Excursions
418
Back to Harvard
439

Harvard College What I Learned
157
The Twilight Year
187
A Nation Divided
221
On the Brink
241
Washington at War
262
Blowup at OWI
277
1948
455
Deals Fair and Unfair
483
The Vital Center
504
Index
525
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2002)

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.

Bibliographic information