Friday, March 02, 2007

Arthur Schlesinger, RIP

I wasn't all that crazy about Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the liberal/progressive historian who died Wednesday at 93. Although he was a fine writer and for the most part a decent historian, he was a tad partisan for my taste, and partisan on behalf of an ideology with which I have little sympathy. But he was undoubtedly a significant figure in American intellectual life. If you want to read a solid, sympathetic and appreciative piece about him, this article by historian Sean Wilentz is a good start. It also includes an insightful discussion of the differences between "present-minded" historians who tend to find lessons about current controversies in their historical researches and those who strive to keep their opinions about present-day controversies out of their work,

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