Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Historian Navel Gazing Alert!

If you care even a bit about historians as public figures, as social and political observers, and as historical figures themselves be sure to see Sean Wilentz's tour de force essay in The New Republic on Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and his recently published Journals: 1952-2000. I disagree with his assertion (or at least the implication of his assertion) in the beginning of the essay that novelists, critics and poets are somehow more interesting than historians or other scholars. But this essay and the source material that provides its impetus is a reminder of what a vital, vibrant figure Schlesinger was, especially in his heyday.

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