Watch Live: The Washington Ideas Forum 2014

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and a special assistant to President John F. Kennedy. He taught at Harvard University and the City University of New York.

  • Letters From Camelot's Historian

    Arthur Schlesinger Jr. remembers what Jackie Kennedy thought of Hillary Clinton, upbraids John Boehner for misquoting Lincoln, and denies JFK's philandering.

  • A Man From Mars

    Fifty years ago John Gunther, a brilliant foreign correspondent, published a famous book about "the greatest, craziest, most dangerous ... most powerful and magnificent nation ever known."

  • The Supreme Partnership

    "Would the two men ever have been passionate friends had they not been President and Prime Minister in the time of Hitler?

  • Is the Vice Presidency Necessary?

    No, argues historian Schlesinger. It is like the human appendix, a vestigial organ on the body politic. John Nance Garner called the office a lot of things, some of them not as polite as "a spare tire on the automobile of government."

  • The Runaway Presidency

    As a steady stream of disturbing revelations surfaced in the Watergate investigation, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.—a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and a former adviser to President Kennedy—argued that under Richard Nixon's insidious influence, the power of the presidency had spiraled out of control.

  • Twenty Letters to a Father

    "This book is not the work of a sensationalist or a traitor. It is wrung from an agonized conscience and a sickened heart."

  • On the Writing of Contemporary History

    The country has widely discussed the so-called "management of news." The controversy over William Manchester's Death of a President, together with lesser contretemps over earlier books, about President Kennedy and his Administration, suggests a companion subject: the management of history. When do contemporary affairs become history? What are the responsibilities and obligations of those who propose to write that history and of those who help to make it? One man's view is conveyed in this elaboration of an address to the American Historical Association. Mr. Schlesinger writes both as a historian (The Age of Jackson, The Age of Roosevelt) and as a participant in many of the events recorded in his widely read A Thousand Days, a chronicle of John Kennedy's presidency.

  • Mark Twain, or the Ambiguities

    "When we remember that we are all mad," Mark Twain wrote in his notebooks, "the mysteries disappear, and life stands explained."

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Writers

Up
Down

Just In