Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, Jr

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, Jr


Born Oct. 15, 1917, in Columbus, Ohio. American historian.

Schlesinger graduated from Harvard University in 1938. He was a professor of history at Harvard from 1954 to 1961 and later at the City University of New York. From 1961 to 1964 he served as special assistant to Presidents J. Kennedy and L. Johnson.

Schlesinger represents the bourgeois-liberal trend in contemporary American historiography. His early works—for example, The Age of Jackson (1945)—hailed bourgeois liberalism as the moving force of social progress. Schlesinger’s expression of this viewpoint took on a clearly anticommunist coloration in his works of the late 1940’s and 1950’s (Vital Center, 1949). Since the late 1950’s Schlesinger has been developing, in his biographies and other historical works (The Age of Roosevelt), the concept of “democratic progress,” theorizing that the USA’s ability to resolve its differences, characteristic of the country throughout its history, has supposedly made possible the transformation of American society into one of “social justice.” During the 1960’s Schlesinger criticized the escalation of American aggression in Vietnam.


The Age of Jackson. Boston, 1945.
Vital Center. New York, 1949.
The Age of Roosevelt, vols. 1–3. Boston, 1957–60.
A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House. Boston, 1965.
The Bitter Heritage. London, 1967.
The Crisis of Confidence. Boston, 1969.
The Imperial Presidency. New York [1974].


Nadzhafov, D. G. “Ob odnoi tendentsioznoi kontseptsii istorii SShA.” Voprosy istorii, 1963, no. 6.
Aptheker, H. History and Reality. New York, 1955. Chapter 3.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.