Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.: Was mum about his journals for years

Historians in the News

Over the past half century, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. wrote more than 20 books and thousands of essays, served in the administration of President John F. Kennedy, consulted numerous leading Democrats and befriended countless artists and fellow historians.
He also kept a journal.

"None of us really knew about it," says the late historian's son, Stephen Schlesinger. "It never really occurred to me that he actually had been doing this for 50 years."

Arthur Schlesinger, who died last February at age 89, kept his private writings in dusty manila envelopes above a refrigerator in his office and apparently didn't think much about them until his agent, Andrew Wylie, spotted them during a visit in 2006 and suggested they be published. The historian handed over his papers, some 6,000 pages, to his sons Stephen and Andrew.

"He never asked us what we were doing with the journals, or made any comments. He seemed to just trust us," says Stephen Schlesinger, adding that the project was about half completed when his father died....
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