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Download A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917–1950 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917–1950 Audiobook, by Arthur M. Schlesinger Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00020136931132 out of 54.00020136931132 out of 54.00020136931132 out of 54.00020136931132 out of 54.00020136931132 out of 5 4.00 (4,966 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Arthur M. Schlesinger Narrator: Nelson Runger Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2000 ISBN: 9781470325459
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As a preeminent historian of our time, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., continues in his many books and articles to show Americans who we are as a nation, to explain our past, and to illuminate possibilities for the future. But here, in the first volume of his long-awaited memoirs, he turns his acute historian’s eye on his own past. In the elegant and witty language of one of our most readable writers, Schlesinger artfully reconstructs a twentieth-century life.

Schlesinger’s personal story is ultimately the captivating history of America coming into its own as a world power. It includes a fondly remembered childhood in the Midwest; life in America of the twenties; student days at Harvard, lived in the shadow of a distinguished father; Cambridge University in England in the twilight year between the Munich Pact and the start of World War II; the bitter debate in the United States in the months before Pearl Harbor; a stint overseas with the Office of Strategic Services; the fate of postwar liberalism, under attack from right and left; the origins of The Vital Center. Here is a dramatic evocation of the struggles, the questions, the paradoxes, and the triumphs that shaped our era.

Interweaving personal and national stories, Schlesinger conjures up the colorful details of everyday life, offering readers a rare and revealing window on both the private world of a notable American writer and the innocent beginnings of the American century.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “His book, like Mr. Schlesinger himself, wears a bowtie. It is the competent, neat and natty work of an accomplished and contented man.” 

    New York Times 

  • “A historian’s dance to the music of time.” 

    Time 

  • “[An] engaging and sophisticated volume.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A fascinating and generous account of a life tuned to the music of history.” 

    Kirkus Reviews 

  • “A major book for readers of history and current events.” 

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jo | 2/7/2014

    " Ok, I don't know whether I've had a belly-full of Tudor Literature, but I found this book incredibly boring. It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know and I have to say, I didn't even get half way through it without giving up. That said, it is very well written, just not my cup of tea. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenn | 1/26/2014

    " My second Alison Weir book. I really like her writing and I especially like the subject matter, which of course makes it easier to like her writing. Anyway, this was a good read, although not as good as her wives of Henry VIII book. All in all a solid 4 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/8/2014

    " I just find this time period about the Tudor dynasty fascinating. I did not realize how tumultuous Queen Mary's (Bloody Mary) reign was and how much she and Elizabeth I hated one another. Queen Mary could never forgive those that declared her a bastard child as well as Elizabeth I being Anne Boleyn's daughter. Also, it is amazing how religion has played such a controversial role throughout history and how it was able to divide England and all of Europe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 1/7/2014

    " Alison Weir has a strong narrative voice in her non-fiction, and I really enjoyed this. It's obviously worth reading if you're on a Tudors kick, but it also covers quite a bit about the Counter Reformation in England. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelli McDowell | 1/6/2014

    " Well written but difficult to really get in to. I finally was drawn in about half way through when Queen Mary took power after her poor little brother passed away. It is rather exciting to now understand why she was called Bloody Mary! But overall - I wouldn't recommend it unless you really like to read non fiction. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amanda6126 | 12/27/2013

    " Very good historical biography. Slow at times. I learned a lot, but at times I had to literally force myself to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trish Stuff | 12/26/2013

    " She adds Jane Seymour even tho she's not one of Henry's children, but is tossed into the line of succession. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary Benton | 11/20/2013

    " Very interesting for the first chapter. Gets really dry after that... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kellie | 11/14/2013

    " The book's introduction suggests that it will focus on the relationships between Henry VIII's "heirs", but it doesn't offer much analysis on the matter. It works better as a straight historical description of what happened after Henry Tudor died. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa D | 11/13/2013

    " I have a couple of her books for example:"The Six Wives of Henry V111" and "The Princes in the Tower". I love her work. It's well researched, very well written and highly engrossing. I would recommend it to anyone, espically to those who love history as I do. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina Dudley | 11/11/2013

    " Usually I lap these histories up, and I made it about halfway, but honestly I was most interested in Elizabeth. My favorite history of the fam remains Antonia Fraser's THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII. Like Renaissance People Magazine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rapperbear | 11/5/2013

    " Gives a very good understanding of HRVIII's children and niece, each of who succeeded him. For some reason, Lady Jane Grey is not counted in the roll of English Kings and Queens. Wonder why that is? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 10/19/2013

    " I've read several history books on Elizabethan England, but never one with as much focus on Edward, Mary and Jane Grey. I enjoyed learning more about their lives and reigns, as most of my reading has focused on Elizabeth. It was a great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele Blake | 10/5/2013

    " Written more as a history book but very enlightening. Loved learning about the Tudor history in more depth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lou | 9/3/2013

    " excellent writing and overview of King Harry's legitimate progeny. Fine insight into the character of his eldest daughter Mary, who would become Queen and go down in history as "Bloody Mary" (I don't mean the drink) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Mayfield | 7/11/2013

    " Really well done, especially for a biography. Written like a novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 6/21/2013

    " Very entertaining! I know there are some that question Weir's interpretation of history at some points, but it does seem she's done her homework. Fascinating and will read her again... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DiDi | 4/30/2013

    " Very interesting for history book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 4/28/2013

    " Very interesting. My knowledge of English history is finally expanding. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brooke | 3/4/2013

    " If you want to learn about Henry VIII's children, this is the book to read. Alison Weir write about each child in detail, and shows the interconnections betweeen them. It's a fresh view of all three children. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Fisher | 2/26/2013

    " Good overview of their childhoods. Edward died young so most of the book is about Mary and Elizabeth. The gals had an interesting relationship. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kayla | 12/7/2012

    " Loved this book. It may have been a little too short (haha) and I didn't want it to end, but I enjoyed it so much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nikki | 10/9/2012

    " Nothing new. It was not the unique treatment that the cover lead you to expect. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 9/7/2012

    " I listened to the audiobook which was an excellent, in-depth look at his children and their relationships. To me this is an endlessly fascinating period of history and I enjoyed this book very much. I look forward to reading/listening to more English history by Alison Weir. "

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About the Author

Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr., (1917–2007) was an American historian, social critic, and public intellectual. Specializing in American history, much of Schlesinger’s work explored the history of twentieth-century American liberalism. In particular, his work focused on leaders such as Harry Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Schlesinger served as special assistant and “court historian” to President Kennedy from 1961 to 1963. He wrote a detailed account of the Kennedy Administration, from the transition period to the president’s state funeral, titled A Thousand Days. In 1968, Schlesinger actively supported the presidential campaign of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, which ended with Kennedy’s assassination in Los Angeles. Schlesinger wrote the popular biography Robert Kennedy and His Times several years later. He later popularized the term “imperial presidency” during the Nixon administration in his book of the same name. In 1967, he was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for History.

About the Narrator

Nelson Runger’s voice has been recorded in dozens of audio productions and won him two AudioFile Earphones Awards. His ability to convey difficult, scholarly material with eloquence and ease has earned him critical acclaim, including an AudioFile Best Voice in Biography & History for his reading of Nixon and Kissinger.