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Extended Audio Sample A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917–1950, 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:
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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.

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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.” 


  • “[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.” 


Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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