Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. died yesterday. He graciously answered my questions about Carey McWilliams, with whom he had his differences over the years. At one point in the 1950s, for example, he described McWilliams as a Typhoid Mary of the left--meaning McWilliams carried the disease of Communism even though he wasn't stricken by it. McWilliams replied that Schlesinger spoke the language of McCarthyism with a Harvard accent--a barb Schlesinger remembered verbatim over 50 years later.
Schlesinger was McWilliams's toughest critic, if not his most formidable adversary. But even he agreed that McWilliams--and The Nation under his guidance--produced a great deal of first-rate work.
I'm grateful for Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s cooperation on my book--and for his own staggering body of work.
Labels: Carey McWilliams