ARTHUR SCHLESINGER’S “A THOUSAND DAYS” REACTION PAPER 1
Schlesinger’s “AThousand Days” Reaction Paper
Arthur Schlesinger’s “A Thousand Days” Reaction Paper
A nonfictionbook, "A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House,"was written by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., who was then thepresident`s special assistant between 1961 and 1963. In Schlesinger`scapacity as the special assistant, he succeeded in bearing witness tothe events and people that shaped J.F Kennedy`s administration. Fromthe book, it featured politics, policies, and some personalitiesduring the President Kennedy`s time while in office. From the book,Schlesinger, more than any other person, showed how the Americans arefond of leaving certain issues to the "history`s verdict."
Such a rarehistorian like Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and with all confidence, theauthor succeeded in writing a virtual history of Kennedy`s Age.Schlesinger (1965) noted that the author described his work as moreof "personal memoir by an individual who served diligently inthe White House during President Kennedy years in office." Moreso, the book "A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the WhiteHouse," has a remarkable writing feat set in the broaderintellectual and historical frame. It is exciting to notice theauthor taking over the chronicles of events, while paving way for thecontemporary American scholar. Certainly, Arthur Schlesinger`savailability in the White House assisted him with the right qualityof being in a position to "feel an individual`s way towardsentangled situations and to focus on how things were carried out"(Schlesinger, 1965).
In his detailedbook, Schlesinger managed to catch both the ferment and sweep of "athousand days." The details include the chronicled journey ofJ.F Kennedy`s "skillful and long nomination campaign, theNixon`s battle, the feverish office preparations, burdens of power,and interesting inaugural days" (Schlesinger, 1965). In hisbook, Arthur Schlesinger`s White House chronicles are fresh,informative, and vivid. However, what the historian has done in hisbook is to re-establish and re-create the political, historical, andpersonal perspective in which all these events took place.Schlesinger reached back into the Eisenhower and Truman years toseparate the web forces that have constrained and empowered theKennedy`s administration. He sure had a grasp of the rivalry amongthe parties, policy and intellectual differences, factional quarrels,and personality quirks in which the policies and issues wereentangled.
The author,Arthur Schlesinger, finds a more level-headed reason for the kind ofquality than the normal explanations of pragmatism or rationalism.According to Schlesinger (1965) the "normal source turn out tobe an anguished and an acute sense of fragility over civilizationmembranes." From the book, it is evident that the content wasstretched over a thin line of a nation so dispatched in itscomposition, while so tensed in its inner relationships and socunning in the underground antagonism and fears entrapped by theAmerican history within the ethos of violence. Therefore, it is thistype of sensitivity that President Kennedy brought forth to civilrights. In respect to this issue, the author`s suggestions could betermed as a matter of political and intellectual commitment, which ismore than that of emotional realization.
In conclusion, it is right to say that the history will continue togive its "verdict" on such particular questions as that oftrying to learn a lot more from the interrelations of PresidentKennedy`s deeds, political process, and people`s moods. History alsotends to bring forth new evaluations of President Kennedy, while wehear more, for example, like that of the "Irish Mafia"kinds who termed Kennedy`s earthy, robust, and lower cerebral side(Schlesinger, 1965). From the book, history will continue to reassessthe "A Thousand Days." It is therefore, right to say thatSchlesinger`s "A Thousand Days" is the right book todeliberate on the history of America`s presidency.
Schlesinger, A. M. (1965). A thousand days: John F. Kennedy in theWhite House. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.