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PJ O’Rourke reviews Arthur M Schlesinger Jr’s "Journals"
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, December 29, 2007

Or does he?
This is a bad, vain, dull, repulsive book. Don't read it. I didn't.
Heh ... imagine that on the outside jacket of the Penguin published tome.

Or this little goodie:
Its pages also crack open a hellgate to give us a peek at the eternally consuming fires of egotistic solipsism to which the soul of a liberal is forever condemned.
Yeah, not quite as positive as "an important book - Editor's Weekly". But as you can probably tell, PJ wasn't too enamored with either the book or Schlesinger. My favorite quote from the "review":
Naturally we cannot expect a man with credentials such as Arthur's to be merely a jerk; he's an idiot, too. The quickest riffle through Journals is enough to prove it. Said Arthur, after a 10-day visit to the USSR in 1982: "I fear that those who think the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse are kidding themselves." It just so happens that I was in the USSR myself for about 10 days in 1982. I was an ignorant, neophyte foreign correspondent on my first overseas assignment. But I did notice that the Soviet Union was on the verge of economic and social collapse.
As they say, RTWT.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I must say O’Rourke’s comments sound very familiar. I think perhaps I have read them, or something very close, on this very site in the comment sections. Is Schlesinger a political scientist, perchance?
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Written By: McQ
’twas a jest.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
As bad as Schlesinger is, he’s miles above the object of your jest.
Written By: McQ
I don’t know, Bruce. Schlesinger’s rot isn’t quite as septic as Erb’s, but millions more have read it uncritically, for decades on end.
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two— dropping- seems less political than just another vapid celebrity tell-all.

I hope PJ keeps "journals".....those should be a load of fun when the time comes
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I had always pegged Schlesinger as one of academe’s great historian-sycophants. From the excerpts PJ has quoted, he was that, but he also had one gigantic superiority complex. He surely felt himself entitled to be among the liberal bigshots of his generations.

Haaaaawvawd to the core, doncha know.

PJ’s quote from Schlesinger’s review of Nixon’s Six Crises is cherce:
I cannot bear to read it, partly because of the vulgarity of the diction, partly because of the nakedness of the self-exposure, partly because of the frustration over not being able to review it. I cannot recall any political autobiography in American history which has represented quite such an orgy in unconscious self-revelation.
To use that quote to summarize his review of Schlesinger’s diary is surely poetic justice.

Written By: vnjagvet

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