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Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

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Amanda Dryer

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
An Historian of Power: Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
- October 15, 1917, Columbus, Ohio, U.S
- February 28, 2007, New York, New York.
- Harvard University (PhD)

Obituary- http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/mar/01/usa.booksobituaries

Memorial Service - http://www.c-span.org/video/?c2480176/clip-arthur-schlesinger-jr-memorial-service

Who was Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. ?
American Historian

Court Historian
to President Kennedy 1961-1963

Professor of History
at the University of New York

Opponent of Multiculuturalism

Pultizer Prize Winner

The politician: Arthur M. Schlesinger
Appointed as
Court Historian
for the Kennedy Administration from 1961 to 1963.

A founder of
the Americans for Democratic Action
, which is a political party that advocates for social justice.

A leader of the
Anti- Communist Liberals
and he called for the impeachment of Richard Nixon.

speech writer
for Robert F. Kennedy and George McGovern's campaigns.

An Historian of Power: Arthur M. Schlesinger
New York Times' columnist, Douglas Martin deemed Schlesinger as "an
historian of power"
because he wrote more than twenty books that shaped discussions for two generations about America's past" (Martin, 2007).

Read Martin's Overview of Schlesinger's Life Here - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/01/washington/01schlesinger.html?pagewanted=all
"Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. saw life as walk through history" - Bill Clinton
Why is History important?

"History is to the nation, as memory is to the individual. As a person deprived of memory becomes disoriented (not knowing where they have been or where they are going) so will a nation lacking conception of it's past."- Arthur M. Schlesinger
Arthur M. Schlesinger's Educational Philosophy

The Age of Jackson (1946) and The Thousand Days (awarded the Pultizer Prize)

What about Communism? (1950)

Cycles of American History (1986)

The Disuniting of America: Reflections on Multicultural Society (1980)
The Educator: Arthur M. Schlesinger
"Arthur Schlesinger was above all a teacher. He knew it. His students and friends knew it and we were all his students."
- Ted Sorenson
Advocated that students have a voice that was based on concrete evidence.

Students must learn from the mistakes of the past to make good choices in the present.

Believed that students should be proud of their rich culture; however, students must understand that "great artists, thinkers, leaders are the possession not just of their own racial clan but of all humanity" (Schlesinger, 92)
"The purpose of history is to promote not group self-esteem but understanding of the world and the past: tolerance, democracy, and human rights make historical inequity possible" (Schlesinger, 98).
Schlesinger's Beliefs on History Education
Schlesinger was an opponent of Multicultural education because he believed that it threatened to divide students based on race.
Schlesinger's Views on Multicultural Education
Schlesinger wrote over twenty books but he was must famous for
Schlesinger believed that Multicultural education was dominated by an
Afrocentric campaign
that taught myths to minority children.
One myth expressed in Nas' song, "I Know I can" was that "Egypt was the place that Alexander the Great went. He was so shocked at the mountains with Black faces".


Schlesinger's Political Involvement
Schlesinger in Politics and Education
If Schlesinger was influential in both the political and educational world, why was he unable to serve as bridge builder between the these two worlds?

Furthermore, why was he unable to bring his power of influence together to form a more solid foundation and appreciation of education in the politics?

Consider this Twitter Post as you grapple with this question - https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ArthurSchlesinger&src=hash
Delpit, Lisa. (August 1988). The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children. Retrieved from: https://fordham.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-1585852-dt-content-rid-597640_1/courses/UEGE5102V01201420/delpit.pdf

Jackson, Herald. Arthur M. Schlesinger.
The Guardian
. Accessed from: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/mar/01/usa.booksobituaries

Nas - I Can. (2009, September 18). YouTube. Retrieved March 9, 2014.

Martin, Douglas. Arthur Schlesinger, Historian of Power, Dies at 89.
New York Times.
Accessed from: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/01/washington/01schlesinger.html?pagewanted=all

Clinton, Bill. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Memorial Service. [video clip] Accessed from: http://www.c-span.org/video/?c2480176/clip-arthur-schlesinger-jr-memorial-service

Milavic, E. [EsmirMilavic] (October 27, 2013). The Man with the President's Ear #ArthurSchlesinger Jr. and #JFK [tweet] Accessed from: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ArthurSchlesinger&src=hash

Packer, G. (December 20, 2013). The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. The New York Times. Accessed from: newyorktimes.com

Schlesinger, A. M. (1992). The disuniting of America. New York: Norton.
Multiculturalism - What is it?
There are many different working definitions of "multiculturalism."

Thomas Sowell details his interpretation of multiculturalism in this interview:
In our reading, Schlesinger wrote, "The United States had a brilliant solution for the inherent fragility of a multiethnic society: the recreation of a brand-new national identity, carried forward by individuals who, in forsaking old loyalties and joining to make new lives, melted away ethnic differences." He argues that this "theory of America as one people . . . has thus far managed to keep American society whole" (Schlesinger 13).

This NYT article details the level of involvement of Schlesinger in politics and presidential happenings.
How do you think that Schlesinger's involvement in
politics may have affected his views as an educator?
Multiculturalism Continued:
In our class reading (Disuniting America) Schlesinger writes, “For historical reasons, black families are often less cohesive, and in consequence many black kids often move into a mistrustful world with low self-worth and little self confidence. Hearing about Africa won’t change that (Schlesinger, 92).

This unapologetic view of the different races suggests that Schlesinger would disagree with Sowell’s view (shown in the last slide) that society cannot blame the different races for ability.

What is society's responsibility in producing "equal" people?
Delpit on Multicultural Education
In our reading from Lisa Delpit, however, she wrote "I am . . . suggesting that the appropriate education for poor children and children of color can only be devised in consultation with adults who share their culture. Black parents, teachers of color, and members of poor communities must be allowed to participate fully in the discussion of what kind of instruction is in their child's best interest" (Delpit 343).

How can we resolve these vantage points?
How can we resolve the views of both Schlesinger and Delpit?

Does suggesting that appropriate curriculum can only be developed by those of the same culture undermine the concept of "one people?" If so, how can we preserve national identity without compromising the education of minorities?
Do you think that his melting pot theory is realistic?
Do you think that no excuses charter schools are "the appropriate education for poor children and children of color"?
By, Amanda Dryer and Bailey Farrell
Full transcript