Caretaker of the Kennedy legacy, Arthur Schlesinger died last night in New York.
The 89 year-old historian was a controversial and provocative commentator on public affairs and America writ large. He was one of the most significant figures in old school American internationalism that had edges of both diplomacy and a military power focused together in collaboration with other great powers on big global problems.
I met him several times — one at a fascinating evening with the Carnegie Endowment’s Jessica Mathews and Zbigniew Brzezinski. I learned a tremendous amount about details of American diplomatic history that I would never have learned from written historical treatments.
We also sat together on the Advisory Board for Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience in Chestertown, Maryland. I regret that we never met at the old Customs House in there and talked history while looking out over the Chester River.
He will be missed. My condolences to the two sons I know — Stephen Schlesinger and Robert Schlesinger — and to other members of Arthur’s family.
— Steve Clemons