Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."




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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

IN CASE YOU HAVE ANY ROMANTICIZED NOTIONS OF HOW MUCH BETTER IT WAS IN THE OLD DAYS

While I was wandering around on the web, I came upon a lengthy story about a woman I had never heard of who died three days ago at the age of 105.  Marian Cannon Schlesinger was, by this account, an interesting and accomplished person.  She was married for thirty years to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., L’il Arthur as he was known around Harvard Square to distinguish him from his famous professor father, Arthur Schlesinger, Sr.  Marian Cannon Schlesinger’s sister was married to the great scholar of China John Fairbank.  [This was an era when brilliant Radcliffe students, instead being encouraged to continue their studies, were expected to marry smart Harvard students and keep house for them, but that is for another blog post.]  If you spent eleven years hanging around Harvard Square, as I did, you will be interested in the gossip in the obituary.  You can read the whole thing here.  

One brief quote from Marian Schlesinger really caught my eye, since it confirmed the impression I had formed from afar.  Writing of the Kennedy White House, she said, “I had a curious feeling that great decisions were made in an almost frivolous way, like the Bay of Pigs fiasco, which from my remote perch seemed to have been run by a bunch of hubris-mad teenagers, mostly Yale boys, who dominated the Central Intelligence Agency and who looked upon the Cuban enterprise and the catastrophe rather like a Harvard-Yale game they would win next time.”  This line deserves to go into the histories of that time, if it has not already done so.

3 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

She comes from an interesting generation of educated women, expected to defer to their husbands (as you point out above) regarding career achievements, with inchoate feminist sentiments and beliefs more formed by reading Middlemarch than by reading Sexual Politics and thus, less doctrinaire, less politicized and more personal and however, much more heart felt than those of their mothers.

Transitional generations tend to be more complex and if I dare say, more interesting than those on either side of a divide in basic values.

Jim said...

I like the following story about how she publicly supported Stevenson over Kennedy in the Democratic primary:

When Mr. Schlesinger endorsed Kennedy in 1960 for the Democratic presidential nomination, she not only stuck with her idol and Kennedy rival, Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois, but also said so publicly — prompting Kennedy’s brother Robert to complain to Mr. Schlesinger, “Can’t you control your own wife — or are you like me?”

The story goes on to record that she and Schlesinger divorced in 1970.

A perfect descriptor: "Classic"

-- Jim

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