An Absolute Gift: A New Diary


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List this Seller's Books. Payment Methods accepted by seller. AbeBooks Bookseller Since: September 8, Used Condition: Good Hardcover. Save for Later. About this Item pages. Light discoloring, previous owner's name stamped inside; very good otherwise. The jacket has some creasing and discoloring. Apart from mostly harmless gossip, there is little that might not have appeared, without embarrassment or embellishment, in a Times Op-Ed piece and Schlesinger wrote his share of those.

If Schlesinger had secrets, he kept them. Schlesinger was convivial and gregarious, a two-Martini-lunch man. He was a confidant of the Kennedys, an adviser to many of the other Democratic politicians of his day, and, after he left Harvard and the Kennedy White House, a socially active Upper East Sider. He knew a large number of people within his social comfort zone, which was the comfort zone of a nineteen-sixties liberal with nineteen-fifties tastes, and on the evidence of the journal that has been published, cut from some six thousand pages he seems to have disliked only those whom he suspected of disliking him.

But he was a golden retriever: he liked being liked much more than he disliked being disliked, and his greatest happiness was the recognition of his fellow-establishmentarians.

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Woke Up This Morning | The New Yorker

In , when he was eighty-one, he testified, before a House committee, against the impeachment of Bill Clinton:. The Times made the hearings its lead story the next morning Tuesday the 10th —a very good story by Linda Greenhouse.


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People stopped me on the streets, and I was almost applauded when I entered the Century Club. November 12, One sometimes has to fight off the sense that Schlesinger never actually met these people, and is making it up. Jack is always debonair and cool. Bobby is savvy, caring, and intense, with a hint of sadness and rue. Jackie is utterly beautiful, utterly charming. Teddy is a lot more impressive than one might have expected. And so it is with nearly everyone Schlesinger meets: the insights won by personal acquaintance accord with the conventional judgment.

An absolute gift: A new diary

You could almost guess the identities from the descriptions:. He has a natural and honorable dislike of the kind of speech which seeks to buy votes by making promises. But he recoils from this with a political puritanism which regards any popular position at least on the liberal side as somehow immoral.


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August 11, His flow of talk was incessant, almost compulsive. The language was vivid and picturesque but unforced. One got the sense of a man who exists almost completely in the realm of tactics, a virtuoso in senatorial operation; yet with a nostalgic identification of himself as a liberal and a desire, other things being equal, to be on the liberal side.

While plainly intelligent, he seemed little concerned with the merits of issues. On questions of parliamentary manipulation and of the personalities of his colleagues, he seemed enormously astute and perceptive. I found him both more attractive, more subtle and more formidable than I expected. March , I do not think I have seen anyone so beautiful; I was enchanted by her manner and her wit, at once so masked, so ingenuous and so penetrating.

But one felt a terrible unreality about her—as if talking to someone under water. August 6, Marilyn Monroe, for whose attentions, Schlesinger says, he and Bobby engaged in friendly competition at a party. No record in the diary of which man was the winner. September 11, Cool, composed, amusing and extremely sympathetic. Her public appearances yield an impression of bluestocking severity; but, as Jackie told me at the Academy luncheon earlier in the day, she has an excellent sense of humor and is great fun.

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May 23, Of course, people famous for their personalities just have those personalities. But an observer can tweak the image freshly or not, and Schlesinger does not. He is happy when celebrities act like themselves, and he is therefore rarely disillusioned. Schlesinger rarely records thoughts about the books he is reading or writing, except to note how far behind he is and to regret that his addiction to politics and parties keeps distracting him from his work.

He is sorry that he did not produce more books. His history of the New Deal and his autobiography were both left unfinished. Life is only once, and Schlesinger had the good fortune to enjoy his in company that gave him pleasure. The world has plenty of books. Jerome Robbins embellishing the Peter Duchin beat, with the special Robbins-syncopated beat while dancing Lauren Bacall across the floor, only to be cut in on by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

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The new Astaire-Rogers resumed the Robbins-Duchin beat. December 1, Lerman was a New Yorker—he was born in in what is now Spanish Harlem, into a lower-middle-class Jewish family—who had a long career as an editor, consultant, and writer at glossy magazines, principally Mademoiselle and Vogue.

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He served as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair for eight months, in It was the high point of his career, but he was sixty-nine, and his health was never good. He was replaced by Tina Brown, and he died in But he was the sort of person without whom magazines like those could not exist: a gay man whose evenings were free to be spent at openings and parties, who went everywhere and knew everyone, backstage as well as onstage, and who could tell you whose star was about to rise, whose was falling, and who was about to go into treatment.

Publishing a successful monthly magazine means being able to guess which names everyone will want to be reading about many weeks down the road, and you need scouts to do that. Lerman was a born scout. Not many people who have that particular dream do make much headway. Instead, he kept a journal. There are also excerpts from letters. And it is a surprise, on two counts. First, as an edition. Baron Federico von Berzeviczy-Pallavicini , a Swiss-born set designer and magazine art director Flair , started out in the twenties dressing windows at the luxurious Viennese confectionery Demel.

She died in , leaving Demel to Pallavicini. A certain amount of gushing is mandatory at this level of world-class entertainment, as well as a certain amount of cattiness. No doubt Lerman was an accomplished companion to the divas. But he had a cool eye as well. He knew that Dietrich was ruining herself by endless self-imitation in a nonstop cabaret act, that Callas could produce ugly sounds and was a fool to be besotted with a vulgar billionaire like Onassis.

John Gielgud and two young fellows very sissy sat next to us and we talked and he sent love to Karen Blixen [Isak Dinesen, whom Lerman had befriended]. The two sissies ran along, one in front and one behind. It was like a Beardsley as they vanished down a little Covent Garden street. May 13, Baryshnikov in , the year he defected to the West, being photographed by Richard Avedon for Vogue:.

He could be any boy on a street corner—pale, stockyish, blond, retiring, but friendly, slight. His dancing strength comes from his feet—beautifully shaped feet of enormous strength and flexibility. You feel that he could write with his feet. When this boy stands on the floor, peering into a long glass, warming up, he becomes noble romantic—a tremendous presence, not flashy but magical. Then suddenly he is airborne: There is no visible preparation. He is so masculine that there is a sort of feminine quality that flavors his dancing. August 1, But despite this lifelong dry rot, he has charm and a certain attractiveness.

Did Lerman feel accepted? There is a lot of self-doubt, and even self-pity, in the journals, and he might have reflected, on occasion, that famous artists returned his phone calls because they were phone calls from a man who worked at Mademoiselle and Vogue. But everyone has reflections of that kind. So a reader of her diaries of the five-volume complete edition, anyway has to wade through a fair amount of rote record-keeping, panning for the nuggets: Brain rather dried up after 6 days strenuous London.

From the diaries of Ronald Reagan. Jon called, said he was back in town. November 26, Complete irony and the complete absence of irony ultimately meet in the same place. In , when he was eighty-one, he testified, before a House committee, against the impeachment of Bill Clinton: The Times made the hearings its lead story the next morning Tuesday the 10th —a very good story by Linda Greenhouse.

You could almost guess the identities from the descriptions: He has a natural and honorable dislike of the kind of speech which seeks to buy votes by making promises. That is Adlai Stevenson, for whom Schlesinger wrote speeches before he defected to Kennedy. Boris Yeltsin. Hillary Clinton. Very graceful in body movements when he danced.

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An Absolute Gift: A New Diary An Absolute Gift: A New Diary
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An Absolute Gift: A New Diary An Absolute Gift: A New Diary
An Absolute Gift: A New Diary An Absolute Gift: A New Diary
An Absolute Gift: A New Diary An Absolute Gift: A New Diary
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