Schlesinger, Stephen 1942–

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Schlesinger, Stephen 1942–

(Stephen C. Schlesinger, Stephen Cannon Schlesinger)

PERSONAL: Born August 17, 1942, in Boston, MA; son of Arthur Meier, Jr., (a professor of history and writer) and Marian (a painter) Schlesinger; married Judith Elster, 1984. Education: Harvard University, A.B. (cum laude), 1964, LL.B., J.D.; Cambridge University, certificate of one year study, 1965. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Unitarian.

ADDRESSES: HomeNew York, NY. Office—World Policy Institute, The New School, 66 5th Ave., 9th Fl., New York, NY 10011. Agent—Mort Janklow, Janklow Associates, 598 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer, journalist, and executive director. Urban Development Corporation, New York, NY, special assistant to chief executive officer, 1968–69; New Democrat, New York, NY, editor and publisher, 1969–72; freelance writer, 1973–74; Time Magazine, New York, NY, writer for "Press National Affairs" section, 1974–78; special assistant to Governor Cuomo, New York State, c. 1983–95; Habitat, United Nations, New York, NY, c. 1990s; The New School, World Policy Institute, director, 1997–. Also speechwriter for Senator George McGovern, Democratic Presidential campaign, 1972; deputy director of issues for Senator Edward Kennedy, Democratic Presidential Campaign, 1980. Teaching fellow in English, Harvard University, 1967–68; adjunct faculty member, New School for Social Research, 1976–77. Member of board of directors, Center for Democratic Policy.

AWARDS, HONORS: National Magazine Award nominee, 1978.

WRITINGS:

The New Reformers, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1975.

(With Stephen Kinzer) Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1982, revised and expanded edition, Harvard University, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations: A Story of Superpowers, Secret Agents, Wartime Allies and Enemies, and Their Quest for a Peaceful World, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 2003.

Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly, Nation, Saturday Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Nation, New York Observer, and Village Voice; contributing columnist to MaximsNews.com Web site.

SIDELIGHTS: Stephen Schlesinger collaborated with Stephen Kinzer to write Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, which examines the way in which collaboration between governments and big businesses can interfere in world politics. Using classified documents obtained by means of the Freedom of Information Act, the authors show how in 1954 the CIA and the Department of State conspired with the American-owned United Fruit Company to oust Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, a democratically elected leader whose land reforms threatened the fruit company's interests. To justify its intervention the U.S. government took advantage of anti-communist hysteria, charging that Guzman was communistically inclined.

Reviewers celebrated Bitter Fruit not only for its implied criticism of present U.S. policy in Latin America, but also for its well-documented investigation and its thriller-like atmosphere. Piero Gleijeses, reviewing the book for the Washington Post Book World, wrote that "the plot [the authors] uncover is full of cloak-and-dagger incidents—all well documented, with the CIA in the leading role—fully justifying the publisher's claim in its publicity material that the book will appeal not only to scholars and students of Latin America, but also to 'espionage fans.'" "Given current events," noted Jim Miller in Newsweek, "it also reads like a very timely warning of what can happen when America abuses its power."

In his book Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations: A Story of Superpowers, Secret Agents, Wartime Allies and Enemies, and Their Quest for a Peaceful World, Schlesinger focuses on two months in the autumn of 1945 when the United Nations was formed and the first foreign ministers and statesmen came together to draft the organization's charter during the San Francisco Conference. Writing in History: Review of New Books, Gary B. Ostrower commented: "In two areas, Schlesinger breaks new ground. He elucidates the espionage operations in San Francisco that allowed U.S. officials to read cables of forty-three of the forty-five delegations attending the conference." Ostrower went on to write: "The book's other main contribution is its narration of the role of Nelson Rockefeller and the Latin Americans." John A. Moore wrote in the Historian that "the book encourages an admiration for high-level diplomacy and commends resuscitating the constructive discipline of diplomatic history." Moore added: "These are no small accomplishments."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Historian, spring, 2005, John A. Moore, review of Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations: A Story of Superpowers, Secret Agents, Wartime Allies and Enemies, and Their Quest for a Peaceful World, p. 181.

History: Review of New Books, spring, 2004, Gary B. Ostrower, review of The Act of Creation, p. 119.

New Leader, September-October, 2003, Richard C. Hottelet, review of The Act of Creation, p. 25.

Newsweek, March 29, 1982, Jim Miller, review of Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala.

Washington Post Book World, February 21, 1982, Piero Gleijeses, review of Bitter Fruit.

ONLINE

MaximNews.com, http://www.maximsnews.com/ (October 12, 2006), brief biography of author.

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