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Stephen Schlesinger
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Stephen Schlesinger is an Fellow at the Century Foundation in New York City. He is the former Director of the World Policy Institute at the New School University in New York City (1997-2006). Mr. Schlesinger received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School. In the early 1970s, he edited and published The New Democrat Magazine. Thereafter he spent four years as a staff writer at Time Magazine. For twelve years, he served as Governor Mario Cuomo’s speechwriter and foreign policy advisor. In the mid 1990s, he worked at the United Nations at Habitat, the agency dealing with global cities. He is coeditor of "The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger Jr." published by Random Hiouse in 2013 and of Journals 1952-2000 by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. published by Penguin in 2007. He is also the author of three books, including Act of Creation: The Founding of The United Nations which won the 2004 Harry S. Truman Book Award; Bitter Fruit: The Story of the U.S. Coup in Guatemala (with Stephen Kinzer), which was listed as a New York Times "Notable" book for 1982 and has sold over 100,000 copies; and The New Reformers. He is a specialist on the foreign policy of the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations. He is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation Magazine, and The New York Observer. In 1978, he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award. He has appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, "The Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd, The Today Show, CNN, Fox TV, NPR and other media outlets. His website is: stephenschlesinger.com. He can be reached at schlesinger@tcf.org.

Entries by Stephen Schlesinger

Randy Mastro Strikes Out

(23) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 9:11 PM

You know that you've failed when a Republican like Joseph Scarborough, host of the MSNBC show Morning Joe, says on his program that Randy Mastro, the so-called "independent" lawyer investigating Gov. Christie's bridge-closing scandal, sounded like Baghdad Bob at his press conference Thursday, and the political writer, Al Hunt --...

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Finally, the UN Exercises Moral Authority

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 3:37 PM

In the last 48 hours or so, the United Nations has acted in ways its founding fathers would have hoped for when it wrote the UN Charter. In the face of immense pressures, several of its organs have taken public positions on controversial issues that have advanced the goals of...

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Ban Ki Moon Is MIA on Crimea

(29) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 5:24 PM

UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon's trip to Moscow to meet with President Putin yesterday was, at best, an exercise in pro forma UN diplomacy. It seems mostly designed to show to UN member-states that Secretary-General was acting expeditiously to resolve the Crimean crisis but without really advancing any innovative or...

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The Rogue CIA

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 12:53 PM

How surprised can anybody really be that the CIA surreptitiously attempted to thwart an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee of the agency's torture of al Qaeda militants? The CIA is a body that has long believed that it can act unilaterally without consideration for normal constitutional principles or democratic...

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Obama Borrows From the JFK Playbook on Ukraine

(35) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 12:40 PM

President Obama appears to be using a strategic approach to the Ukrainian situation that is similar in many respects to that employed by his Democratic Party predecessor, President John F. Kennedy, in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. In both cases, the two leaders were dealing with secret, unexpected, armed missions...

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Mr. Mayor -- They're Not Going to Give You a Break!

(26) Comments | Posted February 23, 2014 | 4:08 PM

Mayor De Blasio has been in office just about eight weeks -- and you'd think he was already on the skids after reading the NYC newspapers and watching local TV news broadcasts. He's been assailed for the ways he eats pizza (sometimes with a knife and a fork), for not...

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Democrats Still Solid for Obama

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 8:11 AM

I appeared on Al Jazeera America's morning TV news show yesterday and was asked about what Democrats think of Obama as he enters the second year of his second term. Most observers, I said, are keenly aware of the pitfalls of a second term -- Eisenhower's U-2 incident that blew...

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Five Angry Letters to the Editor (EXCERPT)

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 6:56 PM

As revealed in The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the historian, Democratic Party activist, and presidential adviser (1917-2007) wielded his pen as a literary weapon -- for criticism, for influence, for chiding, for self-advancement, for righting wrongs and for waving the flag of progressivism. In the following letters from the...

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The Schlesinger Legacy

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 9:38 AM

My father, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., spent his life in a struggle to help shape a liberal society in the United States. As a public intellectual, a Democratic Party stalwart, and a renowned American historian, he plunged into the ideological battles of his day in an effort to push for progressive...

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Fresh Hope for Change in Cuba

(6) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 10:37 AM

Yoani Sanchez, the 38-year-old blogger from Cuba, received her long-delayed Maria Moors Cabot Award from Columbia University last night. She had originally earned the honor in 2009 for her fearless reports on conditions in Cuba but the Cuban government barred her from traveling to New York City to get it....

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The UN's Re-emergence on the World Scene

(5) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 3:08 PM

Undoubtedly the UN in the last few weeks has emerged strengthened as an universal security organization by the events in Iran and Syria despite warnings about its imminent demise. But there is nothing new about the UN's emergence as a peacemaker. Like a fire station, it often remains silent for...

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Obama: Every Country Is Exceptional

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 9:37 AM

Given the withering critique from Russia's President Putin in his recent op-ed piece in the New York Times about President's Obama's claim that America is an "exceptional" nation, I think it is worth pointing out that Obama never claimed the mantle of "exceptionalism" solely for the United States, but has...

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Bombing Syria Is a Losing Proposition

(36) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 10:47 AM

I am sympathetic to President Obama's notion that the international community should enforce the global prohibition against the use of ghastly chemical weapons in wartime against civilians. But I believe the president has chosen the wrong time and the wrong place to enforce this proposition -- namely, by his threat...

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Don't Go Into Syria

(305) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 11:20 AM

Should UN inspectors confirm the latest revelations about the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against Syrian civilians, an American decision to intervene in Syria will be in play. However, if one examines the two U.S. options -- going in or staying out -- on balance, the Obama...

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Obama's Impeachment Fear Over Surveillance

(264) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 6:26 PM

As regards the newly revealed surveillance program, there is one matter not addressed by political critics and media commentators: the issue of impeachment. The argument is as follows: President Obama is caught in circumstances somewhat similar to what President Truman faced over the atomic bomb. The programs presided over by...

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Obama's Tenure, So Far

(94) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 9:05 AM

One of the strengths of a great leader is his or her ability to change the national conversation on issues of importance. Whether one agrees with President Obama or not, one has to concede that he has introduced subjects over his five years in office that have been neglected or...

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Ex-State Dept. Advisor: Obama Too Deferential to Military

(12) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 10:47 AM

The Holbrooke/Obama controversy is heating up again. As Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009 until his death in 2010, Richard Holbrooke, the renowned hard-charging American diplomat, stirred up considerable controversy in the administration by strongly pressing for negotiations with the Taliban over the objections of Obama's White...

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Who Speaks for the UN?

(6) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 1:17 PM

In his 1961 inaugural address, John Kennedy called the United Nations one of the most important pillars of American security. He devoted an entire paragraph to the organization, saying:

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments...
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The Ordeal of Chuck Hagel

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 7:11 AM

When has a nominee for Secretary of Defense had to prepare a 120-page summary of his views on foreign and defense policy? Well, the nomination of a former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has come to this after bitter criticism from right-wing Republicans and some Democrats demanding explanations of some words...

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A Lull in the Iranian Crisis?

(84) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 9:20 AM

Ever since last year's U.S. presidential election race ended, the much-discussed concerns over Iran's nuclear build-up have vanished from the national debate. Yes, there are occasional press reports about Iranian machinations -- for example, is Iran tinkering with new nuclear production techniques or is it conducting...

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