1830’s. Wonder of wonders: Schlesinger’snJackson is a 20th-century liberal, anFranklin D. Roosevelt in frontier garb.nTo the credit of the historical profession,nthe next generation of historiansnsubjected Schlesinger’s view of Jacksonianismnto scathing criticism. The samencannot be said of Schlesinger’s three-volumenwork of the 1950’s. The Age ofnRoosevelt. American historians still generallynaccept as holy writ Schlesinger’snview of the 1920’s and 1930’s. The FDRnof Schlesinger’s imagination stands withnthe great heroes of Western civilization.nAfter America suffers a decade of listlessness,ncormption and heanlessness undernthe Republicans, Schlesinger’s Rooseveltnsweeps into the White House, savesnAmerica frorh the malefactors of wealthnand restores decency to American politics.nStrong men still weep tears of joynwhen they leaf through Schlesinger’snpages.nIt seemed natural that America’snleading maker of liberal myths shouldnfind a home in the Presidential administrationnof John F. Kennedy. Schlesingernbecame one of Kennedy’s courtiers, scurryingnabout the White House in tirelessnattendance upon the young king and hisnqueen. Schlesinger loved the limelightnand the perquisites of power, loved themnso much that he has spent his subsequentnyears pining away in New York City andngazing wistfully southward, hoping tonglimpse the shimmering tower of a resurrectednCamelot-on-the-Potomac.nTo occupy the long days of his exilenSchlesinger set out to recount the gloriesnof the New Frontier. The resulting bookn—A Thousand Days—reveals how ArthurnSchlesinger, Jr., aided by John F.nKennedy, came within a hairsbreadth ofnsaving the republic once and for all fromnthe forces of evil (i.e.. Republicans, thenrich and assorted right-wing troglodytes).nWith his appetite whetted by thisnexercise in hagiography, Schlesinger nextnundertook the canonization of BobbynKennedy. The book that grew from thesenlabors stands as a supreme achievementnin the field of biography-as-fiction.n44inChronicles of CultorenShould Teddy Kennedy ever consummatenhis lust by forcing his way into thenWhite House, he will probably beckonnProfessor Schlesinger to take up residencenwith him as court historian. Andnwith good reason: no sycophantic medievalnchronicler ever served a king morenfaithfully than Schlesinger has served thenliberal politicos of 20th-century Ameri­nARTnThose Captivating VolumesnJohn Russell: The Meanings of ModemnArt; The Museum of Modern Art/Harpern& Row; New York.nJohn Keegan and Joseph Darracott: ThenNature of War; Holt, Rinehart & Winston;nNew York.nMr. Russell’s oeuvre carries a risky tide:nmany modern-art manifestoes flauntnthe phenomenological revelation that artnshould have no meaning at all—it is exactlynthis meaninglessness that makes itnmodern. The preceding sentence maynsound like a word play—it is not. Thenenigmas of meaning which haunt philosophynand linguistics are neatly compoundednby what happened during thenlast century in the visual arts. WhethernMr. Russell has satisfactory answers tonthose questions is debatable, althoughnhe honestly tries to be as clear and asnmeticulous an explicator as he is able.nYet certain aspects, which seem to usnboth crucial and little explored by thencontemporary art historians, are alivenand well in Mr. Russell’s effort. What isnthe immanent link between modern art,nvisual avant-garde and ideological totalitarianism—thensociopolitical scourge ofnthe 20th century? Why has the destructionnof the despised bourgeois sensitivitiesnresulted in modern art’s pro-depersonalizationndrive? We would love tonknow more about these facets of Mr. Rus­nnnca. Perhaps some young scholar of thenfuture will win a Pulitzer Prize with anbook entitled “The Age of Schlesinger,nthe Syndicated Historian”; it wouldnmake fascinating reading as a study innhow liberal ideology shapes the presentnby distorting the past—that is, by pullingnhistory down to the art of partisanncolumn-writing. Dnsell’s belief that “… the history of art, ifnproperly set out, is the history of everything.n”nThe Nature ofWaras a much simplernbut more terrifying premise. It’s a hugenpictorial almanac of things military, warlikenand martial as seen through the eyesnof great painters, much of which hasnbeen immortalized in their artistic heritage.nIt was put together by two distinguishednBritish historians, experts on warnstudies. Mr. Darracott is also a specialistnin the history of art. The album providesnnot only an exhaustive survey of almostneverything that has been depicted andndrawn as slaughter, massacre, heroism ofnthe battlefield, horror and honor of soldierynand combat. It also contains an explanatoryntext of historical information,ndetail and data on the presented imagesn—an approach which is bound to elicitnthe appreciation of military history buffs.n