The great 20th century historian Arthur Schlesinger has died at the age of 89. His books “The Imperial Presidency” and “Robert Kennedy and his Times” and of course, “The Vital Center” were huge books that influenced my thinking. He believed in standing in the Center of Politics, and distrusted extremism.
He was maybe the last surviving public intellectual of the golden age. Here’s a quote:
If we are to survive, we must have ideas, vision, and courage. These things are rarely produced by committees. Everything that matters in our intellectual and moral life begins with an individual confronting his own mind and conscience in a room by himself.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.