Arthur Schlesinger , Jr.

Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of PowerBy Robert A. Caro (Knopf, 712 pp., $35) I. MANY LIBERAL Democrats have yet to come to terms with Lyndon Johnson.

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The GOP vs. TR

One of the reasons that it was clever for Obama to give his Dec.

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Michael Kinsley, my friend and former boss at the New Republic and Slate, has a Bloomberg column today arguing that Chris Christie's fatness is a legitimate issue in judging his fitness (no pun intended) to be president. Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado, argues elsewhere on this Web site that it isn't a legitimate issue, or, if it is, it isn't clear whether it's a minus or a plus. I take a more scientific approach to this question.

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Fat Presidents: A Survey

Amid speculation that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will enter the presidential race, there's been some talk about the weight issue. How does it affect his health? Would voters judge him harshly for it? (Jon Corzine tried and failed to make an issue of it, obliquely, in the 2009 gubernatorial election.) I prefer the historical approach.

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Throughout its 95-year history, The New Republic has featured the work of countless renowned historians on America's founding fathers. For the Fourth of July, we dug up our best book reviews, historical essays, and mini-biographies on the founders. Here are some of the highlights: Charles A.

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Kennedy by Theodore C. Sorensen (Harper & Row; $10) The way of the political memoirist, as Mr. Theodore C. Sorensen and Prof. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., are currently learning, can be a thorny path. For any responsible now-it-can-be-told exercise must begin with responsive answers to the snarled questions: When is "now"? What is "it"? How is it "told"? The memoirist must shape his responses from many values and tests: taste and timing, fairness and compassion, pertinence and precision, sober scholarship and simple' humanity.

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