Two years later, in 1940 he was appointed to a three year fellowship at the Harvard. However, he could not continue in the same as he was called for military duties during World War II.
Medically unfit, he took up a position at the Office of War Information in 1942. Starting 1943, he served as an intelligence analyst at the Office of Strategic Services until 1945.
It was while working at the Office of Strategic Services that he used his free time to pen the book, ‘The Age of Jackson’. The book became popular and earned him a Pulitzer Prize.
From 1946, he served as an Associate Professor at Harvard, a position which he continued to serve until 1954 when he became a full time professor. Interestingly, what made him special from other professors at Harvard was that he attained the position without having earned a PhD degree. He continued his professorship until 1961.
Meanwhile, in 1947, he pursued his political interest by founding the Americans for the Democratic Action society together with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Minneapolis mayor and future Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and economist and long-time friend John Kenneth Galbraith.
For the 1952 presidential elections, he served as the speechwriter and supporter of the Governor Adlai E Stevenson of Illinois. For a year, from 1953 to 1954, he served as the national chairman of Association of Democratic Action.
He did not let go off his literary career completely and penned quite a few books, such as ‘The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom’, ‘What About Communism’, ‘The General and the President and the Future of American Foreign Policy’, ‘The Crisis of the Old Order’ and ‘The Coming of the New Deal’.
For the 1956 election, he worked on Stevenson's campaign staff, supporting John F. Kennedy as Stevenson's vice-presidential running mate. He shared a cordial relationship with Kennedy since the Harvard days which only strengthened by time. However, the result of the election did not come in favour of Kennedy.
He left the Stevenson camp in 1960 to offer his support to the Kennedy administration. At the time of campaigning, he served as a speechwriter, speaker, and member of the ADA.
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To emphasize on his support for the Kennedy administration, he even penned a book entitled, ‘Kennedy or Nixon: Does it Make a Difference?’ In the book, he highlighted the capabilities of the Kennedy administration and sneered at and belittled Richard M. Nixon.
With the appointment of John F Kennedy as the US President, he was offered the position of an ambassadorship and Assistant Secretary of State for Cultural Relations. To accept the same, he relieved himself from his duties at the Harvard University and was appointed Special Assistant to the President
During his term in the White House, his work was mainly centred on the Latin American affairs. He even worked as a speechwriter for the Kennedy regime. During the Cuban crisis, he ardently opposed the Bay of Pigs Invasion but did not voice his opinion at the party meetings.
Post the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, he resigned from his position of Special Assistant the following year. In 1965, he wrote a memoir of the Kennedy administration titled, ‘A Thousand Days: John F Kennedy in the White House’ which earned him his second Pulitzer Prize.
Returning to the career of an academician yet again in 1966, he served as the Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York.
He continued to pursue his literary career as a specialist in American history, exploring the history of American liberalism of the 20th century. He penned numerous books including ‘The MacArthur Controversy and American Foreign Policy’, ‘Bitter Heritage: Vietnam and American Democracy’, ‘Congress and the Presidency: Their Role in Modern Times’, ‘Violence: America in the Sixties’, ‘The Crisis of Confidence: Ideas, Power, and Violence in America’ and ‘The Origins of the Cold War’.
Meanwhile, he did not give up on his political activities. A Kennedy loyalist, he served as the speechwriter for Robert Kennedy administration during the 1968 presidential campaign. In 1980, he supported Senator Ethel Kennedy and was active in the presidential campaign of Ted Kennedy. He even wrote a biography of Robert Kennedy, titled, ‘Robert Kennedy and His Times’.
In 1986, influenced by his father’s work on cycles, he came up with the book entitled, ‘The Cycles of American History’. The work was one of the first to highlight the cycle in politics in the United States.
Two years later, he came up with his work titled, ‘JFK Remembered’, which was a tribute to John F Kennedy. This was followed by ‘War and the Constitution: Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D Roosevelt’ and ‘Cleopatra, New York: Chelsea House’.
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In 1993, he released his popular work, ‘The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society’ in which he openly opposed multiculturalism practiced in the 1980s. The following year, he retired from teaching but remained active politically and literarily.
In 2003, he actively criticized the Iraq War and blamed media for not telecasting a reasoned case against the war. The following year, he came up with his last literary work ‘War and the American Presidency’.
Personal Life & Legacy
He first married author Marian Cannon in 1940 with whom he was blessed with four children. After thirty years of togetherness, the couple filed for divorce in 1970.
In 1971, he tied the nuptial knot yet again with Alexandra Emmet. The couple was blessed with a son. He also had a step son from Emmet’s first marriage.
Throughout his life, he revelled having several friends who were influential personalities in their own right. His friends were mostly from a wide background, such as politicians, actors, writers and artists.
He breathed his last on February 28, 2007 due to cardiac arrest. At the time of his death, he was dining out with family members in Manhattan.
Two of his works were published posthumously.