Nonetheless, Arthur Schlesinger was a delightful interlocutor. It was simply that he had not had a fresh thought for years. Our last encounter was at Princeton in 2004 at a conference occasioned by the twentieth anniversary of my book The Naked Public Square. I’m not sure he had ever read the book, but he used the occasion of what he understood to be its argument to blast the Bush administration for being the most dangerously religious presidency in American history. He was then age eighty-six and somewhat frail, and the other speakers at the conference were gentle but firm in trying to set him straight. But I had the impression that Schlesinger wasn’t listening. At that point, and for many years before that point, he had made up his mind.
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