An entertaining, insightful history of the men who've held the office of President, from the division between Jefferson and Hamilton through Bill Clinton's campaign for national health care.
Burr is the opening volume in Gore Vidal's great fictional chronicle of American history, each of which is being republished in the Modern Library . BurrFrom the Hardcover edition.
A literary cause célèbre when first published more than fifty years ago, Gore Vidal's now-classic The City and the Pillar stands as a landmark novel of the gay experience. Jim, a handsome, all-American athlete, has always been shy around girls. But when he and his best friend, Bob, partake in awful kid stuff, the experience forms Jim's ideal of spiritual completion. Defying his parents' expectations, Jim strikes out on his own, hoping to find Bob and rekindle their amorous friendship. Along the way he struggles with what he feels is his unique bond with Bob and with his persistent attraction to other men. Upon finally encountering Bob years later, the force of his hopes for a life together leads to a devastating climax. The first novel of its kind to appear on the American literary landscape, The City and the Pillar remains a forthright and uncompromising portrayal of sexual relationships between men.
Celebrated for more than fifty years as a world-renowned novelist, essayist, and political figure and commentator, Gore Vidal is less known for his exquisitely crafted short fiction.
The incomparable Gore Vidal interprets and animates history--this time in a panoramic tour of the 5th century B.C.--and embellishes it with his own ironic humor, brilliant insights and piercing observations.
In Death Before Bedtime, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargent is invited to the home of a venerable senator to help strategize his imminent run for president. On the night before he's to announce, though, the senator is murdered in his bed. No longer needed as a political publicist, Sargent finds himself helping the police find the killer. He deftly navigates an eccentric cast of characters, all of whom are suspects: the rebellious daughter; the sycophantic aide; the grieving widow; and the power-hungry governor with his eye on the senator's job. Somehow, between charming the senator's daughter and glad-handing Washington's elite, Sargent still manages to methodically put the pieces into place and sees that politics truly is a cut-throat business.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In Death in the Fifth Position, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargent is hired by a ballet company on the eve of a major upcoming performance. Handling the press seems to be no problem, but when a rising star in the company is killed during the performance--dropped from thirty feet above the stage, crashing to her death in a perfect fifth position--Sargent has a real case on his hands. As he ingratiates himself with the players behind the scenes (especially one lovely young ballerina), he finds that this seemingly graceful ballet company is performing their most dramatic acts behind the curtain. There are sharp rivalries, sordid affairs, and shady characters. Sargent, though, has no trouble staying on point and proving that the ballerina killer is no match for his keen eye and raffish charm.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In Death Likes it Hot, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargeant travels out to a posh beach community to help a wealthy socialite plan an end-of-summer party. His enjoyment of the sun, the surf, and the company of a lovely young fashion reporter is interrupted by the death of the socialite's niece: she mysteriously drowns while swimming on a crowded beach. No one suspects murder until the police find a lethal dose of sleeping pills in her system. As Sargeant watches the police's investigation unfold, he keeps an eye on the grieving socialite; the victim's famous painter husband; a suspiciously cheery brother and sister; and a garrulous tabloid columnist. Now, instead of planning guest lists, wine choices, and menus, Sargeant is faced with a killer unlike he's ever faced: highly sophisticated, devilishly clever, and just as smooth as he is. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Gore Vidal's wild burlesque tells of two women who, after perishing in a snowdrift, are reborn in Duluth, the popular television series, and in the "Hyatt Regency" romance novel Rogue Duke.
Empire, the fourth novel in Gore Vidal's monumental six-volume chronicle of the American past, is his prodigiously detailed portrait of the United States at the dawn of the twentieth century as it begins to emerge as a world power.------While America struggles to define its destiny, beautiful and ambitious Caroline Sanford fights to control her own fate. One of Vidal's most in-spired creations, she is an embodiment of the complex, vigorous young nation. From the back offices of her Washington newspaper, Caroline confronts the two men who threaten to thwart her ambition: William Randolph Hearst and his protégé, Blaise Sanford, Caroline's half brother. In their struggles for power the lives of brother and sister become intertwined with those of Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, as well as Astors, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys--all incarnations of America's Gilded Age.------"Mr. Vidal demonstrates a political imagination and insider's sagacity equaled by no other practicing fiction writer," said The New York Times Book Review. "Like the earlier novels in his historical cycle, Empire is a wonderfully vivid documentary drama."------With a new Introduction by the author.From the Hardcover edition.
The range and size of Gore Vidal's literary achievement is remarkable. He is a master of the historical novel, in which he has explored American history, ancient history, and the history of religion. He has developed his own style of science fiction combined with satire, and in the books he refers to as his "inventions" he writes cautionary tales about sex, politics, art, and philosophy. He is at once a contrarian, a wise man, and a romantic. He is also wickedly funny, and often outrageous. All of these qualities are evident in his essays, which deal with things about which he feels passionately. He writes about other writers -- Tennessee Williams, Henry James, Montaigne, Edmund Wilson -- and about public life, and his own life, which has been complicated and rich. This collection (the only single volume that includes both Vidal's fiction and his essays) contains two complete long works -- "Myra Breckinridge", perhaps his most famous novel, and "The Best Man", a play about the American presidency. There are selections from "The City and the Pillar", his early, controversial novel about homosexual love, and excerpts from such later works as "Julian, Duluth, and Live from Golgotha". Selections from the American history novels have been woven together to provide a continuous narrative. There are twenty-five essays here, on the many subjects that have engaged Vidal during his long career. The editor, Fred Kaplan, who is writing the first major biography of Vidal, has provided an introduction to the work as a whole as well as an introductory explanation of each selection. He has also prepared a biographical chronology and a bibliography.
Gore Vidal puts Tricky Dick on trial for his political career... but this was written a year before Watergate became known, so it has even more piquant quality to think that the past was just so much prologue to his real crimes.
The Golden Age is the concluding volume in Gore Vidal's celebrated and bestselling Narratives of Empire series-a unique pageant of the national experience from the United States' entry into World War Two to the end of the Korean War.The historical novel is once again in vogue, and Gore Vidal stands as its undisputed American master. In his six previous narratives of the American empire-Burr, Lincoln, 1876, Empire, Hollywood, and Washington, D.C.-he has created a fictional portrait of our nation from its founding that is unmatched in our literature for its scope, intimacy, political intelligence, and eloquence. Each has been a major bestseller, and some have stirred controversy for their decidedly ironic and unillusioned view of the realities of American power and of the men and women who have exercised that power.The Golden Age is Vidal's crowning achievement, a vibrant tapestry of American political and cultural life from 1939 to 1954, when the epochal events of World War Two and the Cold War transformed America, once and for all, for good or ill, from a republic into an empire. The sharp-eyed and sympathetic witnesses to these events are Caroline Sanford, Washington, D.C., newspaper publisher turned Hollywood pioneer producer-star, and Peter Sanford, her nephew and publisher of the independent intellectual journal The American Idea. They experience at first hand the masterful maneuvers of Franklin Roosevelt to bring a reluctant nation into World War Two, and later, the actions of Harry Truman that commit the nation to a decades-long twilight struggle against Communism-developments they regard with a marked skepticism, even though they end in an American global empire. The locus of these events is Washington, D.C., yet the Hollywood film industry and the cultural centers of New York also play significant parts. In addition to presidents, the actual characters who appear so vividly in the pages of The Golden Age include Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, Wendell Willkie, William Randolph Hearst, Dean Acheson, Tennessee Williams, Joseph Alsop, Dawn Powell-and Gore Vidal himself.The Golden Age offers up United States history as only Gore Vidal can, with unrivaled penetration, wit, and high drama, allied to a classical view of human fate. It is a supreme entertainment that will also change readers' understanding of American history and power.
Hollywood marks the fifth episode in Gore Vidal's "Narratives of Empire," his celebrated series of six historical novels that form his extended biography of the United States. It is 1917, and President Woodrow Wilson is about to lead the country into the Great War in Europe. In California, a new industry is born that will irreversibly transform America. Caroline Sanford, the alluring heroine of Empire, discovers the power of moving pictures to manipulate reality as she vaults to screen stardom under the name of Emma Traxler. Just as Caroline must balance her two lives--West Coast movie star and East Coast newspaper publisher and senator's mistress--so too must America balance its two power centers: Hollywood and Washington. Here is history as only Gore Vidal can re-create it: brimming with intrigue and scandal, peopled by the greats of the silver screen and American politics. "Hollywood shimmers with the illusion of politics and the politics of illusion," wrote the Chicago Sun-Times. "A wonderfully literate and consistently impressive work of fiction that clearly belongs on a shelf with Vidal's best," said The New York Times Book Review. With a new Introduction by the author.From the Hardcover edition.
"Wicked and provocative. . . Vidal's purview of Hollywood in one of its golden ages is fascinating. " --Chicago Tribune In his brilliant and dazzling new novel, Gore Vidal sweeps us into one of the most fascinating periods of American political and social change. The time is 1917. In Washington, President Wilson is about to lead the United States into the Great War. In California, a new industry is born that will transform America: moving pictures. Here is history as only Gore Vidal can re-create it: brimming with intrigue and scandal, peopled by the greats of the silver screen and American politics, from Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks to Franklin D. Roosevelt and the author's own grandfather, the blind Senator Gore. With Hollywood, Vidal once again proves himself a superb storyteller and a perceptive chronicler of human nature's endless deceptions.
A collected essays of the author's life and most unserene republic turned empire, now turning something else again. As themes come and go, are developed or abandoned, as political replace literature replace political again, there is a logical progression.
Gore Vidal has been described as the last "noble defender" of the American republic. In Imperial America, Vidal steals the thunder of a right wing America--those who have camouflaged their extremist rhetoric in the Old Glory and the Red, White, and Blue-by demonstrating that those whose protest arbitrary and secret government, those who defend the bill of rights, those who seek to restrain America's international power, are the true patriots. "Those Americans who refuse to plunge blindly into the maelstrom of European and Asiatic politics are not defeatist or neurotic," he writes. "They are giving evidence of sanity, not cowardice, of adult thinking as distinguished from infantilism. They intend to preserve and defend the Republic. America is not to be Rome or Britain. It is to be America."
Gore Vidal, one of the master stylists of American literature and one of the most acute observers of American life and history, turns his immense literary and historiographic talent to a portrait of the formidable trio of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.In Inventing a Nation, Vidal transports the reader into the minds, the living rooms (and bedrooms), the convention halls, and the salons of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and others. We come to know these men, through Vidal's splendid and percipient prose, in ways we have not up to now-their opinions of each other, their worries about money, their concerns about creating a viable democracy. Vidal brings them to life at the key moments of decision in the birthing of our nation. He also illuminates the force and weight of the documents they wrote, the speeches they delivered, and the institutions of government by which we still live. More than two centuries later, America is still largely governed by the ideas championed by this triumvirate.
Vidal transports the reader into the minds, the living rooms (and bedrooms), the convention halls, and the salons of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and others. We come to know these men, through Vidal's splendid and percipient prose, in ways we have not up to now-their opinions of each other, their worries about money, their concerns about creating a viable democracy. Vidal brings them to life at the key moments of decision in the birthing of our nation. He also illuminates the force and weight of the documents they wrote, the speeches they delivered, and the institutions of government by which we still live. More than two centuries later, America is still largely governed by the ideas championed by this triumvirate.
Set in post-war Europe, fresh-out-of-law-school Philip Warren takes a year to discover his future. In this classic coming-of-age story, Philip journeys through various affairs, misadventures, and cities full of unforgettable characters that prompt his self-discovery and lessons on taking pleasure in both love and life.
Julian the Apostate was one of the brightest but brief lights in the history of the Roman Empire. A military genius, a poised and convincing essayist, and a philosopher devoted to worshipping the gods of Hellenism, he became entangled in a ferocious intellectual war with Christianity that aggravated his murder at the age of thirty-two, only four years into his brilliantly benevolent reign.
Bestselling author Gore Vidal joins the ranks of Penguin Classics. To satisfy a public that longs for a savior, Vidal's eponymous hero of "Kalki", born and bred in America's Midwest, establishes himself in Nepal, puts out the word that he is the last incarnation of the god Vishnu, and predicts an imminent apocalypse meant to cleanse the planet.
A new collection of provocative, witty and eloquent essays by Gore Vidal, the greatest living American man of letters and one of the finest essayists of the twentieth (and twenty-first) century. The Last Empire is Gore Vidal's ninth collection of essays in the course of his distinguished literary career.
Lincoln is the cornerstone of Gore Vidal's fictional American chronicle, which includes Burr, 1876, Washington, D.C., Empire, and Hollywood. It opens early on a frozen winter morning in 1861, when President-elect Abraham Lincoln slips into Washington, flanked by two bodyguards. The future president is in disguise, for there is talk of a plot to murder him. During the next four years there will be numerous plots to murder this man who has sworn to unite a disintegrating nation. Isolated in a ramshackle White House in the center of a proslavery city, Lincoln presides over a fragmenting government as Lee's armies beat at the gates. In this profoundly moving novel, a work of epic proportions and intense human sympathy, Lincoln is observed by his loved ones and his rivals. The cast of characters is almost Dickensian: politicians, generals, White House aides, newspapermen, Northern and Southern conspirators, amiably evil bankers, and a wife slowly going mad. Vidal's portrait of the president is at once intimate and monumental, stark and complex, drawn with the wit, grace, and authority of one of the great historical novelists. With a new Introduction by the author.From the Hardcover edition.
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