Burr

Burr

4.1 16
by Gore Vidal
     
 

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Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series spans the history of the United States from the Revolution to the post-World War II years. With their broad canvas and large cast of fictional and historical characters, the novels in this series present a panorama of the American political and imperial experience as interpreted by one of its most worldly, knowing, and

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Overview

Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series spans the history of the United States from the Revolution to the post-World War II years. With their broad canvas and large cast of fictional and historical characters, the novels in this series present a panorama of the American political and imperial experience as interpreted by one of its most worldly, knowing, and ironic observers.

Burr is a portrait of perhaps the most complex and misunderstood of the Founding Fathers. In 1804, while serving as vice president, Aaron Burr fought a duel with his political nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, and killed him. In 1807, he was arrested, tried, and acquitted of treason. In 1833, Burr is newly married, an aging statesman considered a monster by many. Burr retains much of his political influence if not the respect of all. And he is determined to tell his own story. As his amanuensis, he chooses Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler, a young New York City journalist, and together they explore both Burr's past and the continuing political intrigues of the still young United States.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dazzling. . . . Burr is wicked entertainment of a very high order."
—The New York Times Book Review

"A tragedy, a comedy, a vibrant, leg-kicking life. . . . All of this and much, much more is told in a highly engaging book that teems with bon mots, aphorisms and ironic comments on the political process. . . . Enlightening, fresh and fun."  —The Boston Globe

"A novel of Stendhalian proportions. . . . It is probably impossible to be an American and not be fascinated and impressed by Vidal's telescoping of our early history. . . . Always absorbing." —The New Yorker

Library Journal
"The novel is masterfully constructed, right down to a shocking but logical surprise on the last page," said LJ's reviewer, who gushed further, adding, "The familiar figures and stock scenes when we encounter them here are fresh, new, and utterly absorbing. Vidal has made a century and a half seem but a heartbeat from today" (LJ 11/1/73). With the world focusing on the current round of political shenanigans emanating from Washington, this should retain its popularity. Note that Modern Library is also releasing Vidal's Lincoln (ISBN 0-679-60284-4. $21).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375708732
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/2000
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
1st Vintage edition
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
90,574
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.91(d)

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Burr 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
jcp56 More than 1 year ago
I read this as a summer read, and I loved it. Although it was an historical novel, I believe that Gore Vidal tried to keep as much to actual history from letters and other accounts of the time, adding only a couple of characters to move the story along. The story is certainly a classic one, in that the powers that be have the ability to create their own spin, and to besmerch people who didn't agree or who made them look bad. Aaron Burr was the besmerched, as it turns out. Which definitely makes you think about other historic figures that we've learned were "bad." You definetly have to pay attention, so while I was at the water park, I had to re-read a couple of paragraphs, but it keeps you interested like a great novel. READ IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books that I have ever read. i recommend this book to anyone, even if they are not interested in the Revoluionary war or Aaron Burr. It's a spectacular read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was very good, it included a lot of history. i usually never read historical fiction, but i had to for summer reading. it was very intriguing because you have heard about aaron burr in school, but never in depth. this also is a very different style of writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually enjoy historical novels, but can't seem to get into this one. Maybe Vidal just isn't for me; maybe need to brush-up on Burr and the era.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Aaron Burr was the victim of bad PR. If left alone he could have taken Sam Houstons place, freeing Texas from Mexico. (Hero instead of Villian)
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I very thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have already bought the whole American Chronicle series, and this first book (chronologically) does not disappoint. I have heard others say they are not sure how much is really fact but the book is so entertaining and and does give a great picture of politics and life at the time that it is worth your time, even if Vidal plays with some facts. I am dying to start the next book in his series.