Washington, D.C.

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Overview

With a New Introduction

Washington, D.C., is the final installment in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire,his acclaimed six-volume series of historical novels about the American past. It offers an illuminating portrait of our republic from the time of the New Deal to the McCar-thy era.

Widely regarded as Vidal's ultimate comment on how the American political system degrades those who participate in it, Washington, D.C. is a stunning tale of ...

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Overview

With a New Introduction

Washington, D.C., is the final installment in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire,his acclaimed six-volume series of historical novels about the American past. It offers an illuminating portrait of our republic from the time of the New Deal to the McCar-thy era.

Widely regarded as Vidal's ultimate comment on how the American political system degrades those who participate in it, Washington, D.C. is a stunning tale of corruption and diseased ambitions. It traces the fortunes of James Burden Day, a powerful conservative senator who is eyeing the presidency; Clay Overbury, a pragmatic young congressional aide with political aspirations of his own; and Blaise Sanford, a ruthless newspaper tycoon who understands the importance of money and image in modern politics. With characteristic wit and insight, Vidal chronicles life in the nation's capital at a time when these men and others transformed America into "possibly the last empire on earth."

"Washington, D.C. may well be the finest of contemporary novels about the capital," said The New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement deemed it "a prodigiously skilled and clever performance."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A superb story. . . . Vidal's people are per-suasive, and he handles the interplay of per-sonality and power with rare skill. . . . Fascinating."
--John Kenneth Galbraith

"        Vidal is the best political novelist since Disraeli. . . . [His] highly polished prose style, in part the fruit of his classical training, is a constant delight. One might even go so far as to call him a modern La Rochefoucauld."
--Louis Auchincloss

"        Washington to Vidal is like some Jacobean court, a city where even the smallest movement is in-teresting and dangerous, and where strokes and suicide have taken the place of poison."
--Times Literary Supplement

Also available from the Modern Library:
Burr  ¸  Lincoln  ¸  1876  ¸
Empire  ¸  Hollywood

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375708770
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 526,450
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal
Unafraid to point fingers and assassinate characters, Gore Vidal has always been provocative, if not universally liked. A prolific essayist and acclaimed author of historical novels such as 1984's Lincoln, his talent for positioning history within a modern context is one thing about Vidal that remains undisputed.

Biography

As a prominent post-WWII novelist, socialite and public figure, Gore Vidal has lived a life of incredible variety. Throughout his career, he has rubbed shoulders and crossed swords with many of the foremost cultural and political figures of our century: from Jack Kennedy to Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote to William F. Buckley.

From his early arrival on the literary scene, Vidal's fascinations with politics, power and public figures have informed his writing. He takes his first name from his maternal grandfather, Thomas Pryor Gore, a populist Senator from Oklahoma for whom neither blindness nor feuds with FDR could prevent a long, distinguished career (Incidentally, T.P. Gore belonged to the same political dynasty into which Al Gore was born). Vidal's best-received historical fictions, like Julian, Burr, and Lincoln, re-imagine the personal and political lives of powerful figures in history. In his essays, he frequently chooses political subjects, as he did with his damaging assessment of Robert Kennedy-for-President in an Esquire article in 1963.

At the same time, Vidal's assets as a writer have made him a dangerous public figure in his own right. His sharp wit has discomposed the unrufflable (William F. Buckley) and the frequently ruffled (Norman Mailer) alike, and did so terrify his congressional campaign opponent J. Ernest Wharton that the latter refused to engage Vidal in debate. Even since he's left his aspirations as a politician behind, Vidal's attraction to controversial political issues continues in his provocative essays and public appearances.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edgar Box (mysteries), Eugene Luther Gore Vidal (full name)
      Gore Vidal
    2. Hometown:
      La Rondinaia, a villa in Ravello, Italy; and Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 3, 1925
    2. Place of Birth:
      West Point, New York
    1. Education:
      Attended St. Albans. Graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, 1943. No college.

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 1999

    Overly Melodramatic, but Good

    Quite overdone. Reads much like a soap opera. However, a good read for those interested in the effects of DC and for those who take Vidal's wored as gospel. Worth a read when you have a day or two free, and are interested in politics.

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    Posted December 1, 2009

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted October 9, 2010

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