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 ...Read MoreWith 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."Read Less
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History, observation. imagination and social color
Gore Vidal's brilliant writing style always carries the day. He is a excellent word crafter with a style that flows and colors from the historical novel writing styles developed in the 1960's. Washington DC is part of his American panorama. All of the books in this panorama are worth the time particularly if you enjoy history and love social interaction. It is filled with history, observation, imagination and social color.
However this book written in 1967 is but a precursor to the "The Golden Age" written in 2000. And the book "Empire" written in 1987 sets the broad stage for the bold characters of "Washington DC" and "The Golden Age". Read Washington DC and The Golden Age in the order they were issued and you will experience a rich dessert.
Gore's love for people and his willingness to play with the "beautiful people" and the"titans of business and politics" is a potent mixture - an obtuse breath of fresh air from a complex author combining irony, whit, and cynicism.
Few people have had the opportunity to view the current of social and political history so closely and commented with surprising grace and fairness on complex political and social issues which so easily cause dramatic schisms amongst American political and social strata. Gore has his point of view and yet he does not white wash the possibility for thought.
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