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Item Title:

The Golden Age (Narratives of Empire)- Gore Vidal


Books, Comics, Magazines



Item Condition: New
Current Time:22 Oct 16 00:14:06
Time & Date displayed is forUnited States - EDT
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Quantity: (1 Available)
Price : £7.20 ($8.83)

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Item Specifics - Books ISBN : 9780349114279
Author : Gore Vidal
7.20 15195315 The Golden Age (Narratives of Empire) http://medium.snazal.com/?9780349114279 http://large.snazal.com/?9780349114279 Gore Vidal 9780349114279 9780349114279 Media Books 8.70 The Golden Age (Narratives
Lot # 15195315
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Item Location: Leicester
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Title: The Golden Age (Narratives of Empire)

Author(s): Gore Vidal
ISBN: 9780349114279
Sku Code: 9780349114279
Media > Books
The Golden Age (Narratives of Empire)
Since 1967, when he published Washington, DC, Gore Vidal has been assembling an artful, acidic history of the United States. The Golden Age represents the seventh and final instalment of this national epic, covering the years from 1939 to 1954 (with a valedictory fast-forward, in its final pages, to the end of the millennium). As Vidal did in the earlier books, the author sticks pretty rigorously to the facts. Real-life figures--in this case, the likes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman and that ardent cold warrior Dean Acheson--do what they are recorded to have done. The author also ushers in a cast of invented characters, who are free to paddle in the historical backwash and comment upon their so-called contemporaries. It's here, of course, that fact and fiction begin to blur. But Vidal himself has often cited Tolstoy's famous jab--"History would be an excellent thing if it only were true"--and his reconstruction of FDR's wartime machinations, and the brief interval of Pax Americana, seem persuasively, even alarmingly plausible. There's one key difference between this book and its predecessors, however. Vidal was alive and kicking in 1939, and thanks to his role as Senator Thomas Pryor Gore's grandson (and occasional seeing-eye dog), he met, or at least observed, many of the The Golden Age's dramatis personae. This fact turns out to have a double edge. On one hand, it gives his portraits of the high and mighty an extra ounce of verisimilitude. Here (the invented) Caroline Sanford observes her old friend FDR at an informal White House mixer:She felt for an instant that she should curtsey in the awesome presence of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a figure who towered even when seated in his wheelchair. It was the head and neck that did the trick, she decided, with a professional actor's eye. The neck was especially thick while the famous head seemed half again larger than average, its thinning grey hair combed severely back from a high rounded forehead. Like all of Vidal's politicians, FDR is a more or less gifted illusionist, and The Golden Age is one more chapter in the convergence of theatre and politics, of Hollywood and Washington, DC. But the very vividness of these historical actors (in every sense of the phrase) makes the author's invented cast seem a little pale and lifeless. No matter. Even in its occasional longueurs, Vidal's concluding volume is packed with ironic insight and world-class gossip, much of it undoubtedly true. And in the surprisingly metafictional finale, he signs off with a fine display of Heraclitean fireworks, which no doubt his ancestor Aaron Burr would (and does!) appreciate. --James Marcus--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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