United States: Essays : 1952-1992

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Random House, 1993 - Political Science - 1295 pages
"Gore Vidal's reputation as "America's finest essayist" is an enduring one. Vidal has a gift for writing about the events of the moment with an astuteness usually reserved for the beneficiaries of hindsight, and about events of the past with the familiarity of someone who has just come out of the room where they were happening. This collection, chosen by the author from forty years of work, contains about two thirds of what he has published in various magazines and journals. He has divided the essays into three categories, or states. State of the Art covers literature, including novelists and critics, bestsellers, pieces on the French New Novel, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Suetonius, Edmund Wilson, Nabokov, Herman Wouk, Italo Calvino, and Montaigne (a previously uncollected essay from 1992). State of the Union deals with politics and public life: sex, drugs, pornography, money, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, H. L. Mencken, "The Holy Family" (his famous essay on the Kennedys), Nixon, Reagan, and, finally, "Monotheism and Its Discontents," a scathing critique of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In State of Being, we are given "personal responses to people and events": recollections of his childhood, E. Nesbit, Tarzan, as well as Tennessee Williams, Anais Nin, making movies, travel, home. A lifetime of work from a writer of enormous intelligence, wit, and style."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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User Review  - ehines - LibraryThing

Thankfully this collection stops just as Vidal's politics are becoming annoyingly cranky. Vidal in the twenty-first century has unfortunately taken some of the joy and some of the credit out of his ... Read full review

United States: essays: 1952-1992

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Vidal's National Book Award-winning volume comprises 114 essays. Vidal paints in broad strokes, and the pieces cover history and politics (Richard Nixon and Robert Kennedy); sociology (feminism, the ... Read full review

Contents

STATE OF THE ART I EVERY ECKERMANN HIS OWN MAN
3
NOVELISTS AND CRITICS OF THE 19405
10
A NOTE ON THE NOVEL
23
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Gore Vidal is the author of twenty-two novels, five plays, many screenplays and short stories, more than two hundred essays, and a memoir. His most recent novel is The Golden Age, and his new essay collection, The Last Empire: Essays 1993?2000, has just been published.


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