In his latest book, Gore Vidal takes readers behind the scenes as Vidal discusses Inventing a Nation, the historical writer’s work about. Gore Vidal, Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson (New Haven, CT: Yale: University Press, , £). Pp. ISBN 0 At the end of “Inventing a Nation,” Gore Vidal recalls a conversation with John F. Kennedy at Hyannis in Kennedy was complaining about.

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Gore Vidal: ‘Inventing a Nation’ : NPR

Kennedy was complaining about the proliferation of second-raters in government: But no record in actual history is seldom so completed; hence, swarms of bees are constantly, and most usefully, forever abuzz in Academe’s hives. Vidal’s antipathy toward the “American Empire” and contempt for the American public drips thick nztion his sentences and shows up gote in annoying parenthetical asides and interjected screeds.

This is divined from a record that merely states, “Jefferson was obliged to leave the chamber first. Hamilton and Jefferson are the politically shrewdest characters, each deft with sharp-edged weapons designed to slice opponents to pieces, with Hamilton favoring the saber and Jefferson the stiletto.

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Inventing a Nation: The Papers of George Washington.

This book was surely intended to be thought provoking. Vidal’s cavalier style is not designed to move carefully on the naation through the thick academic underbrush. He sneers that the “majority” of Americans “don’t know what the Electoral College is” and compares Truman to the bloody Roman tyrant Tiberius.

If his heart viadl with Jefferson, or at least the Jeffersonian legacy, his head is with the Federalists, chiefly Adams and Washington. Heard on Morning Edition.

Inventing a Nation : Gore Vidal :

Not so much within the groves of academe, where scholars are baying down other less-traveled trails after other scents, but rather in that steadily shrinking space natiion which ordinary Americans read books about history.


Hear the extended interview and read an excerpt from the book. This is pure Vidal. Our Hero Tom De Haven. They were also among the wealthiest inventng best-educated of the colonists. There are no larger-than-life heroes in the Vidal story because he believes, correctly I think, that such creatures do not exist. There are no endnotes, a boatload of factual errors the claim, for instance, natioj Washington was broke in and a flamboyant disdain for the measured assessments of, say, the political factions within the Constitutional Convention or the behind-the-scenes bargaining over the location of the national capital on the Potomac.

November 12, Jackson Pollock Evelyn X. Here it seems to me that his polemical defiance of U. It soars and dives at its own choosing, and it feels perfectly free to amble off in tangential riffs designed to express Vidal’s imaginative rendering of the story.

Inventing a Nation : Washington, Adams, Jefferson

Fred Astaire Joseph Epstein. The one who moves up is known as a hypergamist and, not too vidl, such marriages tend to be happier than classic love matches between like-stationed couples.

Other books in this series. Bob Dylan David Yaffe.

In this concise but hardly cohesive effort, the achievements of America’s most venerable founding fathers—and a large supporting cast, including Alexander Hamilton and Ben Franklin—are eclipsed by their personal, psychological and political foibles. The Best Books of In response to the popular appetite for answers, publishers have produced a wave of new books on specific members of the founding generation, a surprising number of which have surged onto the bestseller list, thereby feeding the interest further and creating a little bull market in what most scholars had previously described as the deadest, whitest males in American history.


INVENTING A NATION: Washington, Adams, Jefferson

Review quote “[Vidal offers] details that enliven and. Unwarranted Influence James Ledbetter. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Though Vidal could not care a whit, scholars are unlikely to take “Inventing a Nation” seriously. My own effort to address Kennedy’s question appeared during the last presidential election, which landed in invwnting lap of the U.

We come to know these men, through Vidal’s splendid and percipient prose, in ways we have not up to now-their opinions of each other, their worries about money, their concerns about creating a viable democracy.

An American Life’ July 3, Was the founding moment a promise later betrayed, or were the seeds of corruption planted at the creation? As I read him, Vidal is saying that the founders embody the most impressive collection of political talent America has ever produced, but canonizing them as our secular saints fundamentally distorts the jealousies and rivalries, pure ambition and sheer bile that drove them all.

The Gore Vidal Index. Inventiny Hollywood Sign Leo Braudy. The Gateway Arch Tracy Campbell. In effect, he forms a repertoire company of the viddal players, provides brief background sketches when they first appear onstage, then lets them talk and act their way through the overlapping scenes — the emergence of political parties, the reaction to the French Revolution, the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion, Washington’s Farewell Address, the Quasi-War with France and the eventual triumph of the Republicans led by Jefferson and Madison.

Instead he refers to one of the biblical books of wisdom, Ecclesiasticus: