Gore Vidal

(2802 words)
  • Chris Bryant (Independent Scholar)

Gore Vidal’s work as a novelist, essayist, dramatist and political activist provides a unique understanding of the United States. In the sequence of seven novels from Burr (1973) to The Golden Age (2000) he reinterprets American history in order to describe how the country was turned from a republic into an empire. In his satirical fiction he considers the social and political forces that sustained a consciousness of the Cold War in the American psyche. His diverse essays in turn provide the coda to this enterprise. Vidal’s representation of America is the work of a dissident writer disillusioned by the failure of the American ‘idea.’ He has argued that the core of this idea – the understanding …

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Citation:
Bryant, Chris. "Gore Vidal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 June 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5009, accessed 30 August 2014.]