Writer and provocateur of America's mid-century political and literary circles, Gore Vidal (1925–2012) explored history, religion, sex, politics, and power in 25 novels — including his "Narratives of Empire" series about American history — several plays, movie scripts, and more than 200 essays. This blog provides short samples of Vidal's works and updates related to his legacy; it hopes to stimulate interest in Vidal's life and work and will include the occasional post related to a broader topic — literary, cultural, or political — in the Vidalian spirit of unflinching and sometimes contrarian perception.
Gore Vidal was raised in a prominent Washington D.C. Democratic family but described himself as a conservative. He was the son of airline pioneer Eugene Vidal, grandson of Oklahoma Sen. T. P. Gore, stepbrother of Jackie Kennedy, and friend of writers and actors including Tennessee Williams, Anaïs Nin, Christopher Isherwood, Tim Robbins, and Paul Newman. A man of contradictions, he has been described as controversial, playful, acerbic, arrogant, and warm; as a gadfly, a conspiracy junkie, a paleo-isolationist, an America-hater, and a patriot; but also "the master essayist of our age" by the Washington Post and America's "greatest living man of letters" by The Boston Globe.
"Vidal's stinging critique of U.S. politics and culture...anticipated the Occupy Wall Street protests by decades." - The Wall Street Journal
"the last lion of the age of American liberalism" - MovieTicket.com
"writer, wit, scold, bon vivant, crank and friend to everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy to Paul Newman and Bruce Springsteen." - New York Post