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Washington, D.C. by Gore Vidal
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A novel of pre-war politics and the dawn of the American Empire. Three men, the son of a newspaper tycoon, an aging but hale senator and the senator's poor but ambitious aide cross from the corridors of power on Capitol Hill to the drawing rooms of power in the surrounding city. Titanic events in the world at large dwarf them, but they are at the heart of the political and cultural elite and the poison and futility of politics is matched by their squalid family dealings.

It won't come as a surprise to a modern reader, wheeling and dealing, the back-biting and back-stabbing, the scandalous private behaviour of public moral stalwarts, the cynical manufacturing of an imaginary politician for an unscrupulous and hollow man to inhabit. If anything, we expect worse in this day and age. We expect, nay demand greater depths of depravity plumbed by our corrupt overlords. Nonetheless, this is an accomplished, poised and insightful novel. What surprised me was the reserve of the prose. I expected wit and venom in every word, but Vidal confines the verbals to dialogue or reported speech or the thoughts of our protagonists, and this certainly gives the novel a literary gravity without sacrificing the odd scathing phrase. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
Boring. I don't get what's so great about Gore Vidal. This is my second attempt at his novels and both were seriously underwhelming. Blah. Didn't finish it. ( )
  aketzle | Jan 5, 2014 |
This was an awesome book. i loved it. i'm actually going to read the whole series. i like the way he writes and he has a way of keeping you interested. of course i'm also a history freak and he is very reputable as far as that goes as well. going to read aaron burr next. excited. but don't worry going through my giveaway books first, i read the hard copy when i'm charging the e reader. ( )
  dekan | Nov 10, 2012 |
While this is not my favorite Gore Vidal novel, it has some interesting elements. The story is really about two politicians: The first is a fading southern conservative democrat, and the other is a rising you star from the same state. While this takes place during the Roosevelt (and early Truman) administration, the novel could almost have been written about a later time. The younger politician takes much from Kennedy (for example his war hero status), but some could also come out of the life of Bill Clinton (who was probably unknown when the book was written). The big difference between this work and much of the other Vidal works, is the the small scale used here. There is no grand international (or imperial) setting. Much of the story takes place in the homes or offices of politicians. ( )
  tangborn | Jul 4, 2011 |
My first Gore Vidal book, and not my last! I read this in conjunction with a trip to D.C. and found it to be incredibly modern, though published in 1967 and historical fiction about World War II. ( )
  mthelibrarian | Jul 28, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375708774, Paperback)

With a New Introduction

Washington, D.C., is the final installment in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire,his acclaimed six-volume series of historical novels about the American past. It offers an illuminating portrait of our republic from the time of the New Deal to the McCar-thy era.

Widely regarded as Vidal's ultimate comment on how the American political system degrades those who participate in it, Washington, D.C. is a stunning tale of corruption and diseased ambitions. It traces the fortunes of James Burden Day, a powerful conservative senator who is eyeing the presidency; Clay Overbury, a pragmatic young congressional aide with political aspirations of his own; and Blaise Sanford, a ruthless newspaper tycoon who understands the importance of money and image in modern politics. With characteristic wit and insight, Vidal chronicles life in the nation's capital at a time when these men and others transformed America into "possibly the last empire on earth."

"Washington, D.C. may well be the finest of contemporary novels about the capital," said The New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement deemed it "a prodigiously skilled and clever performance."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:35 -0400)

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A new age of media politics emerges when conservative senator Clay Overbury begins his quest for the Presidency during World War II, and receives help from liberal newspaper tycoon Blaise Sanford.

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