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Empire (1987)

by Gore Vidal

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Narratives of Empire (4)

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1,1391113,063 (3.57)21
A historical novel with portraits of Teddy Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst illuminates Roosevelt's Washington, America's Gilded Age, and the expanding American empire.
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English (9)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
The falling arc of one character's life--Lincoln's personal secretary who ends as Secretary of State-- and the rising arcs of William Randolph Hearst and Theodore Roosevelt are metaphors for the decline of the American Republic, flawed as it may have been and the rise of the American Empire. A central character who is a woman born American but reared in France, and becomes a newspaper publisher is an interesting touch. ( )
  ritaer | Jun 17, 2019 |
After reading 1876 which I loved, and Burr which I liked, perhaps this was just too much American history via Vidal. Might try to pick it up again at a later date. ( )
  maryreinert | Sep 21, 2018 |
Empire is fourth chronologically in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series. This historical fiction novel covers the era just after the Spanish-American war ended (1898). As with Vidal's others in this series, fictional characters intermingle with real historical figures, and mostly politically-related.

Caroline Sanford is one such fictional character (her ancestors appear in earlier novels). She takes on William Randolph Hearst by acquiring a competing newspaper, and gets engaged to Adelbert Hay (son of John Hay, who also appeared in earlier novels; his political career started with Lincoln). And, of course, there's more intrigues going on in this installment. This is the first in the series where a strong female character takes center stage, and I enjoyed that aspect. ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Sep 5, 2018 |
Like Lincoln a bit pedestrian, but redeemed by the intriguing fictional character of Caroline Sanford. For fans of Henry James, Vidal also does a nice job of spoofing the "voice" of The Master. ( )
  CurrerBell | Nov 23, 2016 |
Stick it through and you may survive. Vidal's brand of historical fiction where Hearst and Roosevelt confront each other is interesting. Not my favorite of his (I prefer _Lincoln_ and _1876_ of his historical novels), but still inserts us into a very human story. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gore Vidalprimary authorall editionscalculated
Joulié, GérardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ribik, JackCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, Larry B.Author Photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Summers, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."
William Randolph Hearst to artist Frederick Remington in Cuba, 1898
As we know this was no idle boast. Hearst would launch a war against Spain (it sold papers!) and in so doing was obliged also to launch the meteoric career of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt.
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The war ended last night, Caroline.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A historical novel with portraits of Teddy Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst illuminates Roosevelt's Washington, America's Gilded Age, and the expanding American empire.

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