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Description - 1876 by Gore Vidal

With the centennial year of the United States as the target of this historical novel, Gore Vidal again mounts a glorious expedition into that grimy and intricate activity called politics. And this is politics as it ought to be: gossip, corruption, money, dinner parties, more corruption, and all the tacky panoply of power. Into the rarefied atmosphere of a world where money has begun to talk very loudly ? usually through the mouths of people called Astor ? step Charles Schuyler and his daughter Emma. Charlie is the unacknowledged bastard son of Aaron Burr; Emma is rather beautiful; and both think it is prudent to return from penury in Europe and secure a fortuitous marriage for Emma. But America is no longer a young republic; it's a fledgling international superpower with its attendant seedy administration, dubious election campaigns, snobbery, 'popped corn', 'speaking tubes' and 'perpendicular railways' (lifts). It's a world that will welcome into its social and political bosom these two attractive exotics with the right names. And it's a world whose every political peccadillo, social slip-up and irresistible intrigue is recorded in this, the journal of Charlie Schuyler.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349105291
ISBN-10: 0349105294
Format: Paperback
(199mm x 125mm x 29mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 2-Apr-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - 1876 by Gore Vidal

US Kirkus Review » Once again as in Burr (1973) Vidal centers on politics as the manifestation and shaper of American identity. Here he illuminates one of the nation's dark moments, the disputed Tilden-Hayes election along with the centralizing drift of money, power and sectional interests toward the capital. Charlie Schuyler is again the journalist-narrator. He has returned to New York City after 37 years in France with his beautiful, widowed daughter Emma and some Rip Van Winkle obsessions: "When I was young. . . The American was lean, lanky, often a bit stooped with leathery skin. . . Some new race has obviously replaced (him). . . a plump, voluptuous people. . . ." They are the prosperous New Yorkers, from the monumental "Mystic Rose," Mrs. William Astor, to the clients of cigar store brothels. As an admirer of the ailing Tilden, a scrupulous ascetic, Schuyler forgoes his detachment and reports the corrupt electoral tangles. While Tilden falls, notables in New York and Washington are observed: a smooth, intelligent Garfield (". . . when you are dealt the cards you play them"); a glum, bewildered Grant; a "deceitful" Senator Conlding ("Senate seats are expensive. . . It is all money nowadays"); and also that likable rake, James Bennett, Jr. of the Herald. While Schuyler lives out what is to be his last year, daughter Emma breaks an engagement and marries a widower (whose son will appear in Vidal's next novel). 1876 is a rich, talky book, but the talk - rarefied escritoire to bock-beer blunt - moves easily. An achievement - Vidal revolutionizes the genre with a seriousness and a muscle both firm and new. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal was at the centre of literary and intellectual life for half a century and wrote 'The Narratives of a Golden Age' series as well as countless bestsellers. He died on 31st July 2012.

Books By Gore Vidal

America First! by Gore Vidal
Paperback, October 2016
Thieves Fall Out by Gore Vidal
Paperback, April 2016
Buckley vs. Vidal by Gore Vidal
Paperback / softback, August 2015
Selected Speeches and Writings by Gore Vidal
Paperback / softback, October 2014