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THE GOLDEN AGE is the final, eponymous novel that brings to an end what Gabriel Garcia Marquez has called 'Gore Vidal's magnificent series of historical novels or novelised histories', NARRATIVES OF EMPIRE. Like a latter day Anthony Trollope, Vidal masterfully balances the personal with the political, the invented with the historical fact. His heroine from Hollywood, Caroline Sanford, reappears in Washington as President Roosevelt schemes to get the USA into the war by provoking the Japanese. In the novel's ten year span America is master of the globe, with Japan and Europe as colony and dependency under her empire. Against this backdrop there is a glittering explosion in the arts (we see the likes of Lowell, Bernstein and Tennessee Williams and witness the opening night of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE). But by 1950 and the coming of the Korean War, the Golden Age is over. For the reader who wants to be informed as well as vastly entertained about the last two hundred years of American history there could be no better place to start than with Vidal's NARRATIVES.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349114279
ISBN-10: 0349114277
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 31mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 6-Dec-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » The seventh and final novel in Vidal's Chronicles is both a survey of recent political history and a re-invention of it. The Golden Age covers the same ground as Washington DC - 1939 to 1954 - but from a different perspective. Familiar characters are presented in unfamiliar lights. Those who followed the Byzantine chicanery of the earlier book will be disorientated - newcomers will be completely unfazed by the introduction of new siblings to the Sanford clan. We find Caroline Sanford back from Paris and resuming her role as silent co-publisher (along with Blaise) of the Washington newspaper she founded in Empire. She's an intimate friend of the American president and his wife and the fulcrum of this novel is the author's wish to show how Roosevelt's lust for war led him to ignore clear warnings of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor so the attack would enrage Americans into joining the fight in Europe. Vidal is convinced that all American wars have been started by politicians and power brokers, who yearned for the expansion of American empire. Every Washington big shot - along with a good few literary lions and Hollywood heroes - parade these pages, not least the author himself, portrayed at his Italian villa taping political discussion for American television. Vidal reminds his interviewer that he is merely a creation of the omniscient author. Very Vidal. (Kirkus UK)


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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.

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