By Gore Vidal
Vintage, Paperback, 9780375708770, 432pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2000
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.
"A superb story. . . . Vidal's people are per-suasive, and he handles the interplay of per-sonality and power with rare skill. . . . Fascinating."
--John Kenneth Galbraith
" Vidal is the best political novelist since Disraeli. . . . [His] highly polished prose style, in part the fruit of his classical training, is a constant delight. One might even go so far as to call him a modern La Rochefoucauld."
" Washington to Vidal is like some Jacobean court, a city where even the smallest movement is in-teresting and dangerous, and where strokes and suicide have taken the place of poison."
--Times Literary Supplement
Also available from the Modern Library:
Burr ¸ Lincoln ¸ 1876 ¸
Empire ¸ Hollywood