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Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia Hardcover – 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Nations; First Printing edition (2004)
  • ASIN: B002KJPFZO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 805,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
In the sixties and seventies of the last unlamented century, there was a New York television producer named David Susskind. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
Having read Vidal's other recent books of essays (Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Dreaming War), I was keen to get this one. Actually, it stands alone - and you don't need to have read the other books. This doesn't disappoint, and Vidal is as witty, learned and insightful as ever. He kicks off with two brand new pieces on baddie Bush. The second, 'The Privatizing of the American Election', is quite shocking, and includes information I haven't seen elsewhere. Apparently the present administration has been replacing all voting machines with sophisticated computer technology. The snag is that the company who own the software contribute to the Republican party, and if anything goes wrong with the software only they are allowed to check it. This means: no Florida chads, no recounts, no real checking of votes. If this sounds dodgy to you, read this book and stay informed before Mr Blair tries to introduce it here...
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 July 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A nakedly predatory government

This book contains only 4 new essays by Gore Vidal (about 50 pages), the other ones had already been published in his `United States Essays 1952-1992'.

Gore Vidal's attacks on the US government are ferocious and disturbing.

He lambastes rightly the enormous US defense budget ('black hole Pentagon: what goes in is forever lost'), creating in fact socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor. The US Treasury transfers money to the various defense industries, which in turn pay for the elections of Congress and president.

Gore Vidal sees the US republic governed by one political party, the Property Party, with two right wings.

He sees US history as a `relentless attack of the prosperous few upon the rights of the restless many, often masked as the righteous will of the majority against the deviant few.'

The words of the powerful are confuse so that people vote against their own interests. Their words are used to disguise: 'liberate a country by destroying it.' `The lies about those nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were promptly replaced by lies about phantom hordes of terrorists preparing to overthrow the US.' To protect national security, the Patriot Act makes it possible for government agents to break into anyone's house, to oblige librarians to tell what books you have withdrawn, to collect your credit reports without judicial approval!

But his main worry is ballot fraud. The owners of the three computer companies making voting machines are Republicans. At various points between the touch of the screen and the counting of the votes, the vote can be reversed. Only employees of the manufactures can take a look inside the machines in order `to protect trade secrets'.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robin on 4 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Is there nothing that Gore Vidal doesn't know? The man who flirted with Tennesse Williams and JFK has excelled himself in this latest collection of political essays which are all about America's place in the world and how lessons from history have been forgotten. Vidal is no communist America hater. He is a patriot, able to trace his lineage back to the Civil War. His grandfather was a US senator. The combination of belonging to a dynastic American political family and his insightful wit as evidenced in his many novels mean that he is the perfect essayist. His words engulf you, trick you, shock you, and can also make you ashamed. If you've read Michael Moore and think there might be something worth learning about America that is not shown on Fox News, Gore is your man. He's the original, and at almost 80 years old, he's still the best.
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