Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams and Jefferson Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Nov 2003
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'Vidal's wit occasionally comes across as facetiousness in his brilliant study of Washington, Adams and Jefferson, [the Republic's] founding fathers.' -- The Times, August 28 2004
by turns enchanting, persuasive, vexing...No admirer of Vidals would wish to miss this sparkling historical excursion' -- Ferdinand Mount, Sunday Times, 16 November 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Gore Vidal, novelist, essayist, and playwright, is one of America's great men of letters. Among his many books are United States: Essays 1951-1991 (winner of the National Book Award), Burr: A Novel, Lincoln, and the recent Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
You don't read Vidal if you want a cosy retelling of the story as written in the school text books, which are - after all - always written by victors. Vidal's strength is that he cuts through the cliches and accepted interpretations and presents the facts within the context of his own liberal isolationist standpoint, a position which his grandfather, a US senator, also shared.
The result is a fairly light hearted while still absolutely factual account of America. This is history without the plethora of dates and accounts of what people were wearing and what type of earthenware they were eating from. It places the famous names of America's founding fathers within their context of the nation as it has grown, and in doing so, Vidal demonstrates how far America has deviated from what the founding fathers not only imagined, but would ever have wanted. It's a fascinating book.
Don't buy it if you're scared of thinking, though.
revolutionary armies; the first paragraph of this delightful book points out he collected $100,000 in "expenses."
Gore Vidal has an incisive way of cutting through hypocrisy, and in this book he takes aim at the often very bitter and
scorched-earth politics that accompanied the founding of the United States of America. His portrayal of just three founders
make today's politicians look as wimpy as a babble of Girl Scouts quibbling about their last box of broken peppermint
cookies. Pardon me, I don't mean to insult any Girl Scouts; given their ability to sell cookies, they could probably do better
than today's "polluticians."
He links many pecadilloes of the men who created America to modern times; I think, but I'm not sure, that he wants to
contrast the founding idealism of the birth of a new democracy to the banal and petty politics which now infect public life. In
reality, this book gives me hope that Americans are far better than their politicians -- in 1787, when they were writing the
Constitution, and today when so many politicians are trashing it.
Vidal is witty, incisive and a delight to read. One of the warm fuzzy images of Washington shows him wrapped in warm winter
clothes as he kneels in prayer in the snow at Valley Forge. Why was Washington praying? Perhaps, as Vidal explains, because
he was "dealing with a crooked Congress that was allowing food and supplies to be sold to the British army while embezzling
for themselves money appropriated for 'the naked and distressed soldiers,' as Washington referred to his troops."
In other words, this isn't your usual history.Read more ›
There is no table of contents, but a short index is provided.Read more ›
I found this book to be both entertaining and irritating. Vidal's unusual ability to turn a phrase keeps this book moving along. At times Vidal suddenly shifts from events early in our history to current political topics. Vidal has a way of presenting his impression of current issues as universally accepted fact. An example of this is his leap from a discussion of the Alien and Sedition Acts of the Adams Administration to contemporary anti-terrorist laws, which Vidal sees as similar infringements on civil rights. This I find irritating. I did gain some insights into new ways of viewing individuals and developments in this portion of our history, although I can say that I found other books to be more informative. Because the new material was relatively sparse and the cheap shots at modern policies so irritating, I seriously considered giving up on this book before completion, something I almost never do. On the balance, I am glad that I stuck with it, but, knowing what I know now, I am not sure that I would start it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good polemic, short of some real supporting evidence in places, and one suspects that in the end the Republic that Vidal spent his entire life defending (and later lamenting the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Dr. Vernon M. Hewitt
Vidal sees most contemporary politicians not as men of ideas concerned with society and ideals, but as demagogues who are conducting the family business. Read morePublished on 11 May 2011 by rob crawford
As a U.K. Scot, I was not aware of the details of much of the history that Vidal may take for granted in his reader
Still enjoyed the book - not a lengthy read, with some... Read more
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