The Golden Age: A Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Mar 14, 2012 - Fiction - 480 pages
31 Reviews
The Golden Age is the concluding volume in Gore Vidal's celebrated and bestselling Narratives of Empire series-a unique pageant of the national experience from the United States' entry into World War Two to the end of the Korean War.

The historical novel is once again in vogue, and Gore Vidal stands as its undisputed American master. In his six previous narratives of the American empire-Burr, Lincoln, 1876, Empire, Hollywood, and Washington, D.C.-he has created a fictional portrait of our nation from its founding that is unmatched in our literature for its scope, intimacy, political intelligence, and eloquence. Each has been a major bestseller, and some have stirred controversy for their decidedly ironic and unillusioned view of the realities of American power and of the men and women who have exercised that power.

The Golden Age is Vidal's crowning achievement, a vibrant tapestry of American political and cultural life from 1939 to 1954, when the epochal events of World War Two and the Cold War transformed America, once and for all, for good or ill, from a republic into an empire. The sharp-eyed and sympathetic witnesses to these events are Caroline Sanford, Washington, D.C., newspaper publisher turned Hollywood pioneer producer-star, and Peter Sanford, her nephew and publisher of the independent intellectual journal The American Idea. They experience at first hand the masterful maneuvers of Franklin Roosevelt to bring a reluctant nation into World War Two, and later, the actions of Harry Truman that commit the nation to a decades-long twilight struggle against Communism-developments they regard with a marked skepticism, even though they end in an American global empire. The locus of these events is Washington, D.C., yet the Hollywood film industry and the cultural centers of New York also play significant parts. In addition to presidents, the actual characters who appear so vividly in the pages of The Golden Age include Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, Wendell Willkie, William Randolph Hearst, Dean Acheson, Tennessee Williams, Joseph Alsop, Dawn Powell-and Gore Vidal himself.

The Golden Age offers up United States history as only Gore Vidal can, with unrivaled penetration, wit, and high drama, allied to a classical view of human fate. It is a supreme entertainment that will also change readers' understanding of American history and power.
  

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Review: The Golden Age (Narratives of Empire #7)

User Review  - Christian - Goodreads

Have now concluded (sort of) Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire, finishing on a reasonable high after reading these in chronological order. The "sort of", I should explain, is due to the fact that I ... Read full review

Review: The Golden Age (Narratives of Empire #7)

User Review  - Michael Von - Goodreads

What a boring, bore of a novel. I tried to fight my way through it but ultimately came to the conclusion that life is too short. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
40
Section 3
48
Section 4
71
Section 5
101
Section 6
104
Section 7
115
Section 8
124
Section 17
253
Section 18
259
Section 19
279
Section 20
296
Section 21
311
Section 22
322
Section 23
346
Section 24
352

Section 9
130
Section 10
136
Section 11
161
Section 12
178
Section 13
194
Section 14
215
Section 15
237
Section 16
245
Section 25
369
Section 26
374
Section 27
396
Section 28
410
Section 29
427
Section 30
451
Section 31
465
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Gore Vidal is the author of twenty-two novels, five plays, many screenplays and short stories, more than two hundred essays, and a memoir. Two of his American empire novels, Lincoln and 1876, were the subject of cover stories in Time and Newsweek, respectively. In 1993, a collection of his criticism, United States: Essays 1952-1992, won the National Book Award. He received an award from the Cannes Film Festival for best screenplay for The Best Man. He divides his time between Ravello, Italy, and Los Angeles.

Bibliographic information