The Golden Age: A Novel

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Doubleday, 2000 - Fiction - 467 pages
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The Golden Age is the concluding volume in Gore Vidal's American empire novels - a unique pageant of the national experience from the United States' entry into World War Two to the end of the Korean War.
The Golden Age is 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 Wilkie, William Randolph Hearst, Dean Acheson, Tennessee Williams, Joseph Alsop, Dawn Powell - and Gore Vidal himself.

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The golden age: a novel

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This concluding volume to Vidal's history of the American "empire" covers the period from 1939 to the end of the Korean War, with a brief coda set in the present and Vidal himself serving as the ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

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.

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