The Golden Age: A Novel

Vidal, Gore

Editorial: U.S.A.: Doubleday, 2000
ISBN 10: 0385500750 / ISBN 13: 9780385500753
Usado / Hardcover / Cantidad: 0
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Doubleday, New York, New York. First Edition, First Printing< 2000. Condition of volume is fine, with fine dustjacket. Doubleday, New York, N. Y., U.S.A., 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition, First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Signed by author on title page. THE GOLDEN AGE is Vidal's crowning achievement, a vibrant tapestry of American political 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, a 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 WWII 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. N° de ref. de la librería

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Sinopsis: 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.

Review: Since 1967, when he published Washington, D.C., Gore Vidal has been assembling an artful, acidic history of the United States. The Golden Age represents the seventh and final installment of this national epic, covering the years from 1939 to 1954 (with a valedictory fast-forward, in its final pages, to the end of the millennium). As Vidal did in the earlier books, the author sticks pretty rigorously to the facts. Real-life figures--in this case, the likes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman and that ardent cold warrior Dean Acheson--do what they are recorded to have done. The author also ushers on a cast of invented characters, who are free to paddle in the historical backwash and comment upon their so-called contemporaries. It's here, of course, that fact and fiction begin to blur. But Vidal himself has often cited Tolstoy's famous jab--"History would be an excellent thing if it only were true"--and his reconstruction of FDR's wartime machinations, and the brief interval of Pax Americana, seem persuasively, even alarmingly plausible.

There's one key difference between this book and its predecessors, however. Vidal was alive and kicking in 1939, and thanks to his role as Senator Thomas Pryor Gore's grandson (and occasional seeing-eye dog), he met or at least observed many of The Golden Age's dramatis personae. This fact turns out to have a double edge. On one hand, it gives his portraits of the high and mighty an extra ounce of verisimilitude. Here (the invented) Caroline Sanford observes her old friend FDR at an informal White House mixer:

She felt for an instant that she should curtsey in the awesome presence of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a figure who towered even when seated in his wheelchair. It was the head and neck that did the trick, she decided, with a professional actor's eye. The neck was especially thick while the famous head seemed half again larger than average, its thinning gray hair combed severely back from a high rounded forehead.
Like all of Vidal's politicians, FDR is a more or less gifted illusionist, and The Golden Age is one more chapter in the convergence of theater and politics, of Hollywood and Washington, D.C. But the very vividness of these historical actors (in every sense of the phrase) makes the author's invented cast seem a little pale and lifeless. No matter. Even in its occasional longueurs, Vidal's concluding volume is packed with ironic insight and world-class gossip, much of it undoubtedly true. And in the surprisingly metafictional finale, he signs off with a fine display of Heraclitean fireworks, not to mention an encore appearance from his rakish progenitor Aaron Burr--which makes you wonder exactly who created whom. --James Marcus

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: The Golden Age: A Novel
Editorial: U.S.A.: Doubleday
Año de publicación: 2000
Encuadernación: Hardcover
Condición del libro: Fine
Edición: 1st Edition

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Descripción Doubleday. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Nº de ref. de la librería 2740424898

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Descripción Doubleday. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Nº de ref. de la librería 2771621203

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Descripción Doubleday. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: GOOD. Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Nº de ref. de la librería 2782561365

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Descripción Estado de conservación: Good. This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items such as CD's or DVD's. We ship within 1 business day. Nº de ref. de la librería 34FCGQ0009G2_ns

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