Gore Vidal is one of the most significant American writers of the second half of the twentieth century, having produced a large number of best selling novels, essays, plays and pamphlets which have impacted on major political and social debates for fifty years.
He is both a serious writer and a television and movie celebrity, whose increasingly acerbic picture of the United States guarantees he is both revered and reviled. "Gore Vidal's America" examines the ways in which Vidal's writings on history, politics, sex and religion throw into focus our understandings of the United States, but also recognizes his versatility and inventiveness as a creative writer, some of whose novels - "Julian"; "Myra Breckinridge"; "Lincoln"; "Duluth" - are among the important literary works of their time.
Ranging from Vidal's early defence of homosexuality in "The City and the Pillar (1948)" to his most recent writings on the war in Iraq, this book provides a unique perspective on the evolution of post-World War II American society, politics and literature. As Altman writes: 'Difficult not to see in the results of the 2004 elections, where the Republican right gained in both the White House and the Senate, proof of Vidal's worse fears, namely that the impact of imperial adventure, big money and religious moralism would increasingly imperil the American Republic'.