Gore Vidal was the pre-eminent essayist of his generation—a writer known for his switchblade wit, elegant style, deep erudition and passionate devotion to progressive politics. The essays collected here all appeared in The Nation from 1958 to 2005 and cover a wide range of subjects—from politics and society to religion, manners and morals.
Vidal’s “golden era” at The Nation commenced in 1981 with his explosive first essay for editor Victor Navasky, “Some Jews and the Gays,” included here. This collection also exemplifies the best of his critical vision with other great essays like “Requiem for the American Empire,” “Monotheism and Its Discontents,” “Notes on Our Patriarchal State,” “The Birds and the Bees” and its Monica Lewinsky-era sequel, “The Birds and the Bees and Clinton.”
Prepare to have your preconceptions thoroughly skewered, even as you’re laughing out loud.