“Trust Gore Vidal to teach us things we never learned in school. In Inventing a Nation, his quick wit flickers over the canonical tale of our republic’s founding, turning it into a dark and deliciously nuanced comedy of men, manners, and ideas.”—Amanda Heller, Boston Globe (Sunday)
"Entertaining and enlightening. . . . A must for buffs of American civilization and its discontents."—Booklist
Gore Vidal, one of the master stylists of American literature and one of the most acute observers of American life and history, turns his immense literary and historiographic talent to a portrait of the formidable trio of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. In Inventing a Nation, Vidal transports the reader into the minds, the living rooms (and bedrooms), the convention halls, and the salons of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and others. We come to know these men, through Vidal’s splendid and percipient prose, in ways we have not up to now—their opinions of each other, their worries about money, their concerns about creating a viable democracy. Vidal brings them to life at the key moments of decision in the birthing of our nation. He also illuminates the force and weight of the documents they wrote, the speeches they delivered, and the institutions of government by which we still live. More than two centuries later, America is still largely governed by the ideas championed by this triumvirate.
“Pure Vidal. . . . Inventing a Nation is his edgy tribute to the way we were before the fall.”--Los Angeles Times Book Review
“[Vidal offers] details that enliven and . . . reflections on the past that point sharply to today.” --Richard Eder, New York Times
- A Los Angeles Times Book Review Bestseller
- Selected as an outstanding book by University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries