A collection of essays taken from 40 years of the author's work. It is divided into three sections: State of the Art , which covers literature; State of the Union , which deals with politics and public life; and State of Being , which gives his personal responses to people and events.
Winner of United States National Book Awards: Nonfiction 1993.
'Magnificent...irresistable from beginning to end.' THE TIMES 'All the Vidals are on display in this glittering showcase... Long may he continue to nip and bite at the flanks of the corrupt, the powerful, the moronic and the self-serving.' GUARDIAN 'The arc and span of Vidal's erudition and intelligence are prodigious... for forty years it has been Vidal's vocation to restore a witty and classically literate sense of memory and historical continuity to a country he calls "Amnesia"' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Vidal is the outstanding literary radical of America.' Melvyn Bragg 'He can express in a phrase what a more solemn essayist would be hard pressed to put in a paragraph.' Peter Ackroyd 'Unique; masterly; an indispensible book.' TIME OUT 'Every reader of sense should hurry to acquire Gore Vidal's brilliant offering.' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'He is a great historian. America needs his intelligence, and we should not be averse to it. This volume has a very considerable importance.' OBSERVER 'Gloriously funny.' Jonathan Raban 'At more than 1200 pages, it's too short by half.' GLASGOW HERALD 'In a better world, writers would be as electable as film stars.' ATTITUDE 'Bumper package of brilliance and bitchery, about US culture and politics, from Uncle Sam's own enemy within.' NEW STATESMAN 'There is no commentator in his league.' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY