* The fifth novel in the chronology of Vidal's epic NARRATIVES OF EMPIRE, embodying the passage of American history.
Continuing what has been dubbed his 'revenge on two hundred years of American history', Gore Vidal locates this novel in Washington. But this is 1917, and Hollywood is now competing with America's capital as the nation's power-base, just as it fights for centre-stage in this book. Caroline Sanford, erstwhile newspaper magnate, launches herself into the West Coast land of celluloid dreams and becomes, overnight, an international star. Not for nothing, on the dawn of World War One, is Caroline making films like the Huns from Hell. She is a government agent. But in Washington, that government isn't doing awfully well. Weighed down by his League of Nation's failure, by Roosevelt, Clemenceau, a stroke and the ship-like tonnage of his wife Edith, President Woodrow Wilson is on the wane - and Warren Harding is on the up. A popular, handsome, toothpick-chomping philanderer and dimwit whose wife is given to consulting spiritualists, he is about to usher in a new era. One of unprecedented scandal, cinematic extravagance and tawdry disintegration. The sort of era where the President could easily be mistaken for a film star ...
Addictive ... almost indecently entertaining - NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Rich, readable stuff, and only Vidal could make it work - FINANCIAL TIMES
Gore Vidal's magnificent series of historical novels or novelised histories' Gabriel Garc?a M?rquez