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Lincoln: Number 2 in series

Gore Vidal

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

* The second novel in the chronology of Vidal's epic NARRATIVES OF EMPIRE, embodying the passage of American history.

In the hazardous fictional terrain of his historical novels, Gore Vidal is never especially kind to American history in general, or to its icons in particular. Yet in this brilliantly realised study of Abraham Lincoln, he paints a surprising and near-heroic picture of the man who led America through four of the most divisive and dangerous years of the nation's history.

Observed alternately by his loved ones, his rivals and his future assassins, Lincoln at first appears as an inept and naive backwoods lawyer. People in this novel are not averse to turning up, getting drunk, and regaling the reader with details of Lincoln's whoring activities and his seemingly inexhaustible supply of folksy stories. Yet gradually Lincoln the towering leader of deep vision emerges in a Washington engulfed by fear, greed and the horrors of the Civil War.

Lincoln's loving but mentally decomposing wife, his view from the White House on slavery and America's bloodiest war, and his own, fierce personal ambition: all are portrayed with a vibrancy and an urgency that almost belies what they have now become - history itself.

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Praise for Lincoln: Number 2 in series

  • An astonishing achievement, the greatest historical novel of our time - Allan Massie, THE SCOTSMAN

  • Reasoned, judicious, straightforward and utterly convincing ... an astonishing achievement - NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

  • Magnificent - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal was at the centre of literary and intellectual life for half a century and wrote 'The Narratives of a Golden Age' series as well as countless bestsellers. He died on 31st July 2012.

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