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Review: Volume 15 - Biography

Review: Volume 15 - Biography

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From the moment he was shot down to the final whistle, Jimmy James' one aim as a POW of the Germans was to escape. The Great Escaper describes his experiences and those of his fellow prisoners in the most gripping and thrilling manner. The author made more than 12 escape attempts including his participation in The Great Escape, where 50 of the 76 escapees were executed in cold blood on Hitler's orders. On re-capture, James was sent to the infamous Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp where, undeterred, he tunnelled out. That was not the end of his remarkable story. Moonless Night has strong claim to be the finest escape story of the Second World War.

On 25 September 1939 Melvin Young reported to No.1 Initial Training Unit. He was selected as a bomber pilot and promoted to Flying Officer. Having undertaken a Lancaster conversion course Melvin and his new crew were posted to 57 Squadron at Scampton - soon to become 617 Squadron. On 15 May the Order for Operation Chastise was issued - the raid to be flown the next night, 16/17 May. The plan for the operation was that three waves of aircraft would be employed. The first wave of nine aircraft, led by Gibson, would first attack the Mohne Dam, then the Eder followed by other targets as directed by wireless from 5 Group HQ if any weapons were still available. This wave would fly in three sections of three aircraft about ten minutes apart led by Guy Gibson, Melvin Young and Henry Maudslay. At 00.43 Melvin and his crew made their attempt on the Mohne dam. Gibson recorded that Young's weapon made 'three good bounces and contact'.Once the dam had been breached Gibson with Melvin as his deputy led the three remaining armed aircraft towards the Eder Dam. On the return trip Melvin Young and his crew fell victim to enemy guns.

Allan Diffey s charming and amusing memoir portrays a long lost era of the Royal Navy in the 1950s, and one boy s love for ships and the sea. Diffey had never seen the sea until he was five years old, having been born just after the outbreak of the Second World War, and evacuated to Andover after his family s house in Gosport was bombed. On leaving school aged only fourteen, Allan was employed by the N.A.A.F.I. Institute and for the next two years delivered Ration Stores to all the small R.N. Craft that were based in Portsmouth Dockyard, and to H.M.S. Vernon. At the age of seventeen Allan became eligible to serve on sea going R.N. ships in a civilian capacity in the Ships Canteen and Goffa Bar whereon five days after his seventeenth birthday he was drafted to his first R.N. ship, H.M.S. Kenya. Allan relates his memoirs in a very simple manner as he recalls an era that was fast coming to an end of R.N. ships, the like of which we shall not see again. This book is a fascinating snapshot of Naval History from a civilian prospective.

Nursing History Review, Volume 15, 2007

Nursing History Review, an annual peer-reviewed publication of the American Association for the History of Nursing, is a showcase for the most significant current research on nursing history. Regular sections include scholarly articles, over a dozen book reviews of the best publications on nursing and health care history that have appeared in the past year, and a section abstracting new doctoral dissertations on nursing history. Historians, researchers, and individuals interested with the rich field of nursing will find this an important resource.

The William and Mary Quarterly

The William and Mary Quarterly began in 1892 as William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Papers. In 1894 the name shifted to William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine. The first series ended in 1919, and a second series began in 1921. A third series, known simply as the William and Mary Quarterly, began in 1944. The first actively copyright-renewed issue is April 1946 (third series, v. 3 no. 2). The first actively copyright-renewed contribution is from October 1946. (More details) It is still published today.

Persistent Archives of Complete Issues

  • 1892-1919: The USGenWeb Archives has transcriptions of selected content from the first 27 volumes,
  • 1892-1893: Google Books has volume 1 of the first series, covering July 1892 through April 1893. Access may be restricted outside the United States.
  • 1893-1894: The Internet Archive has volume 2 of the first series, covering July 1893 through April 1894.
  • 1894-1895: The Internet Archive has volume 3 of the first series, covering July 1894 to April 1895.
  • 1895-1896: HathiTrust has volume 4 of the first series, covering July 1895 to April 1896.
  • 1896-1897: Google Books has volume 5 of the first series, covering July 1896 through April 1897. Access may be restricted outside the United States.
  • 1897-1898: The Internet Archive has volume 6 of the first series, covering July 1897 through April 1898.
  • 1898-1899: Google Books has volume 7 of the first series, covering July 1898 through April 1899. Access may be restricted outside the United States.
  • 1899-1900: HathiTrust has volume 8 of the first series, covering July 1899 to April 1900.
  • 1900-1901: HathiTrust has volume 9 of the first series, covering July 1900 to April 1901.
  • 1901-1902: Google Books has volume 10 of the first series, covering July 1901 through April 1902. Access may be restricted outside the United States.
  • 1902-1903: HathiTrust has volume 11 of the first series, covering July 1902 to April 1903.
  • 1903-1904: HathiTrust has volume 12 of the first series, covering July 1903 to April 1904.
  • 1904-1905: The Internet Archive has volume 13 of the first series, covering July 1904 through April 1905.
  • 1905-1906: The Internet Archive has volume 14 of the first series, covering July 1905 through April 1906.
  • 1906-1907: The Internet Archive has volume 15 of the first series, covering July 1906 through April 1907.
  • 1907-1908: HathiTrust has volume 16 of the first series, covering July 1907 to April 1908.
  • 1908-1909: The Internet Archive has volume 17 of the first series, covering July 1908 through April 1909.
  • 1909-1910: Google Books has volume 18 of the first series, covering July 1909 through April 1910. Access may be restricted outside the United States.
  • 1910-1911: The Internet Archive has volume 19 of the first series, covering July 1910 through April 1911.
  • 1911-1912: Google Books has volume 20 of the first series, covering July 1911 through April 1912. Access may be restricted outside the United States.
  • 1912-1913: Google Books has volume 21 of the first series, covering July 1912 through April 1913. Access may be restricted outside the United States.
  • 1913-1914: Google Books has volume 22 of the first series, covering July 1913 through April 1914. Access may be restricted outside the United States.
  • 1914-1915: The Internet Archive has volume 23 of the first series, covering July 1914 through April 1915.
  • 1915-1916: The Internet Archive has volume 24 of the first series, covering July 1914 through April 1916.
  • 1916-1917: HathiTrust has volume 25 of the first series, covering July 1916 to April 1917.
  • 1917-1918: The Internet Archive has volume 26 of the first series, covering July 1917 through April 1918.
  • 1918-1919: The Internet Archive has volume 27 (the last) of the first series, covering July 1918 through April 1919.
  • 1921: The Internet Archive has volume 1 of the second series.
  • 1922: The Internet Archive has volume 2 of the second series.
  • 1923: The Internet Archive has volume 3 of the second series.
  • 1924: HathiTrust has volume 4 of the second series.
  • 1925: HathiTrust has volume 5 of the second series.

Official Site / Current Material

  • The William and Mary Quarterly site has information and recent tables of contents of the journal. Some book reviews and supplemental materials are freely accessible other material is available by subscription.

This is a record of a major serial archive. This page is maintained for The Online Books Page. (See our criteria for listing serial archives.) This page has no affiliation with the serial or its publisher.

The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Established in 1893 and published continuously since then, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography is the quarterly journal of the Virginia Historical Society, a privately supported and endowed educational institution headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and edited primary documents on all aspects and time periods of Virginia history and related topics. The VMHB serves as the journal of record for reviews of books on Virginia history and publishes the annual report of the VHS.

The "moving wall" represents the time period between the last issue available in JSTOR and the most recently published issue of a journal. Moving walls are generally represented in years. In rare instances, a publisher has elected to have a "zero" moving wall, so their current issues are available in JSTOR shortly after publication.
Note: In calculating the moving wall, the current year is not counted.
For example, if the current year is 2008 and a journal has a 5 year moving wall, articles from the year 2002 are available.

Terms Related to the Moving Wall Fixed walls: Journals with no new volumes being added to the archive. Absorbed: Journals that are combined with another title. Complete: Journals that are no longer published or that have been combined with another title.


The project for the Great Books of the Western World began at the University of Chicago, where the president, Robert Hutchins, collaborated with Mortimer Adler to develop a course there of a type which had been originated by John Erskine at Columbia University in 1921 with the innovation of a "round table"-type approach to reading and discussing great books among professors and undergraduates. [2] —generally aimed at businesspeople. The purposes they had in mind were for filling the gaps in their liberal education (notably including Hutchins' own self-confessed gaps) and to render the reader as an intellectually-rounded man or woman familiar with the Great Books of the Western canon and knowledgeable of the Great Ideas visited in the "Great Conversation" over the course of three millennia.

An original student of the project was William Benton (later a U.S. senator, and then chief executive officer of the Encyclopædia Britannica publishing company) who in 1943 proposed selecting the greatest books of the Western canon, and that Hutchins and Adler produce unabridged editions for publication, by Encyclopædia Britannica. Hutchins was at first wary of the idea, fearing that commodifying the books would devalue them as cultural artifacts nevertheless, he agreed to the business deal and was paid $60,000 for his work on the project. Benton at first refused the deal on the basis that the set of works selected would be just that, artifacts, and never actually read.

By chance, Adler was re-reading a source he was using for a book he was writing at the time called How to Think about War and Peace. He noted to the person who had provided the book for him that, while he remembered reading this book as a source for the book he was writing, he had missed the instructive passage this person was pointing out to him and wondered why that had happened. They realized that Adler had read the book focusing on one idea about war and peace and missed the particular significance and importance of the passage about a different subject. Adler struck on the idea to accede to assume the task of producing an index for the whole set for Hutchins by means of which readers could have a sort of "random access" to the works, with the hoped-for result that they would develop a greater interest in the works themselves. [3]

Failure to come to terms Edit

After deciding what subjects and authors to include, and how to present the materials, the indexing part of the project was begun, with a budget of another $60,000. Adler began compiling what his group called the "Greek index" bearing on the works selected from ancient Greece, expecting completion of the entire project within six months. After two years, the Greek index was declared to be a resounding failure. The inferior terms under the Great Ideas across the centuries in which the Greek-language works were written had shifted in their significance, and the preliminary index reflected that, the ideas presented not having "come to terms" with each other. [4]

During those times, Adler had a flash of insight. He set his group re-reading each work preliminarily with a single assigned subordinate idea in mind in the form of a fairly elaborate phrase. If any instances of the idea appeared, they could collate them with co-ordinate ideas of a similar type collected the same way, use the material thus noted to better reframe the larger idea structure and then finally start re-reading the work in its entirety with revised phrasing to do the complete indexing, of ideas. [5]

Eventual popular success Edit

In 1945, Adler began writing the initial forms of the essays for the Great Ideas and six years and $940,000 more later, on April 15, 1952, the Great Books of the Western World were presented at a publication party in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, in New York City. In his speech, Hutchins said, "This is more than a set of books, and more than a liberal education. Great Books of the Western World is an act of piety. Here are the sources of our being. Here is our heritage. This is the West. This is its meaning for mankind." The first two sets of books were given to Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, and to Harry S. Truman, the incumbent U.S. President. Adler appeared on the cover of Time magazine for a story about the set of works and its idea index and inventory of Western topics of thought at large, of sorts. [6]

The initial sales of the book sets were poor, with only 1,863 sets sold in 1952, and less than one-tenth of that number of book sets were sold in 1953. A financial debacle loomed until Encyclopædia Britannica altered the sales strategy, and sold the book set through experienced door-to-door encyclopædia-salesmen, as Hutchins had feared but, through that method, 50,000 sets were sold in 1961. In 1963 the editors published Gateway to the Great Books, a ten-volume set of readings meant to introduce the authors and the subjects of the Great Books. Each year, from 1961 to 1998, the editors published The Great Ideas Today, an annual updating about the applicability of the Great Books to contemporary life. [7] [8] According to Alex Beam, Great Books of the Western World eventually sold a million sets. [9] The Internet and the E-book reader have made available some of the Great Books of the Western World in an on-line format. [10]

Originally published in 54 volumes, The Great Books of the Western World covers categories including fiction, history, poetry, natural science, mathematics, philosophy, drama, politics, religion, economics, and ethics. Hutchins wrote the first volume, titled The Great Conversation, as an introduction and discourse on liberal education. Adler sponsored the next two volumes, "The Great Ideas: A Syntopicon", as a way of emphasizing the unity of the set and, by extension, of Western thought in general. A team of indexers spent months compiling references to such topics as "Man's freedom in relation to the will of God" and "The denial of void or vacuum in favor of a plenum". They grouped the topics into 102 chapters, for which Adler wrote the 102 introductions. Four colors identify each volume by subject area—Imaginative Literature, Mathematics and the Natural Sciences, History and Social Science, and Philosophy and Theology. The volumes contained the following works:

Volume 1 Edit

Volume 2 Edit

Volume 3 Edit

    II: Man, Mathematics, Matter, Mechanics, Medicine, Memory and Imagination, Metaphysics, Mind, Monarchy, Nature, Necessity and Contingency, Oligarchy, One and Many, Opinion, Opposition, Philosophy, Physics, Pleasure and Pain, Poetry, Principle, Progress, Prophecy, Prudence, Punishment, Quality, Quantity, Reasoning, Relation, Religion, Revolution, Rhetoric, Same and Other, Science, Sense, Sign and Symbol, Sin, Slavery, Soul, Space, State, Temperance, Theology, Time, Truth, Tyranny, Universal and Particular, Virtue and Vice, War and Peace, Wealth, Will, Wisdom, and World

Volume 4 Edit

Volume 5 Edit

    (translated into English verse by G.M. Cookson)
    • The Suppliant Maidens
    • The Persians
    • Seven Against Thebes
    • Prometheus Bound
    • The Oresteia
      • Agamemnon
      • Choephoroe
      • The Eumenides
      • The Oedipus Cycle
        • Oedipus the King
        • Oedipus at Colonus
        • Antigone
        • Rhesus
        • Medea
        • Hippolytus
        • Alcestis
        • Heracleidae
        • The Suppliants
        • The Trojan Women
        • Ion
        • Helen
        • Andromache
        • Electra
        • Bacchantes
        • Hecuba
        • Heracles Mad
        • The Phoenician Women
        • Orestes
        • Iphigenia in Tauris
        • Iphigenia in Aulis
        • Cyclops
        • The Acharnians
        • The Knights
        • The Clouds
        • The Wasps
        • Peace
        • The Birds
        • The Frogs
        • Lysistrata
        • Thesmophoriazusae
        • Ecclesiazousae
        • Plutus

        Volume 6 Edit

        Volume 7 Edit

          • The Dialogues (translated by Benjamin Jowett)
            • Charmides
            • Lysis
            • Laches
            • Protagoras
            • Euthydemus
            • Cratylus
            • Phaedrus
            • Ion
            • Symposium
            • Meno
            • Euthyphro
            • Apology
            • Crito
            • Phaedo
            • Gorgias
            • The Republic
            • Timaeus
            • Critias
            • Parmenides
            • Theaetetus
            • Sophist
            • Statesman
            • Philebus
            • Laws

            Volume 8 Edit

              • Categories
              • On Interpretation
              • Prior Analytics
              • Posterior Analytics
              • Topics
              • Sophistical Refutations
              • Physics
              • On the Heavens
              • On Generation and Corruption
              • Meteorology
              • Metaphysics
              • On the Soul
              • Minor biological works

              Volume 9 Edit

                • History of Animals
                • Parts of Animals
                • On the Motion of Animals
                • On the Gait of Animals
                • On the Generation of Animals
                • Nicomachean Ethics
                • Politics
                • The Athenian Constitution
                • Rhetoric
                • Poetics

                Volume 10 Edit

                Volume 11 Edit

                  • The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements
                  • On the Sphere and Cylinder
                  • Measurement of a Circle
                  • On Conoids and Spheroids
                  • On Spirals
                  • On the Equilibrium of Planes
                  • The Sand Reckoner
                  • The Quadrature of the Parabola
                  • On Floating Bodies
                  • Book of Lemmas
                  • The Method Treating of Mechanical Problems
                  • On Conic Sections
                  • Introduction to Arithmetic

                  Volume 12 Edit

                  Volume 13 Edit

                  Volume 14 Edit

                  Volume 15 Edit

                  Volume 16 Edit

                    • Almagest, (translated by R. Catesby Taliaferro)
                    • On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres(translated by Charles Glenn Wallis)
                    • Epitome of Copernican Astronomy (Books IV–V)
                    • The Harmonies of the World (Book V)

                    Volume 17 Edit

                    Volume 18 Edit

                    Volume 19 Edit

                    Volume 20 Edit

                      • Summa Theologica (Selections from second and third parts and supplement, translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province and revised by Daniel J. Sullivan)

                      Volume 21 Edit

                      Volume 22 Edit

                      Volume 23 Edit

                      Volume 24 Edit

                      Volume 25 Edit

                      Volume 26 Edit

                        • The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
                        • The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth
                        • The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth
                        • The Tragedy of Richard the Third
                        • The Comedy of Errors
                        • Titus Andronicus
                        • The Taming of the Shrew
                        • The Two Gentlemen of Verona
                        • Love's Labour's Lost
                        • Romeo and Juliet
                        • The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
                        • A Midsummer Night's Dream
                        • The Life and Death of King John
                        • The Merchant of Venice
                        • The First Part of King Henry the Fourth
                        • The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth
                        • Much Ado About Nothing
                        • The Life of King Henry the Fifth
                        • Julius Caesar
                        • As You Like It

                        Volume 27 Edit

                          • Twelfth Night or, What You Will
                          • The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
                          • The Merry Wives of Windsor
                          • Troilus and Cressida
                          • All's Well That Ends Well
                          • Measure for Measure
                          • Othello, the Moor of Venice
                          • King Lear
                          • Macbeth
                          • Antony and Cleopatra
                          • Coriolanus
                          • Timon of Athens
                          • Pericles, Prince of Tyre
                          • Cymbeline
                          • The Winter's Tale
                          • The Tempest
                          • The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth

                          Volume 28 Edit

                            • On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
                            • Dialogues Concerning the Two New Sciences
                            • On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals
                            • On the Circulation of Blood
                            • On the Generation of Animals

                            Volume 29 Edit

                            Volume 30 Edit

                            Volume 31 Edit

                            Volume 32 Edit

                            Volume 33 Edit

                            Volume 34 Edit

                            Volume 35 Edit

                            Volume 36 Edit

                            Volume 37 Edit

                            Volume 38 Edit

                            Volume 39 Edit

                            Volume 40 Edit

                            Volume 41 Edit

                            Volume 42 Edit

                              • Critique of Pure Reason
                              • Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals
                              • Critique of Practical Reason
                              • Excerpts from The Metaphysics of Morals
                                • Preface and Introduction to the Metaphysical Elements of Ethics with a note on Conscience
                                • General Introduction to the Metaphysic of Morals
                                • The Science of Right

                                Volume 43 Edit

                                Volume 44 Edit

                                Volume 45 Edit

                                  • Elements of Chemistry
                                  • Analytical Theory of Heat
                                  • Experimental Researches in Electricity

                                  Volume 46 Edit

                                  Volume 47 Edit

                                  Volume 48 Edit

                                  Volume 49 Edit

                                  Volume 50 Edit

                                  Volume 51 Edit

                                  Volume 52 Edit

                                  Volume 53 Edit

                                  Volume 54 Edit

                                    • The Origin and Development of Psycho-Analysis
                                    • Selected Papers on Hysteria
                                    • The Sexual Enlightenment of Children
                                    • The Future Prospects of Psycho-Analytic Therapy
                                    • Observations on "Wild" Psycho-Analysis
                                    • The Interpretation of Dreams
                                    • On Narcissism
                                    • Instincts and Their Vicissitudes
                                    • Repression
                                    • The Unconscious
                                    • A General Introduction to Psycho-Analysis
                                    • Beyond the Pleasure Principle
                                    • Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego
                                    • The Ego and the Id
                                    • Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety
                                    • Thoughts for the Times on War and Death
                                    • Civilization and Its Discontents
                                    • New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis

                                    The second edition of Great Books of the Western World, 1990, saw an increase from 54 to 60 volumes, with updated translations. The six new volumes concerned the 20th century, an era of which the first edition's sole representative was Freud. Some of the other volumes were re-arranged, with even more pre-20th century material added but with four texts deleted: Apollonius' On Conic Sections, Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, and Joseph Fourier's Analytical Theory of Heat. Adler later expressed regret about dropping On Conic Sections and Tom Jones. Adler also voiced disagreement with the addition of Voltaire's Candide, and said that the Syntopicon should have included references to the Koran. He addressed criticisms that the set was too heavily Western European and did not adequately represent women and minority authors. [11] Four women authors were included, where previously there were none. [12]

                                    The added pre-20th century texts appear in these volumes (some of the accompanying content of these volumes differs from the first edition volume of that number):

                                    Volume 20 Edit

                                    Volume 23 Edit

                                    Volume 31 Edit

                                      • The School for Wives
                                      • The Critique of the School for Wives
                                      • Tartuffe
                                      • Don Juan
                                      • The Miser
                                      • The Imaginary Invalid
                                      • Bérénice
                                      • Phèdre

                                      Volume 34 Edit

                                      Volume 43 Edit

                                      Volume 44 Edit

                                      Volume 45 Edit

                                      Volume 46 Edit

                                      Volume 47 Edit

                                      Volume 48 Edit

                                      Volume 52 Edit

                                      The contents of the six volumes of added 20th-century material:

                                      Volume 55 Edit

                                        • Pragmatism
                                        • "An Introduction to Metaphysics"
                                        • Experience and Education
                                        • Science and the Modern World
                                        • The Problems of Philosophy
                                        • What Is Metaphysics?
                                        • Philosophical Investigations
                                        • The Word of God and the Word of Man

                                        Volume 56 Edit

                                          • Science and Hypothesis
                                          • Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers
                                          • An Introduction to Mathematics
                                          • Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
                                          • The Expanding Universe
                                          • Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature (selections)
                                          • Discussion with Einstein on Epistemology
                                          • A Mathematician's Apology
                                          • Physics and Philosophy
                                          • What Is Life?
                                          • Genetics and the Origin of Species
                                          • The Nature of Life

                                          Volume 57 Edit

                                          Volume 58 Edit

                                            • The Golden Bough (selections)
                                            • Essays in Sociology (selections)
                                            • The Autumn of the Middle Ages
                                            • Structural Anthropology (selections)

                                            Volume 59 Edit

                                              • The Beast in the Jungle
                                              • Saint Joan
                                              • Heart of Darkness
                                              • Uncle Vanya
                                              • Six Characters in Search of an Author
                                              • Remembrance of Things Past: "Swann in Love"
                                              • A Lost Lady
                                              • Death in Venice
                                              • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

                                              Volume 60 Edit

                                                • To the Lighthouse
                                                • The Metamorphosis
                                                • The Prussian Officer
                                                • The Waste Land
                                                • Mourning Becomes Electra
                                                • The Great Gatsby
                                                • A Rose for Emily
                                                • Mother Courage and Her Children
                                                • The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
                                                • Animal Farm
                                                • Waiting for Godot

                                                Authors Edit

                                                The choice of authors has come under attack, with some dismissing the project as a celebration of European men, ignoring contributions of women and non-European authors. [13] [14] The criticism swelled in tandem with the feminist and civil rights movements. [15] Similarly, in his Europe: A History, Norman Davies criticizes the compilation for overrepresenting selected parts of the western world, especially Britain and the U.S., while ignoring the other, particularly Central and Eastern Europe. According to his calculation, in 151 authors included in both editions, there are 49 English or American authors, 27 Frenchmen, 20 Germans, 15 ancient Greeks, 9 ancient Romans, 4 Russians, 4 Scandinavians, 3 Spaniards, 3 Italians, 3 Irishmen, 3 Scots, and 3 Eastern Europeans. Prejudices and preferences, he concludes, are self-evident.

                                                In response, such criticisms have been derided as ad hominem and biased in themselves. The counter-argument maintains that such criticisms discount the importance of books solely because of generic, imprecise and possibly irrelevant characteristics of the books' authors, rather than because of the content of the books themselves. [16]

                                                Works Edit

                                                Others thought that while the selected authors were worthy, too much emphasis was placed on the complete works of a single author rather than a wider selection of authors and representative works (for instance, all of Shakespeare's plays are included). The second edition of the set already contained 130 authors and 517 individual works. The editors point out that the guides to additional reading for each topic in the Syntopicon refer the interested reader to many more authors. [17]

                                                Difficulty Edit

                                                The scientific and mathematical selections came under criticism for being incomprehensible to the average reader, especially with the absence of any sort of critical apparatus. The second edition did drop two scientific works, by Apollonius and Fourier, in part because of their perceived difficulty for the average reader. Nevertheless, the editors steadfastly maintain that average readers are capable of understanding far more than the critics deem possible. Robert Hutchins stated this view in the introduction to the first edition:

                                                Because the great bulk of mankind have never had the chance to get a liberal education, it cannot be "proved" that they can get it. Neither can it be "proved" that they cannot. The statement of the ideal, however, is of value in indicating the direction that education should take. [18]

                                                Rationale Edit

                                                Since the great majority of the works were still in print, one critic noted that the company could have saved two million dollars and simply written a list. Encyclopædia Britannica's aggressive promotion produced solid sales. Dense formatting also did not help readability. [19]

                                                The second edition selected translations that were generally considered an improvement, though the cramped typography remained. Through reading plans and the Syntopicon, the editors have attempted to guide readers through the set. [20]

                                                Response to criticisms Edit

                                                The editors responded that the set contains wide-ranging debates representing many viewpoints on significant issues, not a monolithic school of thought. Mortimer Adler argued in the introduction to the second edition:

                                                Presenting a wide variety and divergence of views or opinions, among which there is likely to be some truth but also much more error, the Syntopicon [and by extension the larger set itself] invites readers to think for themselves and make up their own minds on every topic under consideration. [21]


                                                Nanyang Technological University
                                                Block S4, Level B3,
                                                50 Nanyang Avenue,
                                                Singapore 639798

                                                This article revisits the question of whether contemporary biography can be considered as history through a close examination of the political biographies (and autobiography) of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and the historiography of Singapore. According to the late British historian Benjamin Pimlott, widely respected for his contribution to the genre of political biography, it defies an easy answer. The answer remains complex and there is still no clear consensus. As Robert Jervis noted, however, “memoirs are as essential as they are misleading” (Jervis, 2013). For all its strengths and limitations, biography “is indispensable to understanding of motive and intention” and “the motives of individuals have some part to play in explaining historical events” (Pimlott, 1999). Through the historiography of Lee, this article also attempts to describe the on-going “history war” in modern Singapore history, between the dominant narrative promoted by the state and the alternative accounts. The master narrative is increasingly being challenged by the latter.

                                                This article revisits the question of whether contemporary biography can be considered as history through a close examination of the political biographies (and autobiography) of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and the historiography of Singapore. According to the late British historian Benjamin Pimlott, widely respected for his contribution to the genre of political biography, it defies an easy answer. The answer remains complex and there is still no clear consensus. As Robert Jervis noted, however, “memoirs are as essential as they are misleading” (Jervis, 2013). For all its strengths and limitations, biography “is indispensable to understanding of motive and intention” and “the motives of individuals have some part to play in explaining historical events” (Pimlott, 1999). Through the historiography of Lee, this article also attempts to describe the on-going “history war” in modern Singapore history, between the dominant narrative promoted by the state and the alternative accounts. The master narrative is increasingly being challenged by the latter.

                                                TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS

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                                                Seeing Margaret Thatcher Whole

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                                                MARGARET THATCHER
                                                The Authorized Biography — Herself Alone
                                                By Charles Moore

                                                Her party still genuflects to her, and a core within it — aging members of the Conservative associations in the shires and no-longer-young fogies in Westminster — reflexively venerates her. In the bleak cities and the former pit villages of the north, the veterans of bitter labor struggles to save now-vanished industries habitually curse her, perhaps along with the party named for them that forsook them long ago. In the London of Cool Britannia’s tastemakers, loathing for her remains hot. She has always aroused a quasi-aesthetic repulsion within the metropolitan class and, indeed, it is that continued detestation of what Jonathan Miller in the 1980s sneeringly called “her odious suburban gentility” that most potently keeps her memory alive.

                                                But Margaret Thatcher is far too consequential to be retired as a plaster saint or to stand in for the creative destruction of global capitalism or to serve as the touchstone by which the bien-pensants establish their bona fides. It’s time that history claimed her. With “Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography — Herself Alone,” the third and concluding volume of Charles Moore’s 2,700-page work, the Iron Lady can begin to be assessed as a fully rounded personality and a historical fact.

                                                With ethical and scholarly discipline, Moore, a political columnist of a decidedly right-wing cast for The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator (and formerly the editor of both conservative publications, as well as The Sunday Telegraph), has produced a scrupulously evenhanded work. His use of evidence, absorbed from vast archival sources and hundreds of interviews, is punctilious, his judgments measured, his wit dry and sympathetic, his prose classically balanced. This sonorous, authoritative biography makes no empty claim to definitiveness. But it is a work for the ages: It will be the font from which every serious appraisal of Thatcher and Thatcher’s Britain draws.

                                                Covering the period from Thatcher’s third general election victory in 1987 to her death in 2013, this book considers in detail scores of topics and events. Some are still very much with us, like Thatcher’s growing anxiety over the impact that movement toward European integration would have on Britain’s sovereignty, an issue that split her party and cabinet and occasioned her downfall. (Moore easily demonstrates that Thatcher’s Euroskepticism, which intensified when she was out of office with the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, was instrumental in galvanizing the political forces that pushed for Brexit.)

                                                Given the comprehensive approach Moore’s writ demands, this volume, like its predecessors, suffers something of a forest-for-the-trees problem. But Moore’s perspective shifts continually from Thatcher herself (he adeptly captures the force of personality that radiates from her annotations and even from the underlinings in policy papers and memorandums) to her advisers, her colleagues and rivals in the cabinet, her adversaries across the floor in the House of Commons and in Brussels, even her hairdresser. Only this cumulative approach can convey the interplay of Thatcher’s personality and outlook on history and the peculiar way she conducted politics.

                                                Moore leaves no doubt that Thatcher herself ensured that the inevitable clash with the Europhiles in her cabinet and party would end in her downfall, and that, generally, she was her own worst enemy — but for reasons that enhance her stature even as they diminished her effectiveness. No words were more often thrown back in Thatcher’s face than her admittedly, and most uncharacteristically, disingenuous injunction, delivered in 1979, as she entered 10 Downing Street for the first time as prime minister: “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.” No aspiration was more alien to her.

                                                Clearly, the specific ends Thatcher sought — which included nothing less than the final destruction of what was known as “the postwar settlement” that had defined Britain’s politics and economy for 35 years — could not be realized without contention. More fundamentally, Thatcher thought that any goal worth pursuing and any policy worth enacting demanded contention. Every session of Commons, every summit, every press interview — and, crucially for her political fortunes, every meeting with what were supposed to be her colleagues in the cabinet — was combat. Thatcher didn’t seek consensus. She sought to win. Her guilelessly antagonistic style ran the somewhat narrow spectrum from what Moore nicely characterizes as “bossy headmistress” to the icily forensic.

                                                Most men (she dealt almost exclusively with men) bridled at receiving such treatment from a woman. When she convened a seminar on climate change, Moore notes, “her ministers were grumpy at having to spend so much time in her company,” especially given her “strict instructions to be quiet and listen to the experts.” By the time she lost her leadership, most colleagues were “understandably sick to death of her.” (In contrast, the Labour Party politicians Shirley Williams and Barbara Castle — the latter, Moore rightly judges, “after Mrs. Thatcher, the most important woman politician in British history” — admired and were fond of Thatcher, even while abhorring her policies.)

                                                But to caricature Thatcher as either a hectoring virago or as a latter-day Boudicca is not just to indulge in lazy sexism it contorts her psychology, her history and her approach to politics. A philistine who used ideas solely to pursue her practical and above all moral purposes, Thatcher was the antithesis of an intellectual: “I am not by nature either introspective or retrospective,” she declared. But she lived to argue. Indeed, to her politics was argument.

                                                Thatcher was proud to be the only trained scientist ever to be prime minister, and she believed in the value of evidence. (Of the Strategic Defense Initiative, she explained to Ronald Reagan: “I’m a chemist. I know it won’t work.”) A provincial grocer’s daughter whose slogging won her a place at Oxford, a B.S. in chemistry, a post as a research chemist and admission to the bar, Thatcher as prime minister nightly digested, annotated, queried and responded to all the papers — and all their accompanying tables and appendixes — in her dispatch boxes. Because she surely worked harder and slept fewer hours than any prime minister in British history, she regularly knew more about her ministers’ departmental briefs and policies — and the positions of her fellow heads of government — than they did. Convinced by her severely upright Methodist father that “integrity mattered above all else, and it was important to hold opinions because they were right” (as the historian David Cannadine puts it), Thatcher was, as Moore discerningly notes, an “eager seeker after truth.”

                                                This quality, uncommon in a politician, hardly guarantees that its holder will reach the desired destination, but it made Thatcher at once ruthless and earnest to an almost unworldly degree. (Roy Jenkins, the cosmopolitan British statesman, observed with horrified wonder that she was “almost totally impervious to how much she offends other people.”) Pairing this puritanical approach to politics with a devotion to the adversarial method that her training as a barrister had inculcated (Lord Justice of Appeal Frederick Lawton, who taught her, judged her “the best pupil I had ever had”), Thatcher, who relished the cockpit of the House of Commons as much as she was repelled by the consensual processes that cabinet government ultimately demanded, saw politics as an exercise in advocacy, in which the truth would emerge from the clash of ideas and policies. Her duty was to push for the truth as she saw it let others do the same.

                                                At its best that adversarial approach bestowed on Thatcher an intellectual integrity, as her implacable ideological foes, the far-left Labour M.P.s Tony Benn and Eric Heffer (who was also her friend), appreciated. That integrity could make her strikingly open-minded as well. She was fond of convening academic experts with whom she disagreed and peppering them with her well-prepared questions and counterarguments. Because she didn’t seek compromise, her mind could be changed. Although Thatcher had subjected Mikhail Gorbachev to prolonged cross-examination upon first meeting him in 1984, and although his response led to heated and prolonged debate between them, that encounter concluded with her famously declaring that “we can do business together.” Thatcher’s recognition of a sea change in Soviet policy and her advocacy of Gorbachev — in the teeth of initially strenuous American objections — are in retrospect the decisive steps in ending the Cold War.

                                                Similarly, owing to her ability to dissect and absorb an enormous quantity of original scientific research, Thatcher was one of the first global leaders (if not the first) to recognize and warn against the dangers of climate change. She aggressively promoted research, was instrumental in starting the first world environmental fund (overseen by the United Nations) and, despite American opposition, pushed for both an international levy on fuel prices and for Britain to set its own emissions targets.

                                                At its worst, however, Thatcher’s adversarial approach to politics made her seem adamantine and unfeeling, which created enmity among a meaningful portion of the industrial working class. This accelerated the collapse of the once-remarkable moral unity that had characterized the British nation in the postwar years — an outcome that Thatcher, whose political project aimed at the restoration of traditional values, should have sedulously avoided.

                                                Moreover, the demonization of Thatcher — a process she made all too easy — was both a symptom and a cause of the infantilization of the left, as it blamed deindustrialization on the malign “Maggie” rather than on profound changes in the world economy. This rendered the left unable to grasp the import of that transformation, and incapable of and uninterested in helping the working class to create an effective political program to cope with it.

                                                Moore probably sees Thatcher’s relationship with the left differently. As a polemicist, he will, appropriately, deploy the Thatcher he has illuminated for his own purposes. Others will draw very different conclusions from the same evidence. Surely that is no matter to him. With this masterpiece, Moore has given us Margaret Thatcher. She now belongs to history.


                                                The Glenfiddich Distillery was founded in 1886 by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland, in the glen of the River Fiddich. [5] The Glenfiddich single malt whisky first ran from the stills on Christmas Day, 1887. [6]

                                                In the 1920s, with prohibition in force in the US, Glenfiddich was one of a very small number of distilleries to increase production. This put them in a strong position to meet the sudden rise in demand for fine aged whiskies that came with the repeal of prohibition. [7] [8]

                                                In the 1950s, the Grant family built up an onsite infrastructure that included coppersmiths to maintain the copper stills, and a dedicated cooperage that is now one of the very few remaining in distilleries. [9] In 1956 the Grant's brand launched the now-iconic triangular bottle, designed by Hans Schleger. [10]

                                                Following difficult times in the 1960s and '70s, many small, independent distillers were bought up or went out of business. In order to survive, W. Grant & Sons expanded their production of the drink, and introduced advertising campaigns and a visitors' centre. [11] In this period they also took the decision to begin marketing single malt as a premium brand in its own right, effectively creating the modern single malt whisky category with the 1963 introduction of Glenfiddich single malt to the United States and other foreign markets. [4] [12]

                                                Later, W. Grant & Sons was one of the first distilleries to package its bottles in tubes and gift tins, as well as recognising the importance of the duty-free market for spirits. This marketing strategy was successful, and Glenfiddich has since become the world's best-selling single malt. [12] [13] It is sold in 180 countries, [6] and accounts for about 35% of single malt sales. [14]

                                                Glenfiddich is currently managed by the fifth generation of William Grant's descendants. [15]

                                                In September 2014, William Grant & Sons agreed to acquire Drambuie for an undisclosed price rumoured to be in the region of £100 million. [16]

                                                Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail is a tourism initiative featuring seven working Speyside distilleries including Glenfiddich, a historic distillery (Dallas Dhu, now a museum) and the Speyside Cooperage. According to a BBC article, visitors can tour "one of the stone-walled traditional warehouses, the mash tun . and the giant washbacks, which are handmade from local Douglas fir . [and] sample a dram of the light, sweet whisky in the malt barn". [17]

                                                Glenfiddich whisky is produced at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Moray.

                                                Glenfiddich is a single malt Scotch whisky, this means the whisky was distilled at a single distillery using a pot still distillation process and must be made from a mash of malted barley.

                                                Onsite there are 31 distinctively-shaped "swan neck" copper pot stills. These stills are smaller than those now in use at most other major distilleries. All stills are handmade and Glenfiddich employs a team of craftsmen and coppersmiths to maintain them. [18] These stills have a capacity of around 13,000,000 litres of spirit.

                                                The water source for Glenfiddich Whisky is The Robbie Dhu springs nearby to the distillery.

                                                Glenfiddich is matured in many different casks, such as:

                                                1. Rum casks from the Caribbean
                                                2. Bourbon whiskey barrels from America
                                                3. Sherry butts from Jerez de la Frontera in Spain

                                                Once the spirit has matured, the casks are emptied and the whisky is "cut" with pure Robbie Dhu spring water.

                                                Glenfiddich has a bottling hall onsite along with a large bottling plant in Bellshill.

                                                Glenfiddich Age-Statement Whiskies, by years of production, since 1992
                                                Age 1992–1994 1994–1996 1996–1998 1998–2000 2000–2002 2002–2004 2004–2006 2006–2008 2008–2010 2010–2012 2012–2014 2014–
                                                12 Year Old Caoran Reserve Glenfiddich
                                                12 Year Old
                                                14 Year Old Glenfiddich
                                                Rich Oak
                                                15 Year Old Classic Solera Reserve Glenfiddich
                                                15 Year Old
                                                15 Year Old 15 Year Old Cask Strength
                                                (renamed Distillery Edition)
                                                18 Year Old Excellence Ancient Reserve Glenfiddich
                                                18 Year Old
                                                21 Year Old Millennium Reserve Havana Reserve Gran Reserva Glenfiddich
                                                21 Year Old
                                                26 Year Old Glenfiddich
                                                30 Year Old Glenfiddich
                                                30 Year Old
                                                38 Year Old Glenfiddich
                                                Ultimate 38
                                                40 Year Old Glenfiddich
                                                40 Year Old
                                                50 Year Old Glenfiddich
                                                50 Year Old
                                                64 Year Old 1937 Rare Collection

                                                Core range Edit

                                                • Glenfiddich 12 year old
                                                • Glenfiddich 15 year old
                                                • Glenfiddich 18 year old
                                                • Glenfiddich 21 year old

                                                Liqueur Edit

                                                • Glenfiddich Malt Whisky Liqueur: Until 2011 Glenfiddich produced a liqueur that was 40% alcohol by volume, and sold in 50 cl (500 ml) bottles.

                                                Glenfiddich's whiskies have performed well at international spirits ratings competitions. The 12, 15, 18, and 21-year offerings have all rated well in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the Beverage Testing Institutes' reviews. [19] On balance, the 15-year whisky has performed the best, receiving three double-gold medals (in four years) at the 2007–2010 San Francisco competitions and a score of 91 with the Beverage Testing Institute. [20]

                                                Started in 1970, Glenfiddich promoted the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards to honour distinguished writing and broadcasting in the fields of food and drink in the UK. In 2008, Glenfiddich decided to discontinue distributing Food and Drink Awards, reviewing their "strategy, scope and potential application in some of Glenfiddich’s key markets outside the UK."

                                                Started in 1998, Glenfiddich promoted the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards. The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards were annual awards given to notable Scottish people. Glenfiddich sponsored the event, in association with The Scotsman newspaper. Nine awards were distributed for art, business, environment, food, music, screen, sport, writing and "Top Scot". A consulting panel nominated four people in each category, with the winner decided by a public vote. The "Top Scot" is an open award, with the public able to nominate anyone. The awards haven't been hosted since 2014.


                                                Eugene Louis Vidal was born in the cadet hospital of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, the only child of Eugene Luther Vidal (1895–1969) and Nina S. Gore (1903–1978). [8] [9] Vidal was born there because his father, a U.S. Army officer, was then serving as the first aeronautics instructor at the military academy. The middle name, Louis, was a mistake on the part of his father, "who could not remember, for certain, whether his own name was Eugene Louis or Eugene Luther". [10] In the memoir Palimpsest (1995), Vidal said, "My birth certificate says 'Eugene Louis Vidal': this was changed to Eugene Luther Vidal Jr. then Gore was added at my christening [in 1939] then, at fourteen, I got rid of the first two names." [7] : 401

                                                Eugene Louis Vidal was baptized in January 1939, when he was 13 years old, by the headmaster of St. Albans school, where Vidal attended preparatory school. The baptismal ceremony was effected so he "could be confirmed [into the Episcopal faith]" at the Washington Cathedral, in February 1939, as "Eugene Luther Gore Vidal". [11] : xix He later said that, although the surname "Gore" was added to his names at the time of the baptism, "I wasn't named for him [maternal grandfather Thomas Pryor Gore], although he had a great influence on my life." [11] : 4 In 1941, Vidal dropped his two first names, because he "wanted a sharp, distinctive name, appropriate for an aspiring author, or a national political leader . I wasn't going to write as 'Gene' since there was already one. I didn't want to use the 'Jr. ' " [10] [11] : xx

                                                His father, Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr. was director (1933–1937) of the Commerce Department's Bureau of Air Commerce during the Roosevelt Administration, and was also the great love of the aviator Amelia Earhart. [12] [13] At the U.S. Military Academy, the exceptionally athletic Vidal Sr. had been a quarterback, coach, and captain of the football team and an all-American basketball player. Subsequently, he competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics and in the 1924 Summer Olympics (seventh in the decathlon, and coach of the U.S. pentathlon). [14] [15] In the 1920s and the 1930s, Vidal Sr. co-founded three airline companies and a railroad line (i) the Ludington Line (later Eastern Airlines) (ii) Transcontinental Air Transport (later Trans World Airlines) (iii) Northeast Airlines and the Boston and Maine Railroad. [7] [16] Gore's great-grandfather Eugen Fidel Vidal was born in Feldkirch, Austria, of Romansh background, and had come to the U.S. with Gore's Swiss great-grandmother, Emma Hartmann. [17]

                                                Vidal's mother, Nina Gore, was a socialite who made her Broadway theater debut as an extra actress in Sign of the Leopard, in 1928. [18] In 1922, Nina married Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr., and thirteen years later, in 1935, divorced him. [19] Nina Gore Vidal then was married two more times to Hugh D. Auchincloss and to Robert Olds. She also had "a long off-and-on affair" with the actor Clark Gable. [20] As Nina Gore Auchincloss, Vidal's mother was an alternate delegate to the 1940 Democratic National Convention. [21]

                                                The subsequent marriages of his mother and father yielded four half-siblings for Gore Vidal – Vance Vidal, Valerie Vidal, Thomas Gore Auchincloss, and Nina Gore Auchincloss – one step brother, Hugh D. "Yusha" Auchincloss III from his mother's second marriage to Hugh D. Auchincloss, and four step-brothers including Robin Olds from his mother's third marriage to Robert Olds, a major general in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), who died in 1943, 10 months after marrying Nina. [22] The nephews of Gore Vidal include Burr Steers, a writer and film director, and Hugh Auchincloss Steers (1963–1995), a figurative painter. [23] [24]

                                                Raised in Washington, D.C., Vidal attended the Sidwell Friends School and St. Albans School. Given the blindness of his maternal grandfather, Senator Thomas Pryor Gore, of Oklahoma, Vidal read aloud to him, and was his Senate page, and his seeing-eye guide. [25] In 1939, during his summer holiday, Vidal went with some colleagues and professor from St. Albans School on his first European trip, to visit Italy and France. He visited for the first time Rome, the city which came to be "at the center of Gore's literary imagination", and Paris. When the Second World War began in early September, the group was forced to an early return home on his way back, he and his colleagues stopped in Great Britain, and they met the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Joe Kennedy (the father of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, later the President of the United States of America). [26] In 1940 he attended the Los Alamos Ranch School and later transferred to Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, New Hampshire, where he contributed to the Exonian, the school newspaper. [27]

                                                After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, rather than attend university, Vidal enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 17 and was assigned to work as an office clerk in the USAAF. Later, Vidal passed the examinations necessary to become a maritime warrant officer (junior grade) in the Transportation Corps, and subsequently served as first mate of the F.S. 35th, a US Army Freight and Supply (FS) ship berthed at Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. After three years in service, Vidal suffered hypothermia, developed rheumatoid arthritis and, consequently, was reassigned to duty as a mess officer. [28]

                                                The literary works of Gore Vidal were influenced by numerous other writers, poets and playwrights, novelists and essayists. These include, from antiquity, Petronius (d. AD 66), Juvenal (AD 60–140), and Apuleius (fl. c. AD 155) and from the post-Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866), and George Meredith (1828–1909). More recent literary influences included Marcel Proust (1871–1922), Henry James (1843–1916), and Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966). [29] The cultural critic Harold Bloom has written that Gore Vidal believed that his sexuality had denied him full recognition from the literary community in the United States. Bloom himself contends that such limited recognition more resulted from Vidal's "best fictions" being "distinguished historical novels", a subgenre "no longer available for canonization". [30]

                                                Fiction Edit

                                                The literary career of Gore Vidal began with the success of the military novel Williwaw, a men-at-war story derived from his Alaskan Harbor Detachment duty during the Second World War. [31] His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948) caused a moralistic furor over his dispassionate presentation of a young protagonist coming to terms with his homosexuality. [32] The novel was dedicated to "J. T." decades later, Vidal confirmed that the initials were those of his boyhood friend and St. Albans classmate, James Trimble III, killed in the Battle of Iwo Jima on March 1, 1945 and that Trimble was the only person he ever loved. [33] [34] Critics railed against Vidal's presentation of homosexuality in the novel as natural, a life viewed generally at the time as unnatural and immoral. [32] Vidal claimed that New York Times critic Orville Prescott was so offended by it that he refused to review or to permit other critics to review any book by Vidal. [35] Vidal said that upon publication of the book, an editor at E. P. Dutton told him "You will never be forgiven for this book. Twenty years from now, you will still be attacked for it". [32] Today, Vidal is often seen as an early champion of sexual liberation. [36]

                                                Vidal took the pseudonym "Edgar Box" and wrote the mystery novels Death in the Fifth Position (1952), Death before Bedtime (1953) and Death Likes it Hot (1954) featuring Peter Cutler Sargeant II, a publicist-turned-private-eye. The Edgar Box genre novels sold well and earned black-listed Vidal a secret living. [37] [38] That mystery-novel success led Vidal to write in other genres and he produced the stage play The Best Man: A Play about Politics (1960) and the television play Visit to a Small Planet (1957). Two early teleplays were A Sense of Justice (1955) and Honor. [39] He also wrote the pulp novel Thieves Fall Out under the pseudonym "Cameron Kay" but refused to have it reprinted under his real name during his life. [40]

                                                In the 1960s, Vidal published Julian (1964), about the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate (r. A.D. 361–363), who sought to reinstate polytheistic paganism when Julian viewed that Christianity threatened the cultural integrity of the Roman Empire, Washington, D.C. (1967), about political life during the presidential era (1933–45) of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Myra Breckinridge (1968), a satire of the American movie business, by way of a school of dramatic arts owned by a transsexual woman, the eponymous anti-heroine.

                                                After publishing the plays Weekend (1968) and An Evening With Richard Nixon (1972) and the novel Two Sisters: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir (1970), Vidal concentrated upon the essay and developed two types of fiction. The first type is about American history, novels specifically about the nature of national politics. [41] The New York Times, quoting critic Harold Bloom about those historical novels, said that Vidal's imagination of American politics "is so powerful as to compel awe." [42] The historical novels formed the seven-book series, Narratives of Empire: (i) Burr (1973), (ii) Lincoln (1984), (iii) 1876 (1976), (iv) Empire (1987), (v) Hollywood (1990), (vi) Washington, D.C. (1967) and (vii) The Golden Age (2000). Besides U.S. history, Vidal also explored and analyzed the history of the ancient world, specifically the Axial Age (800–200 B.C.), with the novel Creation (1981). The novel was published without four chapters that were part of the manuscript he submitted to the publisher years later, Vidal restored the chapters to the text and re-published the novel Creation in 2002.

                                                The second type of fiction is the topical satire, such as Myron (1974) the sequel to Myra Breckinridge Kalki (1978), about the end of the world and the consequent ennui Duluth (1983), an alternate universe story Live from Golgotha (1992), about the adventures of Timothy, Bishop of Macedonia, in the early days of Christianity and The Smithsonian Institution (1998), a time-travel story.

                                                Non-fiction Edit

                                                In the United States, Gore Vidal is often considered an essayist rather than a novelist. [43] Even the occasionally hostile literary critic, such as Martin Amis, admitted that "Essays are what he is good at . [Vidal] is learned, funny, and exceptionally clear-sighted. Even his blind spots are illuminating."

                                                For six decades, Vidal applied himself to socio-political, sexual, historical and literary subjects. In the essay anthology Armageddon (1987) he explored the intricacies of power (political and cultural) in the contemporary United States. His criticism of the incumbent U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, as a "triumph of the embalmer's art" communicated that Reagan's provincial worldview, and that of his administration's, was out of date and inadequate to the geopolitical realities of the world in the late twentieth century. In 1993, Vidal won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for the anthology United States: Essays 1952–92 (1993). [44]

                                                In 2000, Vidal published the collection of essays, The Last Empire, then such self-described "pamphlets" as Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta and Imperial America, critiques of American expansionism, the military–industrial complex, the national security state and the George W. Bush administration. Vidal also wrote a historical essay about the U.S. founding fathers, Inventing a Nation. In 1995, he published a memoir Palimpsest and in 2006 its follow-up volume, Point to Point Navigation. Earlier that year, Vidal had published Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories.

                                                In 2009, he won the annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation, which called him a "prominent social critic on politics, history, literature and culture". [45] In the same year, the Man of Letters Gore Vidal was named honorary president of the American Humanist Association. [46] [32]

                                                Hollywood Edit

                                                In 1956, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hired Gore Vidal as a screenplay writer with a four-year employment contract. In 1958, the director William Wyler required a script doctor to rewrite the screenplay for Ben-Hur (1959), originally written by Karl Tunberg. As one of several script doctors assigned to the project, Vidal rewrote significant portions of the script to resolve ambiguities of character motivation, specifically to clarify the enmity between the Jewish protagonist, Judah Ben-Hur, and the Roman antagonist, Messala, who had been close boyhood friends. In exchange for rewriting the Ben-Hur screenplay, on location in Italy, Vidal negotiated the early termination (at the two-year mark) of his four-year contract with MGM. [7] [47]

                                                Thirty-six years later, in the documentary film The Celluloid Closet (1995), Vidal explained that Messala's failed attempt at resuming their homosexual, boyhood relationship motivated the ostensibly political enmity between Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and Messala (Stephen Boyd). Vidal said that Boyd was aware of the homosexual subtext to the scene and that the director, the producer and the screenwriter agreed to keep Heston ignorant of the subtext, lest he refuse to play the scene. [7] [48] In turn, on learning of that script-doctor explanation, Charlton Heston said that Vidal had contributed little to the script of Ben-Hur. [49] Despite Vidal's script-doctor resolution of the character's motivations, the Screen Writers Guild assigned formal screenwriter-credit to Karl Tunberg, in accordance with the WGA screenwriting credit system, which favored the "original author" of a screenplay, rather than the writer of the filmed screenplay. [50]

                                                Two plays, The Best Man: A Play about Politics (1960, made into a film in 1964) and Visit to a Small Planet (1955) were theater and movie successes. Vidal occasionally returned to the movie business, and wrote historically accurate teleplays and screenplays about subjects important to him. Billy the Kid (1989) is one, about William H. Bonney, a gunman in the New Mexico territory Lincoln County War (1878), and later an outlaw in the U.S. Western frontier. Another is 1979's Caligula (based upon the life of the Roman Emperor Caligula)., [51] from which Vidal had his screenwriter credit removed because the producer, Bob Guccione, the director, Tinto Brass and the leading actor, Malcolm McDowell, rewrote the script to add extra sex and violence to increase its commercial success.

                                                In the 1960s, Vidal migrated to Italy, where he befriended the film director Federico Fellini, for whom he appeared in a cameo role in the film Roma (1972). He also acted in the films Bob Roberts (1992), a serio-comedy about a reactionary populist politician who manipulates youth culture to win votes With Honors (1994) an Ivy league comedy-drama Gattaca (1997), a science-fiction drama about genetic engineering and Igby Goes Down (2002), a coming-of-age serio-comedy directed by his nephew, Burr Steers.

                                                Political campaigns Edit

                                                Gore Vidal began to drift towards the political left after he received his first paycheck, and realized how much money the government took in tax. [52] He reasoned that if the government was taking so much money, then it should at least provide first-rate healthcare and education. [52]

                                                As a public intellectual, Gore Vidal was identified with the liberal politicians and the progressive social causes of the old Democratic Party. [53] [54]

                                                In 1960, Vidal was the Democratic candidate for Congress for the 29th Congressional District of New York, a usually Republican district on the Hudson River but lost to the Republican candidate J. Ernest Wharton, by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent. [55] Campaigning under the slogan of You'll get more with Gore, Vidal received the most votes any Democratic candidate had received in the district in fifty years. Among his supporters were Eleanor Roosevelt and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, friends who spoke on his behalf. [56]

                                                In 1982, he campaigned against Jerry Brown, the incumbent Governor of California, in the Democratic primary election for the U.S. Senate Vidal forecast accurately that the opposing Republican candidate would win the election. [57] That foray into senatorial politics is the subject of the documentary film Gore Vidal: The Man Who Said No (1983), directed by Gary Conklin.

                                                In a 2001 article, "The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh", Gore undertook to discover why domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh perpetrated the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. He concluded that McVeigh (a politically disillusioned U.S. Army veteran of the First Iraq War, 1990–91) had destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building as an act of revenge for the FBI's Waco massacre (1993) at the Branch Davidian Compound in Texas, believing that the U.S. government had mistreated Americans in the same manner that he believed that the U.S. Army had mistreated the Iraqis. In concluding the Vanity Fair article, Vidal refers to McVeigh as an "unlikely sole mover," and theorizes that foreign/domestic conspiracies could have been involved. [58]

                                                Vidal was very much against any kind of military intervention in the world. [59] In Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta (2002), Vidal drew parallels about how the United States enters wars and said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt provoked Imperial Japan to attack the U.S. in order to justify the American entry to the Second World War (1939–45). He contended that Roosevelt had advance knowledge of the dawn-raid attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). [60] In the documentary Why We Fight (2005), Vidal said that, during the final months of the war, the Japanese had tried to surrender: "They were trying to surrender all that summer, but Truman wouldn't listen, because Truman wanted to drop the bombs . To show off. To frighten Stalin. To change the balance of power in the world. To declare war on communism. Perhaps we were starting a pre-emptive world war". [61]

                                                Criticism of George W. Bush Edit

                                                As a public intellectual, Vidal criticized what he viewed as political harm to the nation and the voiding of the citizen's rights through the passage of the USA Patriot Act (2001) during the George W. Bush administration (2001–2009). He described Bush as "the stupidest man in the United States" and said that Bush's foreign policy was explicitly expansionist. [62] [63] He contended that the Bush Administration and their oil-business sponsors, aimed to control the petroleum of Central Asia, after having gained hegemony over the petroleum of the Persian Gulf in 1991. [64]

                                                Vidal became a member of the board of advisors of The World Can't Wait, a political organization which sought to publicly repudiate the foreign-policy program of the Bush Administration (2001–2009) and advocated Bush's impeachment for war crimes, such as the Second Iraq War (2003–2011) and torturing prisoners of war (soldiers, guerrillas, civilians) in violation of international law. [65]

                                                In May 2007, while discussing 9/11 conspiracy theories that might explain the "who?" and the "why?" of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., Vidal said

                                                I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm a conspiracy analyst. Everything the Bushites touch is screwed up. They could never have pulled off 9/11, even if they wanted to. Even if they longed to. They could step aside, though, or just go out to lunch while these terrible things were happening to the nation. I believe that of them.

                                                Political philosophy Edit

                                                In the American Conservative article, "My Pen Pal Gore Vidal" (2012), Bill Kauffman reported that Vidal's favorite American politician, during his lifetime, was Huey Long (1893–1935), the populist Governor (1928–32) and Senator (1932–35) from Louisiana, who also had perceived the essential, one-party nature of U.S. politics and who was assassinated by a lone gunman. [67]

                                                Despite that, Vidal said, "I think of myself as a conservative", with a proprietary attitude towards the United States. "My family helped start [this country] . and we've been in political life . since the 1690s, and I have a very possessive sense about this country". [68] [69] Based upon that background of populism, from 1970 to 1972, Vidal was a chairman of the People's Party of the United States. [70] In 1971, he endorsed the consumer-rights advocate Ralph Nader for U.S. president in the 1972 election. [71] In 2004, he endorsed Democrat Dennis Kucinich in his candidacy for the U.S. presidency (in 2004), because Kucinich was "the most eloquent of the lot" of presidential candidates, from either the Republican or the Democratic parties and that Kucinich was "very much a favorite out there, in the amber fields of grain". [72]

                                                In a September 30, 2009 interview with The Times of London, Vidal said that there soon would be a dictatorship in the United States. The newspaper emphasized that Vidal, described as "the Grand Old Man of American belles-lettres", claimed that America is rotting away – and to not expect Barack Obama to save the country and the nation from imperial decay. In this interview, he also updated his views of his life, the United States, and other political subjects. [73] Vidal had earlier described what he saw as the political and cultural rot in the United States in his essay, "The State of the Union" (1975),

                                                There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party . and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently . and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.

                                                The Capote–Vidal feud Edit

                                                In 1975 Vidal sued Truman Capote for slander over the accusation that he had been thrown out of the White House for being drunk, putting his arm around the first lady and then insulting Mrs. Kennedy's mother. [42] Said Capote of Vidal at the time: "I'm always sad about Gore—very sad that he has to breathe every day." [75] Mutual friend George Plimpton observed: "There's no venom like Capote's when he's on the prowl—and Gore's too, I don't know what division the feud should be in." The suit was settled in Vidal's favor when Lee Radziwill refused to testify on Capote's behalf, telling columnist Liz Smith, "Oh, Liz, what do we care they're just a couple of fags! They're disgusting." [75] [76]

                                                The Buckley–Vidal feud Edit

                                                In 1968, the ABC television network hired the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. as political analysts of the presidential-nomination conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties. [77] Their commentaries led to Buckley threatening to assault Vidal. After days of bickering, their debates degraded to vitriolic ad hominem attacks. Discussing the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests, the public intellectuals argued about freedom of speech, namely, the legality of protesters to display a Viet Cong flag in America, Vidal told Buckley to "shut up a minute." Buckley had likened violent left wing protesters to German National Socialists. Vidal stated, "As far as I'm concerned, the only sort of pro-crypto-Nazi I can think of is yourself." Buckley replied, "Now listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, or I'll sock you in the goddamn face, and you'll stay plastered." ABC's Howard K. Smith interjected, and the debate resumed without violence. [57] [78] Later, Buckley said he regretted having called Vidal a "queer," yet said that Vidal was an "evangelist for bisexuality." [79]

                                                In 1969, in Esquire magazine, Buckley continued his cultural feud with Vidal in the essay "On Experiencing Gore Vidal" (August 1969), in which he portrayed Vidal as an apologist for homosexuality Buckley said, "The man who, in his essays, proclaims the normalcy of his affliction [i.e., homosexuality], and in his art the desirability of it, is not to be confused with the man who bears his sorrow quietly. The addict is to be pitied and even respected, not the pusher." The essay is collected in The Governor Listeth: A Book of Inspired Political Revelations (1970), an anthology of Buckley's writings from the time. [ citation needed ]

                                                Vidal riposted in Esquire with the September 1969 essay "A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley, Jr." and said that Buckley was "anti-black," "anti-semitic" and a "warmonger." [80] Buckley sued Vidal for libel. [81]

                                                The feud continued in Esquire, where Vidal implied that in 1944, Buckley and unnamed siblings had vandalized a Protestant church in Sharon, Connecticut, (the Buckley family hometown) after the wife of a pastor had sold a house to a Jewish family. Buckley again sued Vidal and Esquire for libel and Vidal filed a counterclaim for libel against Buckley, citing Buckley's characterization of Myra Breckinridge (1968) as a pornographic novel. [82] [83] The court dismissed Vidal's counterclaim. [84] Buckley accepted a money settlement of $115,000 to pay the fee of his attorney and an editorial apology from Esquire, in which the publisher and the editors said that they were "utterly convinced" of the untruthfulness of Vidal's assertions. [85] In a letter to Newsweek magazine, the publisher of Esquire said that "the settlement of Buckley's suit against us" was not "a 'disavowal' of Vidal's article. On the contrary, it clearly states that we published that article because we believed that Vidal had a right to assert his opinions, even though we did not share them." [86]

                                                In Gore Vidal: A Biography (1999), Fred Kaplan said that, "The court had 'not' sustained Buckley's case against Esquire . [that] the court had 'not' ruled that Vidal's article was 'defamatory.' It had ruled that the case would have to go to trial in order to determine, as a matter of fact, whether or not it was defamatory. The cash value of the settlement with Esquire represented 'only' Buckley's legal expenses." [86]

                                                In 2003, Buckley resumed his complaint of having been libeled by Vidal, this time with the publication of the anthology Esquire's Big Book of Great Writing (2003), which included Vidal's essay, "A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley, Jr." Again, the offended Buckley filed lawsuit for libel and Esquire magazine again settled Buckley's claim with $55,000–65,000 for the fees of his attorney and $10,000 for personal damages suffered by Buckley. [87]

                                                In the obituary "RIP WFB – in Hell" (March 20, 2008), Vidal remembered Buckley, who had died on February 27, 2008. [88] Later, in the interview "Literary Lion: Questions for Gore Vidal" (June 15, 2008), New York Times reporter Deborah Solomon asked Vidal, "How did you feel, when you heard that Buckley died this year?" Vidal responded:

                                                I thought hell is bound to be a livelier place, as he joins, forever, those whom he served in life, applauding their prejudices and fanning their hatred.

                                                The Mailer–Vidal feud Edit

                                                On December 15, 1971, during the recording of The Dick Cavett Show, with Janet Flanner, Norman Mailer allegedly head-butted Vidal when they were backstage. [90] When a reporter asked Vidal why Mailer had knocked heads with him, Vidal said, "Once again, words failed Norman Mailer." [91] During the recording of the talk show, Vidal and Mailer insulted each other, over what Vidal had written about him, prompting Mailer to say, "I've had to smell your works from time to time." Apparently, Mailer's umbrage resulted from Vidal's reference to Mailer having stabbed his wife of the time. [92]

                                                Polanski rape case Edit

                                                In The Atlantic magazine interview, "A Conversation with Gore Vidal" (October 2009), by John Meroney, Vidal spoke about topical and cultural matters of U.S. society. Asked his opinion about the arrest of the film director Roman Polanski, in Switzerland, in September 2009, in response to an extradition request by U.S. authorities, for having fled the U.S. in 1978 to avoid jail for the statutory rape of a thirteen-year-old girl in Hollywood, Vidal said, "I really don't give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she's been taken advantage of?"

                                                Asked for elaboration, Vidal explained the cultural temper of the U.S. and of the Hollywood movie business in the 1970s:

                                                The [news] media can't get anything straight. Plus, there's usually an anti-Semitic and anti-fag thing going on with the press—lots of crazy things. The idea that this girl was in her communion dress, a little angel, all in white, being raped by this awful Jew Polacko—that's what people were calling him—well, the story is totally different now [2009] from what it was then [1970s] . Anti-Semitism got poor Polanski. He was also a foreigner. He did not subscribe to American values, in the least. To [his persecutors], that seemed vicious and unnatural."

                                                Asked to explain the term "American values," Vidal replied, "Lying and cheating. There's nothing better." [93]

                                                In response to Vidal's opinion about the decades-old Polanski rape case, a spokeswoman for the organization Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Barbara Dorris, said, "People should express their outrage, by refusing to buy any of his books," called Vidal a "mean-spirited buffoon" and said that, although "a boycott wouldn't hurt Vidal financially," it would "cause anyone else, with such callous views, to keep his mouth shut, and [so] avoid rubbing salt into the already deep [psychological] wounds of (the victims)" of sexual abuse. [94]

                                                Scientology Edit

                                                In 1997, Gore Vidal was one of thirty-four public intellectuals and celebrities who signed an open-letter addressed to Helmut Kohl, the Chancellor of Germany, published in the International Herald Tribune, protesting the treatment of Scientologists in Germany. [95] Despite that stance, as a dispassionate intellectual Gore Vidal was fundamentally critical of Scientology as religion. [96]

                                                Sexuality Edit

                                                In 1967, Vidal appeared in the CBS documentary, CBS Reports: The Homosexuals, in which he expressed his views on homosexuality in the arts. [97] Commenting on his life's work and his life, he described his style as "Knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn." [32]

                                                Vidal often rebutted the label of "gay." He maintained that it referred to sexual acts rather than sexuality. Gore did not express a public stance on the HIV-AIDS crisis. According to Vidal's close friend Jay Parini, "Gore didn’t think of himself as a gay guy. It makes him self-hating. How could he despise gays as much as he did? In my company he always used the term 'fags.' He was uncomfortable with being gay. Then again, he was wildly courageous." Biographer Fred Kaplan concluded: "He was not interested in making a difference for gay people, or being an advocate for gay rights. There was no such thing as 'straight' or 'gay' for him, just the body and sex." [98]

                                                In the September 1969 edition of Esquire, Vidal wrote

                                                We are all bisexual to begin with. That is a fact of our condition. And we are all responsive to sexual stimuli from our own as well as from the opposite sex. Certain societies at certain times, usually in the interest of maintaining the baby supply, have discouraged homosexuality. Other societies, particularly militaristic ones, have exalted it. But regardless of tribal taboos, homosexuality is a constant fact of the human condition and it is not a sickness, not a sin, not a crime . despite the best efforts of our puritan tribe to make it all three. Homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality. Notice I use the word 'natural,' not normal. [80] [32]

                                                In the multi-volume memoir The Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931–74), Anaïs Nin said she had a love affair with Vidal, who denied her claim in his memoir Palimpsest (1995). In the online article "Gore Vidal's Secret, Unpublished Love Letter to Anaïs Nin" (2013), author Kim Krizan said she found an unpublished love letter from Vidal to Nin, which contradicts his denial of a love affair with Nin. Krizan said she found the love letter while researching Mirages, the latest volume of Nin's uncensored diary, to which Krizan wrote the foreword. [99] Vidal would cruise the streets and bars of New York City and other locales and wrote in his memoir that by age twenty-five, he had had more than a thousand sexual encounters. [100] Vidal also said that he had an intermittent romance with the actress Diana Lynn, and alluded to possibly having fathered a daughter. [7] [101] [102] He was briefly engaged to the actress Joanne Woodward before she married the actor Paul Newman after marrying, they briefly shared a house with Vidal in Los Angeles. [103]

                                                Vidal enjoyed telling his sexual exploits to friends. Vidal claimed to have slept with Fred Astaire when he first moved to Hollywood. Vidal reportedly told his nephew that Dennis Hopper had a "lovely tuft of hair above his ass." [98]

                                                In 1950, Gore Vidal met Howard Austen, who became his partner for the next 53 years, until Austen's death. [104] He said that the secret to his long relationship with Austen was that they did not have sex with each other: "It's easy to sustain a relationship when sex plays no part, and impossible, I have observed, when it does." [105] In Celebrity: The Advocate Interviews (1995), by Judy Wiedner, Vidal said that he refused to call himself "gay" because he was not an adjective, adding "to be categorized is, simply, to be enslaved. Watch out. I have never thought of myself as a victim . I've said—a thousand times?—in print and on TV, that everyone is bisexual." [106] During their relationship, the two would often hire male prostitutes—the control appealed to Vidal. He was always the top. [98]

                                                In the course of his life, Vidal lived at various times in Italy and in the United States. In 2003, as his health began to fail with age, he sold his Italian villa La Rondinaia (The Swallow's Nest) on the Amalfi Coast in the province of Salerno and he and Austen returned to live in their 1929 [107] villa in Outpost Estates, Los Angeles. [108] Howard Austen died in November 2003 and in February 2005 his remains were re-buried at Rock Creek Cemetery, in Washington, D.C., in a joint grave plot that Vidal had purchased for himself and Austen. [109]

                                                In 2010 Vidal began to suffer from Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, a neurological disorder. [110] On July 31, 2012 Vidal died of pneumonia at his home in the Hollywood Hills at the age of 86. [110] [111] [112] A memorial service was held for him at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York City on August 23, 2012. [113] He was buried next to Howard Austen in Rock Creek Cemetery, in Washington, D.C. [114] Vidal said he chose his grave site because it is between the graves of two people who were important in his life: Henry Adams, the historian and writer, whose work Vidal admired and his boyhood friend Jimmie Trimble who was killed in World War II, a tragedy that haunted Vidal for the rest of his life. [115]

                                                Postmortem opinions and assessments of Gore as a writer varied. The New York Times described him as "an Augustan figure who believed himself to be the last of a breed, and he was probably right. Few American writers have been more versatile, or gotten more mileage from their talent." [116] The Los Angeles Times said that he was a literary juggernaut whose novels and essays were considered "among the most elegant in the English language." [117] The Washington Post described him as a "major writer of the modern era . [an] astonishingly versatile man of letters." [118]

                                                The Guardian said that "Vidal's critics disparaged his tendency to formulate an aphorism, rather than to argue, finding in his work an underlying note of contempt for those who did not agree with him. His fans, on the other hand, delighted in his unflagging wit and elegant style." [119] The Daily Telegraph described the writer as "an icy iconoclast" who "delighted in chronicling what he perceived as the disintegration of civilisation around him." [120] The BBC News said that he was "one of the finest post-war American writers . an indefatigable critic of the whole American system . Gore Vidal saw himself as the last of the breed of literary figures who became celebrities in their own right. Never a stranger to chat shows his wry and witty opinions were sought after as much as his writing." [121] In "The Culture of the United States Laments the Death of Gore Vidal," the Spanish on-line magazine Ideal said that Vidal's death was a loss to the "culture of the United States," and described him as a "great American novelist and essayist." [122] In The Writer Gore Vidal is Dead in Los Angeles, the online edition of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera described the novelist as "the enfant terrible of American culture" and that he was "one of the giants of American literature". [123] In Gore Vidal: The Killjoy of America, the French newspaper Le Figaro said that the public intellectual Vidal was "the killjoy of America" but that he also was an "outstanding polemicist" who used words "like high-precision weapons." [124]

                                                On August 23, 2012, in the program a Memorial for Gore Vidal in Manhattan, the life and works of the writer Gore Vidal were celebrated at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, with a revival of The Best Man: A Play About Politics (1960). The writer and comedian Dick Cavett was host of the Vidalian celebration, which featured personal reminiscences about and performances of excerpts from the works of Gore Vidal by friends and colleagues, such as Elizabeth Ashley, Candice Bergen, Hillary Clinton, Alan Cumming, James Earl Jones, Elaine May, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd and Liz Smith. [125]

                                                In popular culture Edit

                                                In the 1960s, the weekly American sketch comedy television program Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In featured a running-joke sketch about Vidal the telephone operator Ernestine (Lily Tomlin) would call him, saying: "Mr. Veedul, this is the Phone Company calling! (snort! snort!)." [126] [127] The sketch, titled "Mr. Veedle" also appeared in Tomlin's comedy record album This Is a Recording (1972). [128]

                                                In the 1970s, in the stand-up comedy album Reality . What a Concept, Robin Williams portrayed Vidal as a drunken shill in a Thunderbird wine commercial.

                                                Vidal provided his own voice for the animated-cartoon version of himself in The Simpsons episode "Moe'N'a Lisa" (season 18, episode 6) he was also mentioned in "Krusty Gets Busted" (season 1, episode 12) by Sideshow Bob voiced by Kelsey Grammer and "Summer of 4 Ft. 2" (season 7, episode 25) by Lisa Simpson voiced by Yeardley Smith his picture also appearing a book in the episode. He also voices his animated-cartoon version in Family Guy. Likewise, he portrayed himself in the Da Ali G Show the Ali G character mistakes him for Vidal Sassoon, a famous hairdresser.

                                                In the biographical film Amelia (2009), the child Vidal was portrayed by William Cuddy, a Canadian actor. In the Truman Capote biographic film Infamous (2006), the young adult Vidal was portrayed by the American actor Michael Panes.

                                                The Buckley–Vidal debates, their aftermath and cultural significance, were the focus of a 2015 documentary film called Best of Enemies., as well as a 2021 play by James Graham, inspired by the film. [129] [130]

                                                A biopic titled Gore, directed and co-written by Michael Hoffman based on Jay Parini’s book Empire of Self, A Life of Gore Vidal, starring Kevin Spacey was filmed in 2018, but after sexual misconduct allegations were made against Spacey, the film was cancelled and remains unreleased. [131] [132]

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