According to the author this book was born out of a conversation with John F. Kennedy. In that conversation the question was raised whatever happened to the extraordinary intellectual prowess, and idealism of Founding Fathers. Why don't we see more of that in American politics today? According to the author, this book is the beginning of an answer to that question.
The book does not aim to be merely an objective recitation of the facts. Rather, it is the author's analysis of that remarkable period. It is very fact heavy, and relies extensively on significant quotes from letters, early drafts of documents, and other revealing contemporary papers. Ultimately it shows that although our founders participated in extraordinary intellectual debates, their world was a rife with mundane tasks and self-serving political ambition as ours is today. There were some who shown as true stewards of the public good, and others who were in it for themselves.
I suppose the great lesson is that, despite the early politics, we ended up with a system of government to be proud of. The public good won, but it was not without a lot of work. This is Gore Vidal's analysis of that work and that time.
Vidal is an extraordinarily well educated scholar and historian. He also has his own opinions which he does not hide. His tone is classic and scholarly - this is not light reading. However, if you're willing to devote some focus, this is a well documented perspective on a remarkable time in world history.
I wasn’t aware that the title referred to what the author was doing – Inventing (making up) a History. I thought he was giving honor to the founding fathers but I am told that is out of fashion now. The author took the writing of this book, presumably about the founders of this nation, as a chance to bash the current administration. He makes non sequitur remarks about the thinking of men over 200 years ago with random unrelated comments about current events.
I was looking for an honest review of some of the most important men to have graced this planet and wound up with nonsense about the author’s view of today’s world and revisionist history. He even goes to the extraordinary step of dubbing his voice into spots of particular revision. Much as is done with Kung Fu movies of the 1970’s. This gives a freakish highlight to these revisions.
Some parts were good but the shortcomings overwhelm those.
I listened to this while watching the HBO series "John Adams", which helped me keep interest.
Parts of the book were interesting while the personal opinions of Vidal's were grating.
But all in all, it was a decent enough read...
This is a great book to listen to if your don't like chronology, order, or unbiased writing. I'd rather have a HISTORY book rather than a politically charged sleeping aid. This is not a book for the historically ignorant, either. You've got to remember alot of graduate level history in order to follow this pontification.
This book seems to be a joining of historical fact and Vidal's editorial views of history. Verbiage at times is intellectual in format so if you're looking for a light read, this isn't the book.
I thought I was downloading an American history book. Had the author left out his current political opinions by using this book as a soap box to move his political agenda, the book would have been excellent.
The book is interesting, but beware. As the author moves off subject and into events of the last 50 years it becomes apparent the author is giving opinion more than facts. For example he states the US had as much right to invade Canada after 9/11 as we did Afghanistan. It is okay with me if he wants to have this opinion, but he makes statements to support his belief without mentioning other side of the issue (he gives an unbalanced view of current history). These comments seem out of place and fairly slanted. It makes you wonder what part of the historical events is his opinion or fact.
I wrote a review of this book, it was not posted and I wonder why? It's strange that those reviews that seem to have a "poltical bent" and even go so far as to say "reader beware" are allowed to be posted - but mine was not. If you have a chance, please let me know, thanks, MC
Vidal gave some interesting insights into the making of our nation, but his negative insertions regarding our country's current state left me cold. I finally just turned it off. Also, the vocabulary used is certainly not something that children or teens would enjoy. Very disappointing.
American history as written by an America hater, complete with snide and disparaging asides of pure (and rather hateful) opinion. For conspiracy theorists, perhaps, a must listen, for everyone else, pure trash! Not worth it at any price.