The Last Empire is Gore Vidal's ninth collection of essays in the course of his distinguished literary career. Vidal displays unparalleled range and inimitable style as he offers incisive observations about terrorism, civil liberties, the CIA, Al Gore, Tony Blair, and the Clintons, interwoven with a rich tapestry of personal anecdote, critical insight, and historical detail. Written between the first presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and the electoral crisis of 2000, The Last Empire is a sweeping coda to the still-existing conflicted vision of the American dream.
©2001 Gore Vidal (P)2001, 2016 New Millennium Entertainment, Phoenix Books
The late great Gore Vidal was one of America's finest intellects. In his novels, his plays, and his essays he consistently demonstrated his genius. But be forewarned, he is not for the faint of heart or easily offended. Vidal relished skewering the hypocrites and the vandals who he saw destroying America from within. That is why I call him one of the most patriotic intellectuals of the 20th and 21st centuries. Whether it's our prudish sexual mores or our love of the military industrial complex, Vidal was there to point it out.
Like many Americans, I have been sickened by the ugliness of American political scene of the last few decades. Conservatives and liberals continue to throw muck at one another and because we are so divided we gleefully egg them on. Vidal saw that which probably is part of his decision to live overseas. Still, his writing is stimulating--occasionally outrageous, frequently annoying, but always witty and provocative. And considering the popularity of the musical "Hamilton", it's hopefully not too long before Vidal's masterful novel, "Burr", becomes available on Audible. Along with all his other novels (only 2 of his novels are currently available)!
I could not listen to it again and in fact could not finish it due to the lacerating boredom invoked by the narrator, mired in a seeming quandery of ill timed mispronunciations with a voice lacking resonance, timbre or it seems, any understanding of his subject.
Vidal needs no review as few writers can incise the heart of an issue with the delicacy of the surgeon and then bludgeon it with language as he does.
The lack of timing, inflection and any resonance coupled with mispronunciations made it impossible to sit through.
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